It is no news that tech startup founders in developing countries do not have the same opportunities and resources as their counterparts in developed countries. Most entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts in Africa, Asia and South America are world apart compared to those in Europe, North America and Oceania when it comes to access to business growth tools, supportive ecosystems, access to funding opportunities, and skill development.
In this interview, we caught up with Napoleon Okugbe to discuss how Tech for Global is creating more access for the success of global innovative startups in developing countries.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your entrepreneurship background.
I consider myself an innovative entrepreneur who has evolved over the last 10 years. I was a local entrepreneur in agricultural, renewable energy and local manufacturing space and turned into a global entrepreneur in the technology space.
I am the founder of Incorpuk, Foundeck, Pavelify, Visatify and some other global companies that are geared towards the success of businesses and people across several sectors in the world.
What is Tech for Global all about and what is the inspiration behind it?
Tech for Global is a global innovation advancement initiative for innovative founders and startups in developing countries to reach their full global potential.
There are a lot of game changing ideas for global problems in developing countries but access to resources is not well distributed for the founders of these great ideas and the environment they are residing in.
Tech for Global is on a mission to inspire, support and create access to global resources for global focus founders in developing countries to enable their success on the global stage.
Napoleon Okugbe, you seem to be very passionate about Global solutions with tech. What is behind the passion?
As I said earlier, I started as a local entrepreneur and I have experimented with a lot of business ideas over the years. But at some point in my entrepreneurship journey specifically around 2017, I started to drift towards tech entrepreneurship. I fully ventured into the online space around 2017 when I started as a freelancer offering Search Engine Optimization and Google ads services to clients around the US, UK, Germany and Australia.
When I was freelancing I started to think only of ideas that can solve problems for businesses and individuals in any country irrespective of what country I am residing in. I was no longer thinking of starting a local enterprise as I did in the past but starting an idea that can scale and serve customers all around the world. That is how I started to try working on global ideas.
What are the specific issues you are solving with Tech for Global?
We are solving some key and basic issues global innovation startups in developing face on their quest to scale globally.
Some of these issues include:
Access to global business growth tools and financial tools
Access to global investors and funding opportunities
Access to mentorship and skill development
Access to strategic partners and institutions
How are these issues affecting entrepreneurs in developing countries?
These issues are affecting the growth and success of entrepreneurs and startups in developing countries from having access to a simple payment gateway to accept payments from customers around the world to having access to the right partners for global expansion.
For instance, basic things like payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal to accept payments from customers around the world is a big issue for most globally focused entrepreneurs and startups in developing countries. With a basic thing as being able to accept payments from customers outside the shores of their countries, they can’t even sell to anyone outside the shores of their countries.
Today tech companies like Shopify, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and Bolt are seen as global champions but without the right resources, favourable startup ecosystem, access to funding and strategic partnerships they wouldn’t have scaled internationally. This is what innovative startups need in most developing countries and not just for their success but also for the job creation and value creation they can bring to their local economies.
How is Tech for Global Solving these issues?
By providing access to mentorship, funding opportunities, partnership opportunities and business growth tools, Tech for Global is giving head start to global founders and startups in developing countries.
Tech for Global also runs startup competitions and programs for innovative startups. These programs and competitions aim to identify innovative startups with potential for global scale while supporting them with the right resources, tools and connecting them to investors and strategic partners.
Tech for Global also has startup communities, summits and accelerator programs geared towards the success of startups in developing countries.
Any partnership opportunities on Tech for Global for investors and other institutions?
At Tech for Global, we work with several partners who want to support global ideas and startups in developing countries in areas of funding, skill advancement, visibility, mentorship, perks and rewards.
We are open to accepting institutions, individuals and investors whose goal is to contribute to the success of startups and entrepreneurs with a global focus.
Where do you see the future of Global Tech innovation in developing countries in 10 years?
10 years from now, I believe that there would be more access to startup resources for global tech solutions in developing countries. More developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America would improve the atmosphere for startups to thrive, scale and compete beyond their boundaries.
This is not the task of only governments or private institutions and Individuals. It would require governments of developing countries as well as private institutions and individuals playing a major role to come together to increase more funding access, favourable startup ecosystem, favourable tax conditions, access to efficient logistics as well as skill development and other tangible resources innovative startups and ideas require to scale internationally.