The Confessions of a Reluctant Entrepreneur

My African culture taught me that entrepreneurs are those who failed out of school or who couldn’t get a job in the corporate world. When you said, “Oh, he’s a businessman”, it was a way of saying he’s shady and we are not sure how he really gets his money.


When I started to dream about being my own boss, fear gripped me. The ideas would come in my sleep, in the shower or it could stop me dead in a conversation. I started carrying a pencil and a notepad in my handbag. There’s a set on my bedside table too. While entrepreneurship in Africa is growing and better understood, I still heard voices, asking me what I do for a living. Will I say I work for myself? What will they think?

Now in 2016, I’ve never been more confident that I have great business ideas that could flourish. And I plan to pursue them, ignoring the voices.


You are a Reluctant Entrepreneur if:

You daydream about working for yourself but you are afraid that you can’t make it on your own

You worry that your mother won’t think you have a real job if you start that business idea you’ve been doodling on napkins at dinner

You have a very clear idea of what you enjoy doing and you’re finding that more than half of your current role is not that

You have heard many times from friends and family that your business ideas are great but you don’t believe in yourself enough

If any of these apply to you, you might have an entrepreneurial spirit inside you. Give it a voice and see where it takes you.

This post was first published on Medium on 11 April 2016.

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