By Gamuchirai Mutezo and Alesimo Mwanga, SEA Africa

The first Enterprise Development Challenge kicked off on July 29 in Cape Town, South Africa, hosted at the Woodstock Exchange, an entrepreneurial hub based in Woodstock. The hub provided a perfect environment for the 13 enthusiastic entrepreneurs who came with an appetite to engage and find out more about the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) coming up in March 2017. The second session was held in Johannesburg on Aug. 4, 2016 and the third will be in Durban, on Aug. 12. Entrepreneurs from different business stages are provided with three challenges designed to assist with refining their idea or product or service offering. The Enterprise Development Challenge is a national awareness program for entrepreneurs, which aims to inform them about the various activities that will be taking place during the GEC and guide them toward capitalizing on this great opportunity.

Three panelists assisted with the design and delivery of three challenges from which the entrepreneurs could select one. The panelists are also entrepreneurs themselves, of African origin, although currently operating in the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa. Nosa Garrick, executive director of “My Africa Is,” provided challenges for entrepreneurs in the ideation stage;Charles Sekwalor, CEO and founder of “MoveMeBack,” provided challenges for entrepreneurs in the startup stage; and Lebo Phasha, director of “Umnotho Consulting,” provided challenges for entrepreneurs that are in operation.. Based on various hurdles they’ve faced in their respective journeys, they were able to relate and relay the Enterprise Development challenges.

Keeping up with the “Digital Disruption” theme, the Enterprise Development participants will be using a virtual platform to upload video diaries of their progress and this will soon be shared. Registration for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress is now open at www.gec.co.