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Female Tech Entrepreneur Helps SMEs Automate Their Human Resources

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LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA, February 6, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – Nigeria is projected to add no fewer than 200 million people to its current population of 196 million between 2018 and 2050. The country is also expected to surpass the United States (US), according to a 2019 Nigerian economic outlook report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). With such a swell in its population, the need to find the right talent has become a strategic imperative for organizations.

That is where Chika Uwazie comes in. The 31-year-old tech entrepreneur helps SMEs automate their human resources (HR) tasks to ensure they have the right processes in place to help them scale and be successful. Her own journey to success has been far from easy. The Georgetown University graduate, who spent 10 years as a competitive cheerleader in the US, made the decision to relocate to Nigeria after her little sister died due to complications from sickle cell anemia.

“When everything happened with my sister, I was at a crossroads. I had finished Georgetown and when you finish from a big school like that, you go into consulting with one of the big four. I said I don’t want to do that because that was not enough. I used to always get excited and light up when I spoke to my sister and we spoke about potentially starting something in tech and building a tech company,” says Uwazie.

Chika Uwazie. Photo provided

After her sister’s death, Uwazie decided to take the leap and build a company that was not only profitable but also made an impact. She started a tech company called TalentBase, a HR software company that provides an affordable and easy-to-use HRM platform solution enabling HR managers and growing businesses to simplify and organize their HR processes. Uwazie was determined not to let the vision she shared with her sister die. But first, she needed funding.

“As you know, it is very hard for black people to raise money in the US, the bars are extremely high. I felt it would not necessarily be easier in Africa but I felt I would have more support if I came back to Nigeria to start a tech company and so that is why I came. And I felt like I wanted to have an impact. Tech is so oversaturated in the US and I felt like in Nigeria, there are so many things that need to be done.”

After almost a year of knocking on the doors of prospective investors, Uwazie got her big break through a colleague at Google who connected Uwazie with 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, which provided funding and support. The program required Uwazie to stay in San Francisco for six months, after which she was able to successfully raise more angel investment a year later to scale her business. This year, Uwazie stepped down from the CEO position at TalentBase to move on to her next venture, Career Queen.

“In Africa, and not just Nigeria, there is a human capital problem. Throughout the time I was running TalentBase, everyone kept complaining to me about how it was difficult to find good talent and this is why I started Career Queen, which is my second wind of entrepreneurship. It has been a crazy growth cycle and I didn’t realize how challenging recruitment is in Africa,” says Uwazie.

She spends most of her time recruiting C-suite executives and executive assistants for organizations in Africa, with a particular focus on women. And according to Uwazie, the numbers don’t lie.

“It has been proven, companies that hire women are 30% more profitable than those who do not have women in the team. The aim is to also get women a seat at the board table. A huge part of my vision now is starting this movement among women, making an impact in organizations and finding great talent for organizations.” Only if there were more who thought like her.

(Source: Forbes Africa)

Entrepreneur

Bristish Council Ghana Launches “The Creative Enterprise Support” Programme

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GREATER ACCRA – GHANA, Monday February 17, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – British Council, Ghana has launched the “The Creative Enterprise Support Programme”, an initiative aimed to deliver training, mentoring and support business development of young emerging entrepreneurs in Accra, Ghana, and will be delivered by Afrinolly Creative Hub, First Creatives, Henley Business School.

Through this programme, the initiative will ensure film entrepreneurs in Accra, Ghana are supported to develop knowledge, skills and relevant networks aimed at building sustainable livelihoods. It also hope to increase collaboration and partnerships within West Africa and between Ghana and the UK, to support the film ecosystem. The programme is delivered and comprised of three stages of Joint provided enterprise support.

The first stage which is the Enterprise Support will host 60 film entrepreneurs, including artistic, technical and enterprise undergo an intensive two-week training tailored to the needs of the local sector. The second stage will be a 6-month Incubation programme opened to, but a selected 30 film entrepreneurs from the first stage. The will be provided access to workspace, equipment (e.g. for producing new work, filming, editing etc.), training, business support and mentoring.

