EYEGAMBIA

EYING GAMBIA, AFRICA & BEYOND.

Veola Green: The woman who connects diaspora businesses and professionals to Africa

A race that is proving to be quite competitive yet still under the radar of the public, is that of opportunities in Africa. As the continent is on an upward trend with the youngest population and the fastest growing economy in the world, we have been converting these and other positive characteristics of the African economy into attractive and sustainable business interests.

Though they disagree on many aspects of the global economy, China, USA and Russia, seem to agree on the practicality and value that investing in Africa now entails. One initiative that is gaining momentum is  #TheAfricaWeDeserve campaign which in a nutshell aims to motivate Africa to be the architect of its impending success.

One notable contributor to this campaign is the Pacesetters Initiative through The International Institute of Family Development Inc.  The Pacesetters Initiative was designed with a focus of creating a stronger bridge between HBCU’s and universities on the African continent

 The main objectives of the Pacesetters initiative is  to assist Black American and Caribbean islander students and professors with the opportunity to host e- learning sessions, travel abroad to conduct research, learn and work alongside their continental African counterparts and meet industry leaders  as a means revolutionize  infrastructure development that aids African countries.

The Pacesetters Initiative operated a pilot project in collaboration with the University of Liberia and Prairie View A&M University of Texas to operate solar engineering courses, Sarhan M. Musa, a professor in the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering, kicked off the venture in the summer  of 2021.

Energy Production partnerships for the benefit of African families

Extensive research of the African continent by Veola Green and the lived experience of  her team, has revealed that  energy and water resource management traps part of the continent in food insecurity, poor health conditions, recurrent droughts and places limits on innovation

In partnership with solar energy firms, The International Institute of Family Development has created opportunities for interested African nations to have access to high quality solar panels and products that can provide energy to power homes and irrigation systems

 To promote green energy on the continent, Veola and her team look forward to partner with an  African country to establish a manufacturing center that can create jobs, support poverty reduction and give a chance to employ skilled labor across the production line

Solar energy use is a largely untapped market. However, due to its decreasing cost and increasing convenience, solar energy is projected to become Africa’s largest source of energy in a few years. With adequate knowledge and training, the opportunity is real to create Africa as a manufacturing and production hub, which is the truest goal of the #AfricaWeDeserve campaign. 

Creating Opportunities for Bankable Projects 

With the youngest population in the world, Africa has fast become an attractive talent pool. For businesses in the diaspora, this is a unique opportunity to establish linkages that allows for growth and legacy wealth generation

The socio -economic unity of the continental African and those of African ancestry combined offer a blueprint for business expansion and depth. This in turn helps to develop communities to be able to offer the tangible benefit of job creation.

Much like how Africa leapfrogged from having a few landlines to a massive use of cellphones or how traditional banking was limited to a few people, but technology catapulted it to a stage where most of the continent uses mobile wallets

 The International Institute of Family Development Inc has partnered with a black owned venture capital group to support American Black owned businesses who are looking to scale up their current ventures – the team is also keenly interested in supporting   existing enterprises that desire to expand internationally, with a focus on Africa

The COVID-19 crisis has forced millions of small-business owners to rethink their models or to switch gears completely. For Black-owned businesses pre-existing inequities have been compounded by the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. Even the increased attention on racial justice and equity came with challenges and introduced a different kind of uncertainty. The movement created surges in new business for proprietors. All these interwoven complexities illustrate the unique experience of Black business owners, historically and over the past year. Businesses like The International Institute of Family Development Inc. are actively helping black owned businesses level the playing field by making connects with parties interested in empowering black businesses.

Study after study has shown how the racial wealth gap and implicit bias have limited access to capital for Black entrepreneurs. Building the supporting ecosystems to mitigate the institutional barriers that lead to less access to capital and dimmer prospects for business growth by Black-owned businesses is not easy. Even when controlling for factors such as “firm characteristics and performance,” Black-owned businesses are still 20 percent less likely than white-owned businesses to obtain a loan from a large bank.

“When you have something like this pandemic, it just comes and decimates these businesses because they were not adequately prepared to begin with,” said Fay Horwitt, CEO of Forward Cities, an economic-development nonprofit that helps produce more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems.

“They may not even have the networks to get to the PPP application on time, even if they did have the proper information,” Horwitt said.

Fortunately, this is no longer the case for many black businesses in sustainable and productive industries. Progressive organizations like The International Institute of Family Development Inc. are making a difference across various industries

The International Institute of Family Development Inc. is interested in hearing from businesses and institutions that are keen to work in some form with Africa, whether it is in the educational sector or commercial arena 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp