Entrepreneurship in Africa

Hadi Aboukhater - The Sankalp Africa Summit of 2015 launched last month. The summit brought together over 300 African entrepreneurs, government and corporate representatives, and investors to discuss entrepreneurial efforts that establish social change and democracy. Speakers at the summit reiterated the need for African entrepreneurs and investors to work together to solve systemic market needs. The emphasis being that collaboration is necessary to solve Africa’s social, economic, and financial problems.

The entrepreneurs were quite adept to identifying the gaps that need to be addressed and creating innovative solutions to close these gaps. Collaboration with like-minded individuals was also rampant throughout the summit.

Evelyn Omala is the Program Officer for the Segal Family Foundation and was in attendance last week. She travels around Africa building relationships with NGO partners and other potential individuals at the foreground of social change in Africa. SFF’s philosophy is to catch quality companies at the beginning stages of development who might not make enough capital to catch the eyes of investors. There are a lot of small startups within small communities that are extremely popular within their community and foster significant economic and social change.

The Chairman of the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association, Johnson Sakaja, spoke at the Sankalp summit on the importance of increased investors to match the increasing numbers of entrepreneurs in Africa. There are plenty of startups in Africa that have created significant impacts in their community, so the next step is to scale these companies with help from investors.

The Sankalp summit has made it apparent that investors are turning their attention to Africa. The Global Impact Investing Network has revealed that investors are focusing on Sub Saharan Africa more than any other region when it comes to funding priorities for social finance. Impact investment is on the rise as more and more investors are looking to spend their capital on significant social impacts.