Posted by: beninmwangi | May 20, 2007

David S. Fick Means Business-African Business (Part II)

This is the post that we put on the African Path, the same day that we did part I.

About David S. Fick

Fick is the author of Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Study of Successes and is currently researching his third book, African Entrepreneurs in

the 21st Century, which will feature examples of African entrepreneurs who have demonstrated visionary and strategic entrepreneurial leadership across the continent. Fick generously donates all author’s royalties due to him from the sale of his first – and this, his second – book to Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in support of their medical relief projects in Africa and will do the same when his third book is published.
Source: STE Publishers

First book, Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Study of Successes (March 2002)

Please tell us about “Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Study of Successes”.

Entrepreneurship in Africa is a study of those entrepreneurs who have achieved success, wealth, and fame by organizing and directing a business undertaking in Africa. It is a story about successful entrepreneurs who have assumed risk in pursuit of profit, who have tried to conform to ethical business standards and who have tried to contribute to the economic development and improve the natural environment and the education, health, and welfare of their community and nation. The philosophies underpinning their economic success and their endeavors to improve their communities have been included whenever correspondence with the entrepreneurs related them.

Entrepreneurship in Africa is a journey through the economic world of Africa. It is a search through Web sites, books, newspapers, and periodicals for entrepreneurs who have been successful in Africa, for the projects and policies that improve their road to opportunity, and for expert commentary on the best ways to accomplish the economic and social development of Africa. It is a self-educating dialogue through personal meetings, letters, e-mails, and phone calls with interested parties in Africa and around the world on the future well-being of the people living and working in Africa. It is meant to encourage a dialogue so that knowledge and ideas may be exchanged with the goal of improving Africa and the world. I hope that, by doing this, Africans and those who observe the region can learn from past mistakes and current successes and build a peaceful and better society for all of Africa’s people.

Entrepreneurs are the engines that get the economic trains moving. Entrepreneurs organize and direct business undertakings. They assume the risk for the sake of the profit. Success often depends upon how skilled, innovative, and passionate entrepreneurs are about their ideas and dreams. An entrepreneur has exceptional vision, creativity, and determination and frequently creates entirely new industries. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs in Africa; in fact, over the centuries, there have always been entrepreneurs in Africa. Given the opportunity, entrepreneurs in Africa and from around the world will drive Africa’s economic trains forward.

This study begins with an overall discussion of the ways that the economic and social environment for entrepreneurs in Africa may be improved. The study continues with a basic description of the economic and social environments and the entrepreneurial opportunities in each of Africa’s five regions with profiles of successful entrepreneurs in each region. The profiles endeavor to enumerate the entrepreneurs’ philosophy behind their economic success and their sense of social responsibility to improve their communities. The study concludes with the prospects for the continual improvement of Africa’s economic and social environment and the continual creation of opportunities for skilled, innovative, and passionate entrepreneurs in Africa to successfully implement their ideas, achieve their dreams, and bring benefits to their communities.

Third Book: African Entrepreneurs in the 21st Century
What can readers of your first and second books expect from this one?

African Entrepreneurs in the 21st Century will feature examples of African entrepreneurs that have demonstrated visionary and strategic entrepreneurial leadership across the continent. These individuals are an inspiration to others with their ability to spot market opportunities, and arrange resources to create viable businesses in spite of significant challenges. Through their personal stories, readers of African Entrepreneurs in the 21st Century will gain invaluable insights on how to recognize gaps in the marketplace and lead or partner with others to establish profitable ventures.

As with my first and second books, in recognition of everyone’s support author’s royalties due to me from sales of the third book will also go to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to support their medical relief projects in Africa.

Who should go out and buy it?

Professors of economics interested in the future of Africa, entrepreneurs doing business in Africa, non-governmental agencies involved with the economic development of Africa, and journalists and people in general, who are interested in Africa’s development.

When should we expect your third book, “African Entrepreneurs in the 21st Century”, to hit the shelves?

