Entrepreneurs Assembly Africa (www.EA-Africa.org) was created, during the summer of 2015, through discussions with a group of Mandela Washington Fellows who were participating in a Business and Entrepreneurship program at the University of Nevada Reno. These 25 Mandela Fellows were selected from over 5,000 young African leaders from 17 countries throughout the continent. The 6-week program was to expose these incredible young people (from many different backgrounds and cultures) to US entrepreneurial know how. In conjunction with the Northern Nevada International Center, the Mandela Fellows were hosted and introduced to many entrepreneurial programs and mentors during their stay in northern Nevada.
One of the programs introduced to them was the award-winning Entrepreneurs Assembly (www.EA-Global.org), which sponsored a lunch and mentored round-tables for the young leaders. The Mandela Fellows worked on their startup businesses and with mentors help, everyone prioritized the most important things they need to do for their startups over the next 30 days. The lunch experience was so successful that Fellows were invited to participate in the Reno EA meeting of entrepreneurs and mentors. The EA Reno working sessions convinced several the Fellows that the EA type of program could be collaboratively imported to Africa. In the fall of 2015, the Entrepreneurs Assembly Africa collaboration began with the Entrepreneurs Assembly of Nevada as the facilitating organization.
How Does the Entrepreneurs Assembly Facilitate EA-Africa?
Currently there are several of the early organizers around the continent, ready to go. The African facilitators will launch in their respective villages, towns, and cities, gathering locals who have started or want to start a business. We especially wish to assist women and young entrepreneurs in their plight for entrepreneurship and self-reliance.
Meetings will be conducted and facilitated in the same manner as EA Nevada (See Rules of Engagement), with local mentoring encouraged, but with initial and continued assistance from the contingent of US mentors who have signed up and are ready to help our African friends build their dreams. To encourage elder participation in Africa, they will see that they have the ability to network with successful US entrepreneurs who are already helping their neighbor to success.
How Does the Entrepreneurs Assembly Process Work?
The EA programs are simple and powerful, driven by passionate mentors and entrepreneurs, who have built multi-million dollar companies from scratch, often with little money. The philosophy espoused, is to be customer-centric in all aspects of strategy. So everything we focus upon is driven to get to customers as quickly as possible, and keep them. If the company is pre-revenue, we focus on getting to revenue. If the startup is in revenue mode, then the focus is to grow the customer-base and the one-to-many relationships needed to support growth. If the startup has all of the above then we need to get them to funding, whether its loans or investments, private or public, we help the entrepreneur every step of the way depending on the specific situation each founder faces.
The EA is self –funded with a small amount of economic development funds, and driven by successful men and women who want to give back to others. It’s a powerful program that produces real results built by serial entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. All startups are welcome: Lifestyle businesses, Growth businesses, Product startups, Service startups, Non-profits, and even the new Benefits Corporations!
The Entrepreneurs Assembly has strategic alliances with: The University of Nevada Reno, The UNR Innevation Center, Sierra Nevada College, The Adams Hub Incubator, The South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, Tahoe Mountain Lab, Lake Tahoe Community College, The Small Business Development Center, Truckee Meadows Community College, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, The Northern Nevada International Center, Northern Nevada Development Authority.