Catalyst for Change: Creating Ecosystem for Young Entrepreneurs in Africa

Africa’s compelling growth story is changing the continent’s perception as a grant receiver to an attractive investment destination and future hub for innovation. Africa’s GDP growth is expected to reach 5.2% in 2014, making it one of the fastest growing regions worldwide. In fact, the continent is currently the second most attractive investment destination in the world, moving up from its 2011 ranking of third-from-last.

The World Bank estimates that foreign direct investment of US$ 100 billion and equity capital of US$ 43 billion are likely to flow into Africa over the next three years.

Consequently, there is a need for increased efforts by government actors, donors and other eco-system players to strengthen growth-oriented entrepreneurship in Africa and develop a pipeline of investable enterprises. Currently, many entrepreneurs face challenges to develop viable business models that can scale. The ratio of established businesses to start-ups in Africa is lower than in other regions and discontinuance rates are high, suggesting a lack of sustainable enterprise models.

Intellecap’s recently published research report has zoomed into the East-African “Silicon Savannah,” assessing the eco-system for young entrepreneurs. It provides insights that will contribute to the discourse around youth entrepreneurship promotion by analyzing young entrepreneurs’ needs, their perception of the eco-system, etc. The report aims to provide a fresh perspective for decision makers from government, donors, and service providers to other eco-system players. It builds on a body of research, assessing the African entrepreneurial eco-system, and combines quantitative and qualitative approaches of primary and secondary research.

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