Shark Work in the Making: The African Impact Journey (AIJ)
Whenever we introduce ourselves as the Sharks, people immediately think of the SDGs, sustainability, innovation – and that’s great - but then the next question is: “what are the concrete projects and products you’re working on?”
Sharkbite is involved in many projects helping to develop sustainability impact within companies, and in between these projects, we are also consistently working on the development of new products. We are proud to launch one of these products, the African Impact Journey (AIJ).
The AIJ is an absolutely unique program fostering collaboration between continents, leading to more successful innovation through leveraging different cultures, mindsets and approaches. It will help young professionals and entrepreneurs from Europe and Uganda to study and apply different innovation methods and open new markets for corporates and startups from both sides.
What is the AIJ?
The AIJ is a three-month innovation program organized by the Social Innovation Academy (SINA) from Uganda, in collaboration with Sharkbite Innovation. In this program, African Startups and German professionals work together on solving relevant global problems. In bringing together creators and consumers from today and tomorrow we jointly find the solutions we, and our world, urgently need.
The AIJ raises awareness about the African market potential for European corporations. At the same time, it inspires entrepreneurs from Uganda through a peer-to-peer collaboration with Europe. On a professional level, all participants benefit from the intercultural experience, and gain hands-on experience in different innovation methods and approaches.
The AIJ also leads to a massive development on a personal level, providing the opportunity to continuously work in global cooperation on new purpose business models.
Together with you, we are going to solve global problems – globally!
But first things first!
The African continent – an amazing opportunity!
The Sharks love Africa: Giulia Hauck, recently visited Ethiopia on a trip with Viva con Aqua, while Daniel Groos regularly takes part in diverse African Meetups in Munich, like the Africa Forum amongst others. The African market itself presents a very interesting opportunity for many different reasons.
Firstly, they are and continue to experience a huge growth in population. While global population is predicted to plateau or even shrink, the African continent is expected to grow to 2.4 billion people in 2050 and reach one third of the planet’s population by 2100 – when experts expect global population overall growth to stop. One billion people are expected to inhabit Nigeria alone, similar to the population of China.
Secondly, Africa is the continent where leapfrogging was invented. The combination of being comparably under-developed and yet fast-growing makes the advancement of new technologies more probable than anywhere else in the world.
Thirdly, from our experience on-site, people in Africa are already very aware of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You do not need to spend time convincing people or motivating people as everyone is working on these goals anyway. In this way, they are many steps ahead of us in terms of sustainability and consequently progressive mindset.
And last but not least, there is a green diamond in the center of East Africa which does not only provide the home to the source of the Nile but also has the highest rate of entrepreneurs worldwide.
Thanks to SINA, Uganda is our starting point
We’ve decided to start our collaboration in Uganda, where we cooperate directly with SINA. SINA tackles failing education and resulting unemployment in Uganda by creating learning spaces. These spaces allow disadvantaged youth to unleash their potential for positive change, as social entrepreneurs.
Through their three SINA communities they are currently educating 165 scholars, have created 93 jobs, helped found 31 independent social enterprises, and impacted more than 500,000 lives in Uganda. We want to connect these local entrepreneurs with young passionate professionals from Europe, so they can solve global problems together.
The African Impact Journey - in brief
At Sharkbite, we strongly believe that pressing global problems will not be solved in central Europe alone. The effects from climate change, inequalities or waste production are seen around the world and can only be solved in other parts of the world.
That is why we need to connect brilliant minds from all around the globe to find cross-cultural solutions.
The AIJ consists of several workshops and a one-week immersion phase in Africa, split between Kampala, as well as one of the SINA communities on-site in Uganda. We will then match the participants with startups in Uganda that work on similar topics or branches, whether that be in medicine, mobility, logistics, etc.
We have a strong focus on creating an exchange that is developed on equal terms and strictly avoids the image of Europeans going to Africa to help the locals. We believe participants from both cultures bring their own special competencies, working methods and approaches to the table, and therefore will create absolutely new and innovative ideas within the program.
The Success of Global Collaboration
One of our favorite examples for global, inter-cultural and successful collaboration is the Hamburg based mobility startup WUNDER. Along with the Sharks, they are convinced that global challenges should be solved where they occur, and that is why they started to develop a ride-sharing app for Manila in the Philippines.
Traffic is a lot more severe there, and there are other restrictions and challenges, such as personal safety and security when entering a strangers’ car. Right from the beginning they recognized this and that is why they hired developers from the Philippines, because only they have the knowledge from their own experience to inform how the service should be developed. The success of their app is evidenced by their recent fundraise of $60 million in venture capital.
APPLY NOW AND HELP US BUILD THE FUTURE!
We are excited to discuss this product with interested partners – so please do not hesitate to contact us to find out more about how you can get involved. Our next AIJ will start in March 2020 and applications are currently being accepted. If you want to join us, please share your letter of motivation with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Together into a better future.