The final stage, thus, the Pitch For Grants will be an opportunity for film entrepreneurs from stage 2 of the programme to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. There will be grants for 5 film entrepreneurs to develop business plans, start or scale up existing businesses or produce new film project. However, the Introduction to the Creative Enterprise Support Programme commenced on the 10th of February, 2020.

Keynote address was delivered by Creatives’ Team, Including Jay Engmann (President of the First Creatives’), Award Winning Ghanaian Actor; Ama K. Abrebrese, Jean-Pierre Choulet (Director of Development and Alumni Henley Business School, Vice Dean Africa Henley Business School) and was staged at the British Council, Accra-Ghana.

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“Stonebwoy Is A Great Example For The Youth – Dr. Thomas Mensah

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GREATER ACCRA, GHANA, Sunday, February 9, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – Following a fruitful maiden encounter with Ghanaian Reggae/Ragga & Dance-hall gaffer; Stonebwoy , Dr. Thomas O. Mensah (born around 1950), a Ghanaian-American chemical engineer and inventor, who contributed to the development of fiber optics and nanotechnology, has lauded the Ghanaian musician for putting up a reputable image.

According to the 2015 US National Academy of Inventors Inductee, Stonebwoy (born Livingstone Etse Satekla) has demonstrated confidence and leadership that makes him unique amongst his competitors. He added that, the 5 times (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) VGMA Reggae & Dance-hall Artiste of the Year is a constant learner who challenges himself to get out of his comfort zone, and surrounds himself with smarter people, characteristics he describes to be worth the emulate.

Dr. Thomas added that, Stonebwoy demonstrates his commitment to a desired goal and is willing to invest the necessary time and effort to achieve success. He stated that, the musician doesn’t give up easily as he persevere when confronted by obstacles. He revealed that Stonebwoy posses the power to effect positive change in Africa and beyond, as his passion to succeed inspires youngsters to follow through and reach the goals they set for themselves.

In a Facebook post sighted by www.gbafrica.net, the Author and recipient of Turner’s Trumpet Award for Fiber Optics Innovation commended Stonebwoy for being a person of integrity and values who will never compromise. He added that, the Dance-hall musician will eventually reach a legendary status to be remembered in history for his benevolent activities for humanity.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, suit and outdoor
“Such a pleasure to interact with Stonebwoy who has become a great example for the youth and their power to effect positive change in Africa and beyond.” He posted

Mensah worked at Air Products and Chemicals from 1980 to 1983. In 1983, Mensah joined Corning Glass Works, working in fiber optics research at Sullivan Park, New York. Researchers at Corning had previously developed optical fiber with loss below the crucial attenuation limit of 20 dB/km, but the fibers could not be manufactured at rates higher than 2 meters per second.

Mensah improved the manufacturing process through a series of innovations, raising the speed of manufacture to 20 meters per second by 1985. This made the cost of optical fiber comparable to traditional copper cables. Mensah received the Corning Glass Works Individual Outstanding Contributor Award for this work in 1985. His work ultimately raised speed of manufacture above 50 m/s.

Mensah moved to Bell laboratories in 1986, where he led a program to develop the first laser guided weapons for the US Department of Defense guided missile program. This program enabled the development of missiles that travel at the speed of sound (Mach 1).
Mensah is President and CEO of Georgia Aerospace Systems, which manufactures nano composite structures used in missiles and aircraft for the US Department of Defense.[8][9] On February 24, 2017 CBS Television News ran a segment for Black History Month featuring Dr. Mensah titled “The Engineer who Revolutionized the Internet”.

Mensah also serves on the board of a number of organizations including the AIChE National Board of Directors (1987–1990) and is a current Trustee of the Board of AIChE Foundation, and member of the board for the NASA Space Grant Consortium at Georgia Institute of Technology. Mensah was elected a Fellow US National Academy of Inventors in 2014. He is also Chairman of Entertainment Arts Research Inc, a Virtual Reality and Video Game Design Company. Since early 2016, Mensah has been working to create a “Silicon Valley of the South” in the US State of Texas.

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Africa’s Top Employers 2020

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Top Employers Institute is the global HR authority on certifying excellence in employee conditions. For over 28 years, our firm has been dedicated to accelerating the impact of people strategies to enrich the world of work through certification, benchmarking, and connecting Top Employers around the world.

