The Spirit of Outrepreneurship Lives On!
Are entrepreneurs born or made? Are they self-made or public-made? Are they rebellious or conformist? Are they trendy or naïve? Are they spiritual or secular? Are they led by the spirit or the spirit leads them? Are they being pushed or they are being pulled by a higher power? These were just a few of the million questions which raced through my mind, when Bunmi Jembola -convener of the Nigeriá Founders Conference (and author of the book The Ignition: A Validated Path to Startup Success) requested I be the keynote speaker at the forthcoming Youth Entrepreneurial Empowerment Summit powered by RCCG Province II, Lagos, Nigeria.
First off, as a serial entrepreneur of eighteen (18) years, I had never given heed to such thoughts, whenever I had the opportunity to talk about the spirit of enterprise (or entrepreneurship or outrepreneurship), to young men and women who were brought up and tutored under strict puritan injunctions.
Coincidentally, these thoughts and Jembola’s proposition all came calling barely one week to the beta launch of our digital publication -OUTREPRENEURS; what a fantastic coincidence! My co-founder, Dele Ogundahunsi may be confounded by such convoluted thoughts on my mind, as we place before you, our new baby, from the stable of Inventrica Multimedia Limited – OUTREpreneurs, the digital magazine.
I do know for sure that I am a restless soul, like all other preneurs; even inside my dreams, I dream dreams (like dream within a dream, LOL). I am always propelled to dig deep into solutions to challenges within my vicinities. Sometimes too, I am fascinated with everything about building businesses. I get excited when I discover or meet some smart guys and gals creatively providing answers to daunting questions, challenges and problems of this world. You can be assured that these problems or challenges, whether local, continental, or global, keep increasing by the day; which is an unending opportunity for entrepreneurs and money-making machines for investors. Surprisingly, creators, inventors, innovators, value creators, entrepreneurs or outrepreneurs are always at work; recognizing that their next cheques will come from solving other people’s problems.
Now let’s dive into my convoluted thoughts. Are preneurs born or made? Do they choose entrepreneurship or did entrepreneurship choose them? Are they possessed or they are the ones attempting to possess us with their brains and brands? Do they possess ordinary DNA or some OUTstanding DNA? Are they wired from above or they are wired from beneath? To be frank, we all have these questions trapped and waiting for answers in the crescent or in our brains.
The true meaning of entrepreneurship has remained dynamic over the ages; from the medieval or dark ages, to the Henry Ford industrial revolution, to the PC revolution and to the Internet revolution of which Musk, Bezos and Zuckerberg are captains. All these OUTREpreneurs in all ages are UNREASONABLE people… pushing us further, to a better life and abundance of some sorts. Indeed, entrepreneurs are pacesetters, trendsetters and the painters who somehow add colours to life itself!
Born entrepreneurs share a lot of traits with those who acquire entrepreneurship. They are the one-eyed people, they see what others cannot see and they create what others cannt create; they are always questioning the status quo, the always incurable optimists, taking both calculated and uncalculated risks and above all, they EXECUTE, because they know execution is everything.
One thing that is clear to us as we commence this journey into OUTREpeneurship is that our entrepreneurial spirit and the spirits of entrepreneurship will always remain at work. The entrepreneurs and outrepreneurs we shall be reporting (or do I say celebrating) in every publication, are not restricted by age, race, colour, creed, location, class or what have you. They are all spirit-filled personalities, being pushed and/or pulled to change us forever….
Imagine, in 1996 Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com changed the face of e-commerce forever. Do you remember how, since 2006, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has kept saying “the business of connecting people can’t fail”. He knew that connecting Harvard alums and indeed everyone living on planet earth, digitally (when the native tribe had died), would keep resonating for a long time to come! Travis Kalanick in re-imagining things had disrupted taxi business for life by Uberizing the world. Is there any difference with Mitchel Elegbe of Interswitch, Nigeria? Mitchel has been enabling e-payments in Africa, since 2003! What about our brother, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji of the Flutterwave fame, who has even further simplified e-payment systems from end to end? How can we forget Tayo Oviosu of Paga, Ayodeji Adewumi of Jobberman, Obinna Ekezie of Wakanow.com, Sim Shagaya of Konga.com, Adebola Akindele of Autoreg, Jason Njoku of iRoko TV, Etop Ikpe of Cars45.com and many more in Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, other African countries and in other parts of the globe!
At Outrepreneurs.com, we recognize that behind all these new innovations, inventions and creative enterprises is Humanity. To put it succinctly, behind all these are people, processes, strategies, passion, perseverance and all other inputs which constitute the spirit of entrepreneurship. We shall remain committed to providing Africans and indeed the world with news, information, insights and perspectives from these OUTstanding innovators and their innovative teams. We shall also cover trends and the things that will define our new life and the future economy.
Outrepreneus.com will not just report the startup and serial entrepreneurs. We shall cover small businesses and private companies that are at the cutting edge of Innovation. We shall report all those who flip other people’s private companies and even those who do nothing, but acquire existing companies and re-invent their processes, brands and products and make them better. We will expose inventions and innovations on our educational campuses, on our streets and at the various innovation hubs across Africa.
We know the journey of entrepreneurship is a lifelong continuum; it has a beginning and seldom has an end. Even when a preneur fails, the spirit propels him to dust himself up and pronto, he is back again, with heels on the streets…. Outrepreneurs.com will take you on this jolly ride to the future ( which really starts now!). How about joining us as we celebrate the future of Innovation henceforth… Welcome aboard!
Israel Ovirih, a serial entrepreneur, is the Founder of www.outrepreneurs.com. He chairs the Banklink Africa Group –http://www.banklinkafrica.com/our-success-stories/