Lets talk about Rollo February 2021

During COVID-19 

  • 35% of all jobs in Africa were influenced by the pandemic and 150 million jobs were affected by losses or salary reductions.
  • It directly impacted jobs in retail and wholesale, manufacturing and construction, which make up to 60% of all jobs in the formal sector and 80% of jobs in the informal sector.

In partnership with African Union, UNDP, and Afrilabs, SAVANNAH was selected amongst 4 other regional hubs from Cameroon, Egypt, Senegal, and Zimbabwe to run the pilot of the Rollo program in Africa.

What is Rollo? 

Rollo is a business simulation program dedicated to inspiring and supporting small African enterprises facing challenges after the COVID-19 outbreak. It is composed of three days in which enterprises learn to manage and operate in a competitive environment within different market outlooks. 

The program is dependent on business simulations that develop participants’ holistic thinking, commercial acumen, decision-making, and strategic skills. The methodology includes COVID-19 like situations in order to allow SMEs to learn resilience and coping mechanisms. It mimics occupational practice, in which participants act in the role of a professional facing real-life business challenges. The program provides a platform for African entrepreneurs to create ideas and test new strategies in a simulated and risk-free environment.

Why is it innovative? It incorporates a learn by doing approach, targeting SMEs and aiming to develop and improve their skills in the post-COVID-19 era. Rollo is a gateway for enterprises  to share experience and grow in other markets. 

Of the  350* applicants, 24 enterprises were selected and divided into two groups that competed in two boot camps in December and January.

The simulation is a virtual manufacturing company operating in 3 different markets with 2 products. Participants manage the company for 6 rounds in 3 simulated days.

The 5 teams with the highest cumulative earning from each Bootcamp presented their strategies to a panel of judges on the 20th of January. The judges chose one winner from each boot camp who advanced at Rollo Masters.

For information on Rollo and the winners, check out Savannah’s Facebook page and Rollo Africa’s Facebook page and website. 

 All this was executed with protective measures against COVID-19.

What is happening in the Sudanese entrepreneurial ecosystem

The Sudanese market can be described as an unsaturated market where there’s plenty of room for creativity and innovation as well as investment. Generally, the entrepreneurial rates in Sudan are growing and it can be viewed as a form of progress in the economic sphere. Entrepreneurship can be the solution for many of the difficulties that face the Sudanese community today.

SMEs face high difficulties in high taxes, access to  credit, reliable infrastructure (electricity and internet) and complications in trading across borders. The AFCFTA, a AU Agenda 2063 flagship initiative established to create an integrated continental market for goods and services and to support the movement of capital and natural persons. This market will be actualized through the progressive elimination of tariffs and removal of non-tariff barriers.  

The agreement is expected to boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.

Inspiring stories

In this month’s theme, Innovation in agriculture, we sat down with Eithar from Akhdar. 

Eithar started her journey in 2016 with social enterprise, Shorrti. She later founded the social enterprise “Akhdar” which aims to reduce post-harvest losses, assist rural households, small-scale farmers improve their productivity and their market accessibility. 

Watch the full video on our Facebook page.

February Journal

We are delighted and excited to have hosted  Born In Memory by Reem Aljeailly. The collection is dominated by a feminine presence emerging from her constant observation of the female character and its positioning in society. Aljeally is an architect, designer, and visual artist. Her artistic approach is focused on paintings that speak of women and spaces.  In addition to her artistry, Reem is:

  • The founder of The Muse, an art platform that promotes the spread of visual arts 
  • Founder of Bait AlNisa (the house of women) a space dedicated to female artists, and
  • Reem’s Space, a creative space documenting the art journey of Aljeailly herself.

Suggestion of the Month

To further enhance the enlightening, exploring and educating process,  each month we’re going to suggest a podcast, youtube channel, blog, website, or an application that is informative, fun, inspiring and useful.

This month’s suggestion is the podcast StartUp, it is an American podcast from Gimlet Media hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow. The first two seasons follow the ups and downs of starting a business.  The episodes vary from sharing success stories to discussions on challenges that startups face.

It’s available in Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.