Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Africa's Entrepreneurial Challenge: If I Can't Fire You, I Can't Hire You

by Magatte Wade


December 12, 2012

Last month the Israeli delegation sponsored a UN resolution on entrepreneurship, the first UN resolution ever devoted to entrepreneurship. It’s about time! For decades now many people have acknowledged that most job creation comes from the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and of course all SMEs were first entrepreneurial start-ups.

Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup, summarizes the major finding of the first Gallup world poll, taken in 2007: “From all Gallup’s data, which have been gathered from asking the whole world questions on virtually everything, the most profound finding is this: The primary will of the world is no longer about peace or freedom or even democracy; it is not about having a family, and it is neither about God nor about owning a home or land. The will of the world is first and foremost to have a good job.”

It is that simple: People everywhere want jobs.

Clifton goes on to acknowledge that entrepreneurs and SMEs create most jobs.

For me, it is much more personal. Every time I go back to Senegal, I’m reminded of the thousands of young people lying at the bottom of the ocean, serving as fish food. Every year thousands of young Senegalese, mostly young men, get into small fishing boats and attempt to cross the ocean to get to Spain. They go not in order to party – they go to get jobs, so they can send money back to their families. I work as an entrepreneur so that I can create jobs back home in Senegal, so that more of our young people will no longer need to take the chance of crossing the ocean in their fishing boats.