Entrepreneurship No Longer A Necessity In Africa?

African entrepre3neurs
Africans are aspiring to become entrepreneurs

The “Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa” study conducted by Monitor Group in partnership with Omidya Network has revealed that despite significant challenges, entrepreneurship is gaining credibility as a vocation in Africa because individuals no longer see being an entrepreneur as a decision of necessity but one of aspiration.

The survey, which was carried out on entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, shows that more than half of the respondents (57 percent) consider entrepreneurship a desirable career choice.

However, the study identified that entrepreneurship in Africa still face many challenges including unavailability of capital, inadequate infrastructure, insufficient skills training, limited affordable and inadequate business support services as well as burdensome administrative policies like taxes, obtaining licenses and hiring employees informally.

According to the managing partner of the Monitor Group Johannesburg, Tebogo Skwambane, while presenting the results at Omidyar Network’s Entrepreneurship in Africa Summit in Accra, Ghana, last week, African entrepreneurs are resilient and optimistic despite significant challenges and obstacles.

However, he explained that “To maximise the contribution that entrepreneurs can make to the continent, it is critical that policymakers craft policies that are suitable for their national or regional context. This requires not only better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the entrepreneurial environment, which our survey set out to do, but also requires more focused, tailored and locally meaningful strategy formulation by policymakers.”

Meanwhile, Omidyar Network’s Managing Director for Africa, Malik Fal, said subsequent phases of the research will lead to the formulation of recommendations on the critical policies required for entrepreneurship to thrive in the six countries.

Fal said that the survey will be available on the Monitor Group and Omidyar Network websites in the near future. A whitepaper detailing the discussions and recommendations of the Entrepreneurship in Africa Summit will also be published next March.

According to him, the multi-phase research project will gather insights into the health of entrepreneurial ecosystems in Africa, the challenges facing African entrepreneurs and the barriers to creating environments supportive of entrepreneurship.