S1 E5 1BillionAfrica – consciously leading for change

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1 Billion Africans solving 1 billion problems


Growing up in Ghana, Prince used to keep himself busy by imaging a variety of scenarios where he saved the day like the comic book heroes. Sadly, his joy was short lived when he was struck by the reality of what he saw in his community. As he pondered this issue, he began to notice a pattern of poor leadership that lead him to study what good leadership looks like. Now, in 2016 through his social enterprise, 1BillionAfrica, he is getting to save the day by building a movement that will build tomorrow’s conscious African leaders through individually championed projects for change.


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Show Notes:

Prince talks about how he always wanted to be a hero from a young age, which was his first encounter of solving problems. Imagining epic adventures as he saved his community. [02:00]
As a teen, he began to reflect on the issues he witnessed throughout the communities that he lived in, and a common them that came through was a lack of leadership. [03:47]
This realisation developed a passion for Ghana and Africa as a whole around leadership [04:20]
Even not having a computer could stop him from following his desire to study computer science, and learning how to design a website. [05:04]
This skill helped him to help others by designing banners, logos and websites for people on his university campus and inspired 1Billion Africa. [05:20]
Having started his business initially just for fun, he began to make a living off of it. [06:20]
1BillionAfrica was formalised in 2013, after having been a side hustle initially. [09:03]
Prince then gives us an example of one of the projects they champion. [10:29]
1BillionAfrica is a Non-Profit Organisation but they still had to self-fund to get it started. [12:54]
They have grown through key collaborations, from private companies to individual support. [13:26]
Prince breaks down the three ways in which 1BillionAfrica manages projects: Advocacy,Support Services and Project Management; and as time goes by they hope to change their business model to include monetisation.[14:50]
Prince explains how they grew their footprint throughout the African continent. [16:15]
With the rapid response from the rest of the continent, the team chose to limit the countries to 10, in order to focus before scaling. [20:13]
The team have have thought out ways to help others to put together a viable chapter within their country. [22:00]
Prince talks about how he formulated his team. [23:05]
Mentors / advisors have played a pivotal role. [25:00]
The blend of ages brings a welcome balance. [27:35]
Prince explains how he became a social entrepreneur. [31:33]
What keeps Prince up at night also keeps him motivated. [34:49]
Future plans for 1 Billion Africa are aligned to four main goals: structure, projects, advocacy and finance. [36:33]
Prince explains how they monitor impact / success. [40:33]
Prince sums up 1 Billion Africa’s impact, and what makes them different. [46:57]

Significant quotes:

“we had to self-fund these things ourselves, because usually people don’t believe in the vision unless they see it working.” 13:12
“We leveraged on key collaborations.” 13:26
“We decided that this is not 1 Billion Ghana, this is 1 Billion Africa. So how do we make a whole continent movement?” 16:39
“The most important thing is the why that is behind the vision that has brought them together.” 25:48
“One great advantage is the energy. The passion, the zeal to make a change is there.” 27:55
“One quote that inspired me along this journey is that easy things do not inspire.” 34:03
“So if we get young people to begin to consciously or deliberately find a problem in their community to solve, you know its not easy doing this, and so you build your leadership capacity in the process and grow your passion for your community.” 47:33
“We are the ones Africa has been waiting for.” 50:12

Links Mentioned:

1BillionAfrica’s website
Inc magazine article of international advisor
Global Youth Forum in Russia

Honours and Awards that 1BA has won

TedX Accra

About the author, Charlotte

Charlotte, or Charlie as she likes her friends to call her, is what you would call a multipotentialite or a jack of all trades if you must. She been an auditor, an English teacher, a consultant, an executive assistant and product manager. She loves to read, watch shows, learn, tries to exercise, eats a lot, travels and tries out new things.

Entrepreneurship excites her not only because of its capability to bring joy (read freedom) to entrepreneurs, but also because it can vastly improve a country or continent for the better.

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