It’s important that all businesses, not just the big corporates, invest in the up and coming generation to ensure their own future success, says Musa Kalenga who is a marketer and technology entrepreneur with a passion for Africa and the youth.
He has worked with the likes of Facebook, Nedbank and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Kalenga is also an entrepreneur, he recently launched Microtising, a social media technology startup offering targeted online social and search advertising for SMEs.
He was recently invited to address over 250 young digipreneurs at the Facebook Africa Youth Enterprise Day, where he shared his own journey in the marketing sector, from working in the corporate world as a youngster, to now running his own startup.
Kalenga says he too had to overcome prejudice early in his career, and was often not taken seriously as a young marketer and entrepreneur, meaning his potentially game-changing ideas were ultimately wasted.
Here are his 5 additional ways businesses which don’t invest in young people stand to lose out.
1. You Fail to Invest In Future Leaders
“One of the main challenges for businesses in South Africa is ensuring that the pipeline of [young] leadership and managers are [afforded the opportunity] and are willing and able to step into the shoes of their older counterparts. For business continuity this is a critical component to the future of the enterprise.”
2. You Lose Out On Diversity
“If you put 10 people of like-mind and like-experience you get group think. The generational diversity inherent in investing in younger people actually cannot be quantified. However, research shows that executive teams that are more diverse are more innovative.”
3. You Are Less Tech Savvy
“We are in a digital world now and there are ideas and concepts that younger people just get. This is because they didn’t have to learn how mobile and digital works, they grew up with it as an extension of their worlds. This typically means they will have an awareness and vantage point that older people may not.”
4. You Don’t Benefit From The Fresh Ideas They Bring
“Yes, some of the ideas may be far fetched and crazy, but in the world that we live in, that is often what corporates need. Younger people have an abundance of new naive ideas and if they are carefully curated, they can be molded and harnessed for the benefit of the business.”
5. You Miss Out On A ‘Cheap’ Investment
“You will not have to pay an arm and a leg for them. The initial investment can be moderate for a potentially high performing resource. In this day and age grassroots investment of this nature returns itself ten fold.”