Moving back to Africa to start a social enterprise? Read this first

By Jennifer Ehidiamen 07 March 2017

Hamiddah Aden (standing in front) is a Somali technical consultant from the diaspora deployed by IOM on short-term capacity-building appointments in Somali government institutions under the Migration for Development in Africa project. Photo by: IOM / CC BY-NC-ND

Chika Uwazie was wrapping up her master's degree at Georgetown University in 2015 when she asked herself, “Do I really want to be a consultant?” Like some young Africans in the diaspora, Uwazie had the option of continuing her career in the United States. But she was also aware of the many opportunities disguised as challenges on the African continent.

The prospect of leaving her comfort zone to start afresh in Nigeria did not sound appealing at first. Three years earlier, she had penned a column highlighting why the Nigerian diaspora won’t return home.

Yet some of the reasons that she listed — corrupt political systems, a lack of infrastructure and cultural divides — are some of the same things that are now attracting many young professionals back to Africa. “There are too many challenges that have not been solved [with] many opportunities,” she said.

Uwazie took the risk and went on to co-found TalentBase. Started as a recruitment platform, the business has evolved into a payroll software that gives small- and medium-sized enterprises access to a payment system for their unbanked employees.

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About the author

Ehidiamen jennifer
Jennifer Ehidiamendisgeneration

Jennifer Ehidiamen is a Nigerian writer who is passionate about communications and journalism. She has worked as a reporter and communications consultant for different organizations in Nigeria and overseas. She has an undergraduate degree in mass communication from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, and M.A. in business and economics from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York. In 2014, she founded Rural Reporters (www.ruralreporters.com) with the goal of amplifying underreported news and issues affecting rural communities.


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