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Thank you for attending the inaugural
Africa Entrepreneurship Platform
at the Harvard Club of New York
on Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Watch Video: Launch of Africa Entrepreneurship Platform

Videos of Africa Platform Speakers and Fellows can be viewed below

Over 150 people gathered to support the sharing of ideas from African entrepreneurs who are at different phases of starting their journey towards entering new markets, growing their enterprises and creating jobs. The Consul General of South Africa in New York, Ms. Fikile Magubane´s opening address and letter of support from Mayor Bloomberg started an evening that highlighted on the ground activity across a range of areas from African wine, beverages, graphic design and mining to IT. With the input of luminaries from New York´s financial services world, the wide spread and deep support for entrepreneurs across Africa to further grow businesses that have the potential to scale was very evident throughout the evening.

Post the presentations a large group remained to speak well into the evening with new relationships being forged and new ideas discussed. This is the spirit of the Africa Entrepreneurship Platform aimed at connecting people around discussions on Africa on a regular basis. The aim is to highlight efforts of those entrepreneurs that have the most potential but fall into the category termed the "missing middle". This group - too large for microfinance loans and too small for mainstream private equity - is core to Africa´s job creation efforts and future. The Africa Platform is dedicated to assisting in highlighting the efforts of this segment of entrepreneurs and in doing so, hopes to encourage more in Africa to start such efforts and more in the USA to seek to partner with this important segment.

Event Highlights

Opening Address

Euvin Naidoo, President of SACCA, opens the launch of the African Entrepreneurship Platform Watch Video

Featured Artists

Carol Pineau
, the award winning filmmaker of “Africa Open for Business” (winner of BBC Documentary of the Year)
Watch Video: Carol Pineau Presenting
Watch Video: Documentary Clip: Africa - Investment Horizons                                 

Ezra Mabengeza, event photographer and photo exhibitor

Keynote Speakers

Fikile Magubane -
Consul General of South Africa  Watch Video
Terry Jackson - Managing Director, International Business, Office of the Mayor  Watch Video
Thomas. C. Barry - CEO of Zephyr Management, LP  Watch Video
Teresa Clarke Ellis - Managing Director, Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs  Watch Video
David J.P. Meachin - Chairman and CEO, Cross Border Enterprises  Watch Video
Paul E. Tierney, Jr - Chairman of Technoserve  Watch Video
Prince Cedza Mandela Dlamini  Watch Video

Africa Platform Fellows

Stephen Larkin, CEO  Watch Video
Southern Africa based mining technology company- safety, communication and efficiency through ground breaking technology and innovation with potential for rollout across Africa and in other international markets.

Caranda Fine Foods
Doughba H. Caranda-Martin, Founder and CEO  Watch Video
West African founders and pioneers have developed a class leading portfolio of products using the finest teas, coffees and coco beans from across Africa. Look out for their product in select Whole Foods. Take note of these globally focused, environmentally committed players who are showcasing the fine quality of African products as they also begin the launch of their bottled beverage.

Heritage Link Brands
Selena Cuffe, President and CEO  Watch Video
As fully profiled in the recent December edition of Inc. Magazine, Heritage Link Brands is a leading advocate in bringing African wines to the United States. Celebrated in Time Magazine, this growing business exemplifies the impact American entrepreneurs can have both in Africa and in the USA by combining commitment with skillful business acumen.

ID&B Design
Julie Scott, Founder and Creative Director  Watch Video
ID&B is a dynamic design consultancy building brands from the inside out. ID&B works with organizations in times of transformation, mergers, expansion or revitalization to establish where a client’s branding will have the most impact. ID&B works across industries, continents and cultures, creating new spaces for innovation and creativity in business. ID&B is an African founded business that has the potential to effectively serve clients across the globe.

JGH Internet
Jens Herf, Founder  Watch Video
JGH is a cutting edge studio based in South Africa focusing on the creation of dynamic, content driven websites and web based products for local and international clients through research, design and application of social media technologies. Using advanced Web 2.0 technologies and intuitive design sensibilities, JGH has developed an easy to use online product called “Ice Cream” to empower clients to effortlessly manage and control their online content on the Internet. JGH illustrates the opportunity international companies have to partner with African based web designers.

Launch of the MBA Alliance

The evening also served as an introduction to the Presidents from the Africa Clubs of several prominent US business schools, serving to launch the MBA Alliance, a groundbreaking collaboration formed to support entrepreneurship in Africa.  Watch Video

Watch this space for the next Africa Entrepreneurship Platform focused solely on innovations and endeavors of West and East African entrepreneurs and leaders.

tags: africa entrepreneurship platform, events, ny 2008 feb, launch of africa platform,