Through our HR Best Practices Survey, we enable organizations to assess and improve their workplace environment. Recognition through our programme helps companies become elevated as an employer of choice. We certify organizations worldwide. We recognize Top Employers based on a global four-stage programme governed by a strict standardized process. The leading-edge international research we conduct each year determines whether an organization meets the required standard of excellence for Top Employer certification.

Africa’s Top Employers for 2020 were officially announced in November last year at the annual Top Employer’s Certification Dinner. A record 230 organizations officially registered to participate in the 2020 programme, 210 organizations spanning 32 African countries and 23 industry sectors were certified throughout the evening. 96 organizations will now carry the South African certification, while 114 Top Employers from 31 other African territories will carry their country specific certification. Top Employers Institute also recognized 17 continental Top Employers who have achieved certification in 4 or more countries.

Billy Elliott, Top Employers Institute Regional Manager: Africa, says that the certification provides employers with an important quality metric that enables them to position their brands more effectively in the attraction, retention, and engagement of top talent. “The Top Employers Institute is not just about certifying Africa’s Top Employers. We have seen a progression of HR in Africa over the last few years, and it is our role to empower and advance people strategies across the world. We are driven not just to certify but to benchmark and connect outstanding employers around the world,” he said.

These are organizations of the highest calibre, continuously working hard to create, implement and advance their people practices. This group of Top Employers provide an outstanding workplace experience, empower employees, and make the working world a greater place.

Read more about Africa’s 2020 Top Employers in the Forbes Africa supplement [HERE]

Have you got what it takes to be a Top Employer?

Visit www.top-employers.com/en-ZA/get-certified for more information.

(Source: Forbes Africa)

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Business

Is Influencer Marketing Losing Its Relevance?

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First, i would like us to understand who an influencer is. An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.

An individual who has a following in a particular niche, which they actively engage with. The size of the following depends on the size of the niche.

With this explanation out of the way, the majority of influencers fits into the following categories and “Micro-influencers” are rapidly becoming the most important;

Celebrities – Expensive yet risky but have access to the massive following (Most have fake following and poor engagement)
Marco Influencers – Averagely affordable, highly relevant within a focused network.
Professionals –
Micro-Influencers – Highly relevant within a focused network.
Nano

Here in Ghana, Influencers are activated for campaigns that are mostly Accra focused. The bulk of social influencer marketing today occurs in social media, predominantly with micro-influencers, and blogging. Industry experts and thought leaders such as journalists can also be considered influencers and hold an important position for brands. Then there are celebrities. These were the original influencers, and they still have a role to play, although their importance as influencers is waning.

Bloggers and influencers in social media (predominantly micro-bloggers) have the most authentic and active relationships with their fans. Brands are now recognizing and encouraging this.

Influencer marketing was built on the faulty premise that trust in traditional and digital media was dying and that influencers were authentic voices customers could trust. A whole new industry emerged, which saw brands pour thousands of cedis into a questionable and unproven practice.

Investment in influencer marketing has become wildly disproportionate. The inability to prove the ROI of influencer marketing should be enough to convince any marketers to de-prioritize it.

The inability to prove the ROI of influencer marketing should be enough to convince any half-decent marketer to de-prioritize it. In 2020 influencer marketing will be mostly focused on Micro-influencers.

They are normal everyday people who have become known for their knowledge about some specialist niche. As such, they have usually gained a sizable social media following amongst devotees of that niche. Of course, it is not just the number of followers that indicates a level of influence, it is the relationship and interaction that a micro-influencer has with his followers.

Here in Ghana, most influencers are celebrities or celebrities claim to be influencers but i have monitored to some extent to understand most influencers used in Ghana will disappoint you if your end game is to increase sales.

If you are an influencer here in Ghana, here are a few things i recommend for you to stay in the game before its too late;

Identify your audience
Numbers are not everything
Engagement with the audience
Be intentional with the content you share

By: Eric Osei -Annor (a special kind of Brands, Communication & Digital Marketing Specialist. Experienced in many aspects of Marketing)

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