Resolute Young African Techpreneurs Carve Out Enabling Environment to Grow
As Africa continues to experience a surge in economic and technological development, young techpreneurs are continuously using technology to find answers to impending social problems. Most of these apps and solutions are developed to help grow the continent socially.
However, like most businesses, an enabling environment becomes imperative for the successful development and growth of ideas to answer the continent’s socio-economic problems.
Although, Africa has moved up from the relegated position on the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business List,” many startup companies still face the challenge of working in an enabling environment that will provide the necessary means and infrastructure that will help their businesses.
One young businessman who has beat the odds in the challenging environment and created technology know-how for the African market is Kolawole Olajide, the co-founder and lead engineer at Funda, an online program that develops learning management systems and provides content development services for higher institutions to put their courses online, and for corporate organizations to train their staff internally.
Raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Kola was the second child in a family of six. He completed his high school education and traveled to South Africa to study information systems engineering.
Contrary to the perception that he came from a rich family, Kola said, “My parents are not civil servants and I am not a rich kid. I am from a very, very strict Christian home.”
Kola’s passion for education technology rose from his need to see African institutions growing technologically, away from the four walls of a classroom.
He is a prodigy of Africa’s resilient new generation techpreneurs, who has not let the insurmountable social challenges faced by many dissuade him from achieving his goals.
Before he created Funda with other four like-minded colleagues, Kola had conceptualized a technology solution even prior to leaving the shores of Nigeria to travel to faraway South Africa for further study.
Speaking on the situation back then, Kola said: “I tried doing business in Nigeria some years ago, but the environment wasn’t encouraging then.… I met some universities and had some good meetings, but nothing came out. So I stopped chasing it for a while.”
However, it was while he decided to focus on his studies, putting the idea at the backburner, that he met a group of guys who were as passionate about education as he is.
Kolawole and his friends: Kennedy Kitheka (Kenya), Kumbirai Gundani (Zimbabwe), Sameer Rawjee (South Africa), and Jason Muloongo (Zambia) met through their mentors in Cape Town who convinced them they had a better chance if they worked as a team.
They officially launch Funda in 2010: five founders from five different African countries and one private investor.
Read the full story at ventures-africa.com