Launch, Grow and Succeed: Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Today

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, StartUpAfrica held its annual Entrepreneurship Conference and Awards Gala in New Castle, DE. We incorporated suggestions generated from previous conferences and were pleased to offer more industry specific sessions, more access to the session panelists (during and post conference)—and success stories. Participants came from several states including DE, PA, MD, NJ, VA, and Washington, D.C.

The response to these changes was great! One attendee said, “The face to face interaction with panelists, other entrepreneurs and professionals is invaluable, their entrepreneurial journeys and personal stories are really inspiring”. A panelist appreciated the “the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of seeing others pursuing entrepreneurship and freely sharing information”. A youth participant loved the “wealth of information that even her business classes haven’t given her”.

The conference featured a diverse team of entrepreneurs in different phases: launched, growing and successful who shared their motivations for going into business and experiences that have shaped them to continue being in business. Sessions included: Youth Entrepreneurs: How I Started My Business; Resources for Entrepreneurs: Finding the help you need; Sales strategies: What entrepreneurs need to know at home and abroad; Resources for Entrepreneurs: Finding the help you need; Pros and Cons of Incubators/Accelerators- What You Need to Know and, Unconference, a shared experience.

The event also featured an Entrepreneurs Awards Gala where three Delawareans where honored with Lifetime Achievement Award (Ms. Bebe Coker, Wilmington), Social Entrepreneur of the Year (Alice Aluoch, New Castle) and Serial Entrepreneur of the Year (Walter Nyandiba, Newark), and the Woman Entrepreneur Award was given in absentia to a woman living in Kenya. Walter attributed his success in the trucking business to the information he got from the 2013 conference and subsequent conferences he has attended.

We are grateful to our sponsors and partners, Strano & Feeley Funeral Home, Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO), Mayor Dennis Williams, City of Wilmington, Dr. Bullock, Council President, New Castle County Council, Hon. Theopalis Gregory, Sr., Council President, City of Wilmington, All Around Event Planners, LLC, Ms. Muthoni Wachira, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Tea Development Agency and 484 Beyond through for their financial and in-kind sponsorships that allowed us to continue to work hard to ensure that StartUpAfrica’s Entrepreneurship Conference continues to grow, exceed our participants’ expectations and increases its relevance as a premiere entrepreneurship event for those who want to do business in Delaware, USA and Africa.

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Report by StartUpAfrica Team