Stereotypes exist everywhere, but their impact isn’t considered often.
Stereotypes about African entrepreneurs affect their ability to do business around the world. Sitting before international entrepreneurs and investors you are prejudged just because you are an African entrepreneur. They always doubt you and every time you are requested to prove yourself more.
African entrepreneurs struggle with the stigma of
- Being always late
- Cannot be trusted
- Less organized
- Less effective than their majority counterparts
The funds, resources and support mostly come from international partners so it is all the more important for Africans to change this narrative and the stereotypes.
How African Entrepreneurs Can Beat The Negative Stereotype
- Deliver – Prove yourself through your work
It is easy to be dismissed as not having the value someone thinks they need. Instead of calling these people out on it let your work and results do the proving for you. Working with determination gets you noticed and provides the basis for being taken seriously. And once that happens, don’t let it get to you, instead, take this energy and turn it into success.
- Work Right – Be persistent
Sometimes it is an ongoing struggle of how best you do your job. People refuse to accept your work and try to change it as they feel it is inferior. Rather than accepting defeat, choose to be persistent and consistently show them how well you work. It’ll change their outlook making them more trusting in your knowledge and approach.
- Speak Up – Market yourself
Though your personal commitment and success might be measurably greater than other worldly entrepreneurs, you can still be passed over. It can be a massively frustrating experience, but you need to recognize that your efforts may have been overshadowed because you simply didn’t proactively market or promote yourself. Speak up at reviews, email updates on achievements and publicly reward team members for jobs well done.
- Remain Confident – Ignore the negativity
It is difficult to maintain focus when there is too much negativity around but determination and focus trumps all. How much difficult it be, ignore the negativity, remain confident and focus all your energy on making your company a success.
- Develop Your Mindset – Maintain a mindset of growth and positivity
Having the right mindset is important for succeeding in business and in life and there are some key things you have to keep doing in order to maintain a positive and growth mindset. Don’t limit your dreams, your goals and your thinking. Limited thinking leads to limited ideas, which stunt growth and performance.
Limitless thinking and being deliberate about behaviours and habits can help you maintain your entrepreneurial spirit, develop a positive mindset and be open to growth and success not only in your business but also in your life.
It’s time to shatter the defunct stereotypes that surround the common African entrepreneur and focus on learning how to overcome them to reach our own definitions of success.