Breaking down the African startup funding ecosystem

Business & Innovation
Dienstag, 6. Mai 2014 - 13:00 bis 13:30
GIG lounge



Africa is the fastest growing continent in the world; it has the world’s largest population of under-20 humans and has a population that will exceed that of the USA in 10 years and 2 billion by 2050. The obvious opportunities include feeding, clothing, transporting, powering, financing and serving this massive emerging market. More importantly, a rising generation of entrepreneurs are determined to position the continent as a hot-bed for innovation and a source of world changing solutions. This session is going to present landmark research findings that breaks down the organizational advancement of African startups as measured by growth in revenue and the number of jobs created over time. By establishing such an index, the aim is to offer tangible evidence that shows startup entrepreneurs as a key contributor to economic development.


A billion people, increasing political stability, a rising middle class and rapid growth in mobile and Internet, Africa is a hot bed for innovation and growth. Of course there is a lot of debate about the quality of this economic growth and to what extent it trickles down. Certainly there are mega business tycoons like Dangote (the 24th richest man in the world), but a greater % of the population still struggling to scrape by. And with 46% of the population under the age of 14 it is by all means a race to create jobs, jobs and more jobs. So what does Africa's innovation economy look like today?

There are many well educated Africans returning home to set up shop, Tayo from PagaTech and Jason from Iroko as being just two examples. They do this because they see untapped market opportunities ripe for development. Much more exciting than the slow American and/or European markets where it's hard to even get a job interview. These entrepreneurs are bringing world class management systems and practice with them to bear in an otherwise uncompromising marketplace. Think of all the employees who leave these organizations and go out to set up their own business? This knowledge transfer is HUGE. Most impressive is that these 'return home entrepreneurs' show results and present case studies that help validate Africa's market potential. A new breed of entrepreneur is coming up across the continent and the results show they are a key engine for growth.


This session is part of the GLOBAL INNOVATION GATHERING programme.

Zu meinem Kalender hinzufügen