5/18/2018 0 Comments
Africa has shown promise with the sudden boom in startups and entrepreneurships across the nations. The change was seen in 2017, but in a span of 1 year, the development has been rather slow. According to Wale Ayani, the regional Head of International Financial Corporation, the inflow of venture capital in Africa is the lowest for any continent.
There are two primary issues that need to be solved in order to increase that inflow. First of all, the growth capital stage of entrepreneurial ventures need to be monitored as this is the part where most of them fall.
Second, the innovational environment should be induced even more as it increases the likelihood of successful startups. Innovation hubs are such establishments that push entrepreneurs to come together and build something creative that adds value to the market and the economy.
Mthuli Ncube, head of the Quantum Global Group research lab explains, “Last time, I counted there were about 173 innovation hubs across Africa, at least one in every country, so that’s very encouraging. Secondly, the number of start-ups that are being funded is growing gradually. There is a steady growth and the ecosystem is slowing taking shape.”
However, not everyone agrees with all the innovation hubs that are spread across the continent. Abdahakim Ainte of RiseHub believes that innovation hubs are too glorified and somewhat only provide co-working spaces with coffee shops. “Innovation hubs are so much overrated in Africa. Youths sign in and realize they only get Internet, and nothing more and this causes them to be disillusioned as they don’t receive much more than what they will get from restaurants and coffee shops,” he said.
It shouldn’t be all about co-working spaces. Skill sharing and the availability of resources is important. The innovators should be able to prototype their ideas. There should be a reliable community where one can discuss issues in an idea and get helpful feedback to improve the idea.
One such hub in Angola is Fábrica de Sabão. It is a soap factory turned innovation center where entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists come together to create wonderful ideas. The concepts and devices that they create help bridge important gaps in the economy. One of their establishments, the Perma Garden, helps the agribusiness enthusiasts come up with new strategies.
Another example, Kenya’s iHub provides sophisticated co-working spaces and ample resources. They have helped launch more than 170 startups since the hub was found in 2010.
If the frequency of successful startups is increased along with venture debt, it will be extremely beneficial to the growth of startup culture, which Africa needs right now.
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