Senegal startup ecosystem overview

Senegal has arguably the most mature startup ecosystem in Francophone Africa, a hub for the region and emerging regional venture capital industry. This growth has been driven by: i) a strong effort from the private sector to organize through associations, ii) investment from corporate Senegal in accelerators, incubators and innovation programs, iii) funds available for skill development, enterprise development and supplier development of SMEs, iv) investment from government (local and international) in innovation funding and v) a growing community of successful investors, entrepreneurs, and growing track record of exits.

Venture Finance in Africa Research

For the fifth consecutive year VC4A has produced annual research and analysis on trends in the African startup ecosystem. For the 2018 research cycle, VC4A has published a pan-African study including 6 country specific deep dives.

VC4A research on 128 ventures registered and/or active in the country shows a clear relationship between venture performance and the support these ventures receive from the Senegal startup ecosystem. Overall, the chances of success in securing funding and creating jobs are better compared to the sample of ventures without support from the startup ecosystem. For example, 61% of companies participating in ecosystem support programs secure investment compared to 40%. These companies are also more likely to create new jobs: 87% versus 65%. Still, keeping into account the small sample sizes and the relatively low number of years after official registration the future will tell if these ventures will have a longstanding impact.


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