Meeting Alvin is one thing that I definitely have to bless social media for. From his homeland of Zimbabwe, he has dedicated his time to making sure businesses in Africa grow to become sustainable, profitable and eventually recognised as global business brands. His engagement in youth and women empowerment is also widely acknowledged as he regularly mentors other young people to realise their full potential and follow his successful path.
Founder & chairman of Core Foundation, an educational facility developing social entrepreneurial skills among African youth, but also Gibeon Enterprises and Success Climate Social Enterprise, two organisations that, like Core Foundation, work to inspire economic advancement and social change throughout Zimbabwe and Africa. Alvin Nyika is an accomplished entrepreneur, engaging speaker, Christian thought leader, an author of Success Climate and an inspiring philanthropist.
To inspire others to become involved with and support social change, Alvin has recently taken on an ambassadorial roles for similar educational institutions: Kenyan Change Minds Change Future organization and Sterio.Me, which operates in over 10 African countries including Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia. He also communicates regularly to a growing audience through spots on such radio talk shows as Sport FM, The Entrepreneur and The Morning Grill. Mr. Nyika is a trustee to numerous charities in Africa and has been featured in Parade Magazine, Botswana Youth Portal, Africa Inspirational Stories, NaydChat (Kenya).
A previous recipient of the Africa Youth Awards as among the 20 under 35 African Change Makers, he is championing change across the continent as he embarks on his Africa80 project, which is aimed at compiling and publishing success stories and articles from 80 young achievers from across 40 different African countries.
Alvin has also been recognized as an inaugural member of the Harare Global Shapers network, and was nominated one of the 100 most influential Zimbabweans under 40 in 2014.The growth and impact of the organizations he has founded, his board memberships, and the many ambassadorial posts and awards he has realized are testament to Alvin Nyika’s flourishing reputation as one of Zimbabwe’s and Africa’s most inspiring young social leaders.
Alvin’s leadership capability is not distinguished just by his managerial skills or by his ability effective networking ability, which ensures his voice is regularly and powerfully heard around Africa. Rather, Alvin’s leadership is distinguished by the passion he inspires in Africa’s young rural and urban entrepreneurs. Alvin ignites hope. He motivates young Africans to invest in their skills and capabilities, to cultivate new visions of change and opportunity, and to construct pragmatic schedules and plans for advancement. His commitment to youth empowerment ensures that Alvin is constantly surrounded by young people who are ready to step up, take on a challenge and give more of them so that their future and their country’s future is bright.
A goal getter with a true sense of community and social responsibility, this is confirmed by the work of his organization, The Core Foundation partnership with the SME ministry in Zimbabwe. He is doggedly determined to see success in all of his projects and, more importantly, to see that success transforming the lives and potential of the hundreds and thousands of young people whom his programs touch.
During this exclusive interview we catch up with Alvin and discuss all things business development, social change and leadership.
Influencing Africa from Zimbabwe
Prince: What’s your Educational history and Academic achievements?
ALVIN: A degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Johannesburg and currently doing a Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility program with the University of Arizona.
Prince: You are currently involved in many exciting initiatives. Tell us about some of your own initiatives?
ALVIN: My organisation recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise and Cooperative development to promote SMEs in Zimbabwe through Entrepreneurship development and wealth creation in rural and urban areas.
Can entrepreneurs be created? Yes entrepreneurship potential can be exploited and cultivated among people through proper training and counselling interventions. Linking these trained people with viable business opportunities, adequate financial support and adequate facilitates aids the creation of business startups which eventually results in generation of income and wealth. This will address the day-to-day challenges of an entrepreneur to develop a competitive advantage, facilitate strategic alliances and dealing with competition can be met only through building capacity for an individual.
Prince: What challenges have you faced so far and how did you overcome them?
ALVIN: Funding has been a major challenge and that requires one to be an innovator and think out of the box. To overcome this I used my networks to raise funds and implement our programs.
Prince: What does Africa mean to you?
ALVIN: By 2040 fifty percent of the world’s youth will be in Africa, they should be employed and we should create opportunities for them. By developing their skills and improving access to education in Africa, African youth will be empowered to take us forward. We must create entrepreneurs out of them so they can create jobs for themselves. Africa is home to me, l love Africa it’s a place of possibilities, where potential exists. With the world’s largest youth demographic, Africa’s working-age population is expected to double to 1 billion in the next 25 years, surpassing both China and India.
Prince: What is your pledge to support Africa?
ALVIN: My pledge to Africa is to help as many young people as l can through my organisation, and to develop them to become globally competitive entrepreneurs and most importantly, inspirational individuals. We must prioritise Entrepreneurship in Africa as it Is key to generating future business opportunities.
Prince: What is your favourite African quote and personality?
ALVIN: “Where the mind goes the man follows” (it’s a shona proverb). And my favourite personality is Bishop Tudor Bismark.
Prince: What qualities do you look for in your team members?
ALVIN: The essential qualities that l look for out of a team are:
4- a teachable spirit
These qualities can make me achieve anything in the world if l have a team equipped with such attributes.
Prince: What do you think of the Africa Youth Awards and what do you envisage of its impact?
ALVIN: Africa Youth Awards is a great vision that seeks to recognise and honour young people in Africa who are doing amazing things to be solution providers to the challenges in their countries. I personally feel that this should be the most supported initiative in Africa as it is solely intended for African youth.
Prince: If a year from now we were celebrating that it has been a great year for you, what would you have achieved?
ALVIN: I have a project for Africa that l am currently working on that involves friends from 40 countries and 80 amazing people from those countries. A year from now l will be holding a product of the project. So just watch this space.