On this week’s episode of Winning Wednesday, we caught up with one of our entrepreneurs, Rodrigue Tusse from South Africa. Rodrigue is the CEO of inGLOB, a uniquely African people-powered media platform that sources substantive and high-quality content directly from creators, and distributes it to readers across the Web via multiple channels. inGLOB gives content creators unprecedented access to audiences as well as a new way to disseminate and consume information.
TEF: How did you get your idea or concept for inGLOB? What was your mission from the outset? How many employees?
Rodrigue Tusse: I’ve always been a little frustrated by the way information is disseminated by traditional media. It’s never pure and raw and honest. It’s always someone else’s account of what happened. I created inGLOBto be that place/community where we all can share our opinions about anything! As one of our contributors, James Coetzee, puts it, “If you’re someone who has a weight on your chest, a chip on your shoulder, a burning passion, a bee in your bonnet, or even an enthralling story, you can now take to inGLOB to tell others. You can write/post anonymously, or you can sign in and own the views you share. More than the ability to post, inGLOB also curates the best of its users’ content for those of us more interested in reading than writing.”
TEF: How has participating in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme helped your business and you as a person?
RT: The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, especially the mentorship programme helped refine my concept and goals for inGLOB. I gained very valuable business insight that I was later able to apply to my business. Without the programme’s support structure and the seed capital, I wouldn’t have been able to build half the product I built. I am very proud, and humble to have been selected.
TEF: What is unique about your business?
RT: inGLOB is an open publishing platform. The first of its kind in Africa. We’re open in the sense that we don’t have any editorial staff. We let everyone post. Uncensored!
TEF: What are your company’s goals?
RT: Our goal is not really to “disrupt” the media space but rather, provoke some constructive debates on some key issues on the continents such as Human Rights, Freedom of speech and real democracy. When the people are given a voice, wonderful things happen and we want inGLOB to be the new voice of Africa.
TEF: How does your company help the community where it is located?
RT: I am from DRC, and I live in South Africa. inGLOB is Pan African. We give a platform to every single African living on the continent or abroad to either share something or connect with other Africans on ideas, and stories -big or small. inGLOB gives a place for open discussion which is something Africa has been needing for quite some time.
TEF: What was the feeling like being selected to participate in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme?
RT: I still remember the video announcement. I remember dropping my laptop as I heard “Congratulations, you’ve been selected…” that was a huge validation for me. At that exact moment I knew that I had to do my best with the opportunity. I learned a lot throughout the programme and the bootcamp was a lifechanging experience. I could never imagine being in a room with 900+ other innovators -all united in our dream to make Africa a better place
TEF: How do you rate the quality of the networking/collaborations that have come from being involved in the Programme?
RT: I loved the way everything fell into place for me when the programme started. Support Whatsapp groups were quickly setup to help us discuss weekly milestones. We quickly realized that some of us could actually collaborate and help each other grow. I networked with amazing people; very accessible, doing everything in their power to provide much needed help and support. And the support continues until after the programme. Right after the programme, I stayed in touch with Mayza Gomes from Guinea Bissau and I helped her put together a early prototype of her beauty subscription ecommerce site mayenkabox.com.ng. I worked with TEF mentor -Bert Evers. I am still in touch with all the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs in South Africa though the TEF SA Chapter.
TEF: What’s your advice for intending participants in the programme?
RT: The opportunity is really incredible. The access to network, mentorship and seed fund makes the programme even more priceless. But you have to remember, you get out what what you put in. Do the work, use the resources at your disposals and grow!