Johannes Eklind and TG Teigland, two research assistants at the Department of Marketing and Strategy at SSE have, together with PhD student Claire Ingram and Associate Professor Robin Teigland, launched SSE's first crowdfunded research project.
“Our awareness of the Afripreneurial environment grew when we heard through our social networks about a number of remarkable individuals in East Africa,” says TG Teigland.
He adds that young tech and IT entrepreneurs, in particular, display a dedication to building on ideas that promote sustainable change, both for themselves and their societies. They began the blog Africancrowds.org and dug into what was going on in the region and found that it was tricky to find information about early-stage entrepreneurs in the region; a few entrepreneurs had a lot of international coverage, but the two also wanted to talk to those who didn’t have the same regional and international network.
Through twitter and e-mail, the two research assistants have built relationships with people within, as well as outside, entrepreneurial eco-systems across Eastern Africa. They have been in contact with young IT entrepreneurs in the cities in which they plan to conduct their research: Kigali (Rwanda), Kampala (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Johannesburg (South Africa). They also plan to conduct virtual interviews with young IT entrepreneurs in Lagos (Nigeria) and Accra (Ghana).
The focus of their research trip will be on these young IT entrepreneurs, empowered by mobile platforms and internet access. The two plan to to make a documentary alongside short filmed case studies of individual IT entrepreneurs. The documentary, in particular, will look at social entrepreneurship as well as the mobile-leapfrog movement - in which driven individuals empowered by mobile platforms “leapfrog” over traditional computers - and the innovative African ecosystems that they’ve come out of.
They plan to release the filmed end product at the end of August, and leave for Kigali in Rwanda on March 11. Their project, entitled “Afripreneurs and The Leapfrog Effect“ launched on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo this morning.