A striking memoir of an African woman's education in the ways of business - and an extraordinary look at the frustrations and tragedies of Africa's entrepreneurial community.
The descendant of a long line of African entrepreneurs and small business owners, Monique Maddy tells the story of growing up in Liberia, a country with many links to America, and her eventual journey to England and America for an education, her disillusionment at the United Nations and her hopes to start a wireless telecommunications business in Africa after receiving a Harvard MBA.
Maddy's ancestors were Mandingo merchants in Sierra Leone who traded in gold and jewellery and even cola nuts eventually creating a community of financial support that turned into transportation and trucking businesses. But her grandmother launched the family on the road to the west by teaching her son, Monique's father, how to trade; and her father used the financial resources he gained from trading to send her to school in England and the United States. Eventually, Maddy took degrees from Georgetown and Johns Hopkins before becoming an economist at the United Nations.
Frustrated with the inability of the UN to create meaningful change in Africa, Maddy went to Harvard Business School where she spent her Summer at the offices of 20th Century Fox and first became enamoured of the idea of using her entrepreneurial heritage to start a telecommunications company in Africa. Bouyed by the money she raised and Tanzania's promises to support the launch of new business, Maddy eagerly left Harvard with a small group of American's looking for adventure in Africa.
What they found was country filled with corruption and test of their commitment to their dreams and their business principles. Defeated by the forces allied against her - and her own inexperience - Maddy draws out a remarkable tale of personal discovery amid the turmoil of an African start-up. Filled with telling details of her extraordinary family and the shocking state of African business, Maddy's story is a gripping adventure.