For the fifth consecutive year VC4A has produced annual research and analysis to improve the understanding of Africa’s startup movement. For the 2018 research cycle, with the support of the Mastercard Foundation, VC4A publishes a pan-African study including 6 country specific deep dives. VC4A conducts this research to share the progress of the VC4A network and to help document the journey of the African startup community.
Last year the research looked at different factors that determine venture success. The 2018 effort looks at how startup ecosystems add value to successful venture creation. Based on inputs from local experts and face-to-face interviews we aim to answer the following research question: ‘How does the startup ecosystem add value?’
Ghana ecosystem analysis
Ghana is late to the game of technology immersion but has been very diligent in terms of creating lone tech unicorns that have created niche market opportunities. In terms of a local ecosystem, there are 3 main components to this in Ghana — the government, the startups and the ecosystem builders. The objective moving forward is to become more inclusive, to seek better alignment with the government, and to pursue an ecosystem-driven policy agenda that will ensure long-term growth for Ghana’s startup ecosystem.
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Kenya ecosystem analysis
A vibrant startup ecosystem is essential for many reasons, firstly it makes the path to entrepreneurship a much easier one to take for those who want to take the dive to build their businesses. Secondly, through the work done by entrepreneurs and government institutions, service delivery becomes more effective and efficient. Technology-based businesses have transformed various services: M-Pesa with its money transfer and payment system, the online platform ‘Kenya Law’ with its provision of legal information, and mobile platforms that offer agricultural information and prices, among many others.
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Morocco ecosystem analysis
Morocco’s startup revolution started a few years after the Arab spring with the rise of some key ecosystem players, whose mission has been to build one of the most vibrant startup scenes on the continent. The ultimate goal is to create value, transform the economy and society, and enable talented entrepreneurs to shape their own destinies by building innovative businesses that have the potential to turn into success stories.
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Nigeria ecosystem analysis
VC4A research on 3,360 ventures registered in the country shows a clear relationship between venture performance and the support these ventures receive from the Nigerian startup ecosystem. For example, companies participating in ecosystem support programs are 23% more successful in securing investment, and are more likely to be generating new jobs.
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Senegal ecosystem analysis
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.
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South Africa ecosystem analysis
The South Africa startup ecosystem is one of the most robust and developed on the continent thanks to several strengths, including significant consumer and business markets, sophisticated entrepreneurial talent, and strong corporate sector. South Africa has access to local capital and ties to a growing number of international investors. High tech startups thrive in the midst of a growing number of startup support organizations active in the ecosystem.
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