“Entrepreneurship is taking ownership of your dreams, aspirations, and direction. If you persistently execute on that, the results are incredible,” says Tom-Chris Emewulu, founder and president of SFAN.
Unlocking talents of the youth
I talk to Emewulu at the Student Entrepreneurship Week Pan-Africa in Accra, and I notice that his drive and enthusiasm are contagious. Originally from Nigeria and started without money and network, his company has grown into one of the foremost social enterprises in Ghana. "I read a newspaper report which said that yearly about 66,000 young people graduate from universities in Ghana, but less than 10% were integrated into formal employment," says Emewulu. According to him the cause of the high youth unemployment rate is the disconnect between the subjects children learn in school and the skills they need for the labour market. SFAN unlocks the talents of young people via alternative education such as events and a 6-weeks career coaching program. With these tools, young people acquire personalized support to start their businesses or careers.
After 18 major events, 162 direct mentorship hours and over 500 jobs and business opportunities created, you can say that the startup is rather successful. But the sky is the limit for this young team. "So, what's the plan for next year?," I asked. Apparently, Emewulu intends to aim high. "I’ve always thought global", he answered while keeping an eye on the contestants in the room. "The first Student Entrepreneurship Week was for Ghana and we had people coming from Nigeria. Now we made it Pan-African and we had people coming from India. Why can’t we build it here and ship it to the rest of the world?"
Launch your career
In the distant future, his plans are ambitious as well. The 6-weeks talent accelerator program called Ready for Work starts on September 7th. For six weekends contestants learn personalized educational content realised by specialists, one-on-one coaching and team discussions. Entry-level job seekers and aspiring entrepreneurs gain the skills and connections necessary to launch their careers.
Are you looking for a job or do you have an innovative idea for an enterprise? Pulse gives away five tickets for this training program, worth GHS250 per ticket! Send your story or idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.