Over the past 20 years, Africa has shown tremendous growth and is expected to remain one of the fastest growing regions in the coming future. Entrepreneurship and the role of entrepreneurs is central to this growth.
So, what is this concept of entrepreneurship, and what does it look like?
Entrepreneurs the world over have one thing in common - they have a vision, a core concept, idea or principle that drives them and their business forward, and this lies at the foundation of every major decision they make.
They also have a skill, an intimate knowledge and interest in whatever it is they are trying to do. They would have done the hard yards - researching and analysing the solution to the problem that they have identified. Entrepreneurs understand risk, but they also know that risk breeds rewards. Entrepreneurs may even skip some steps, such as writing a formal business plan, which traditional business teachings consider essential to starting a business. This does not imply recklessness but rather emphasises the tendency toward action and results.
What does this mean for Africa you may ask. Well, entrepreneurship is generally considered to have been at the forefront of innovation, technological advancement and economic progress, making entrepreneurship the driving force for improved living standards in Africa.
Entrepreneurs in Africa have already contributed to economic progress with a host of cutting-edge innovative products and services, enabling them to leap forward in fields such as mobile and information technology, agriculture, transportation and healthcare.
And what about the future? The African tech entrepreneurship ecosystem is really coming into its own and African start-ups are impacting all aspects of daily life and service delivery. African entrepreneurs are now well poised to identify and exploit Africa’s problems in meaningful ways. Opportunities exist in wholesale and retail, food and agri-processing, health care, financial services, light manufacturing and construction. All these sectors are characterised by high growth, high profitability and low consolidation.
The future of entrepreneurship in Africa is bright. Collaboration and professionalism are two key ingredients for building an entrepreneurial culture and foundation that can sustain decent living standards for all Africans.