In a recent report by Facebook OECD and World Bank, Global State of Small Business: shares the devastation the pandemic has had on small businesses globally with up to 60% closures, directly correlated to lockdown measures in countries up to date. “The survey found that between January and May 2020, 26% of SMBs closed — in some countries, more than 50%.” — Data for Good
There possibly has not been a better time for community lean-in, and as things go on — a strategy for recovery, re-igniting the already-acknowledged SMB casualties to the devastating ongoing health pandemic.
As we collectively look for answers, TsiTsi and Nike (co-Founders of Africa Family Firms with the latter being a recent guest on the Unpacking Africa podcast Black Enterprise episode here) in collaboration with Nelson Mandela University are hosting the 1st African Family Business Research Conference “Umoja” which is timely relevant, and impactful. Especially with the current pandemic climate that is devastatingly affecting African enterprises, a majority of which are family-owned.
With an eye on bridging the African continent with its diaspora in the United States, Kwabena Boateng (Chair of HBCU Africa Homecoming shared his project in his own words on the Learning Journeys episode here) has sent out a clarion call to reimagine, a smart city, a stream of innovative knowledge share with Historically-Black Colleges and Universities collaboratively engaged in the future of the continent.
Shameless plug: I shall be sharing my thoughts on the recently released Africa Regional Integration Index report, a collaborative effort by the African Union, African Development Bank Group, and United Nations Commission for Africa, and my ongoing work in ways the AfCFTA can work for young entrepreneurs on the continent. Some of that exploration has led to the Unpacking Africa podcast and this Unpacking Africa newsletter. I hope you share this and the amazing work that Tsitsi Mutendi, Nike Anani, Kwabena Boateng, Garikai Govati, Kimberly Ofori, and many others are doing in Africa and beyond with someone else in your community to nudge them to lean-in to their discomfort, join in and participate exactly where we all are, in uplifting our own.
Be well, be safe, be loved.
PS: There have been a plethora of submissions on business resilience, some well-intended but most frustrating-inducing. I re-stumbled on Brené Brown via her recent Netflix show on vulnerability, failure, and finding courage. She is the phenomenal researcher, TEDx speaker (13+million views), and Daring Greatly author. And if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, in a mental and emotional state of frustration — and meh — I unabashedly recommend her Unlocking Us podcast where she talks about FFT (first f*#@! time — you need to listen to understand). We are globally all going through this pandemic in FFT mode, so be kind and give yourself grace. Better is gonna come.