Hopefully, November 2008

Where will we it be available?

Hopefully, South Africa December 2008, Europe January 2009, North America February 2009.

Are you still looking for commentary for inclusion into this book? If so, what type of commentary would you consider and what method may we use to contact you with our comments?

I am still looking for commentary for inclusion in this third book concerning how best to create economic environments and opportunities for skilled, innovative, and passionate entrepreneurs in Africa to successfully implement their ideas, achieve their dreams and bring benefits to their communities.

Email correspondence to me at africanentrepreneurs@gmail.com would be best.

Additional fvrom David Fick
Is there anything that perhaps you would like to add to this interview?

I am still looking for entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and improving the quality of life in their African community to feature in my third book.

Generally, I look for entrepreneurs who strive for excellence in order to be competitive in regional, national and international markets. Their enterprises are well-established, in good financial shape and enjoy a reputation for quality, integrity and service. They act in a socially responsible way, support community development efforts and create a work environment in which their employees can learn and grow.

To be more precise, I try to tell about the following factors:

*What the enterprise does (establishment, key dates, past, current and future projects).
*Growth of the business, how it has grown (turnover, profits, the number of employees, or anything that illustrates that the enterprise has grown.)
*Marketing strategy (ways used to grow the business such as marketing and expansion strategies).
*Hardships or difficulties that might have been experienced, and how they were overcome.
*Team management structure of the business.
*Quality certification and awards received.
*Training done within the enterprise.
*Social involvement – how the enterprise contributes towards job creation and social up-liftment.

I try, however, to keep it interesting, and not too factual, and so I find that I sometime skip over some of the factors I am considering in order to keep the stories interesting. It is most important to also include the secrets of success from successful entrepreneurs that will motivate and help others to start new businesses. I am looking at best practices within Africa so that we can replicate those success stories in other parts of the continent. For uniformity most stories are told in the third person.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to say that there is a growing interest concerning the African continent being developed to fulfill its immense potential. My books show the business opportunities that can be found in Africa, and also the problems people encounter realizing them. Most books deal with macroeconomics when actually it is the small and medium enterprises of the world that create the majority of new jobs. By presenting interesting case studies of individual small, medium, and large enterprises and community projects creating jobs in Africa, my books are guides to the way business should be conducted in Africa.My books are meant to tell the story of people and their communities that are successful in developing Africa. They are meant to get across the idea that all ethnic groups (Native Africans, Europeans, Arabs, Asians, and Americans) can be successful in Africa, which can, like the Americas, welcome immigrants and prosper through their efforts. All citizens of Africa will benefit and all can become successful in Africa if they have the imagination, education and persistence. My books also tell how these people give back to the communities that they live in. My books all advocate that African countries do more business with each other by means of regional groupings.

My books are meant to encourage a dialogue so that knowledge and ideas may be presented and exchanged with the goal of improving Africa and the world. In all the cases and commentary presented in my books, I have tried to retain the sense and substance of the information I have obtained. Whether from websites, press releases, books, newspapers and periodicals, or from personal meetings, letters, e-mail correspondence, and phone calls with interested parties in Africa and around the world, I have tried not to colour someone else’s inspirations, ideas, or plans with my views of how the world should be. Wherever possible, I have endeavored to use the exact words of my sources in presenting or summarizing their ideas. When I mention a source, it is their ideas and words that I present. I do not claim credit for their ideas, only the blame if I have not adequately presented them.

Special Thanks

I should like to thank everyone who helped with editing their stories in my first two books and are presently helping to edit my third book. Frequently, I learned about their entrepreneurial efforts to create jobs in Africa from news articles, magazine articles, press releases and websites.

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Responses

  1. […] David S. Fick Means Business-African Business (Part II) […]

  2. Infact there are enterpreneurs in Africa but are treated as undersirables in society. Governments wage unnecessary laws to criple them and local authorities hate to see them progress etc.


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