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Lack of fund bane of African young entrepreneurs – Report

by Muhammad Sani

By Haruna Gimba

Lack and inadequate funding are dwindling African young entrepreneurs, according to a survey that provides glimpse into the world of young entrepreneurs in Africa.

The Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s best young entrepreneurs, published the Anzisha Youth Entrepreneurship Survey 2016 this month, which provides a snapshot of the realities facing young entrepreneurs in Africa.

The Entrepreneurship Survey which focused on five areas of operating a business; growth, sales and marketing, human resources, funding and support, is based on an emailed questionnaire answered by a selection of young entrepreneurs within the 15 to 25 age group, and located across the African continent.

It is hoped that stakeholders, such as policy makers, support organisations, and entrepreneurs will benefit from these insights, a statement distributed by African Press Organisation (APO) stated.

According to the statement, the survey respondents overwhelmingly stated that access to finance is their main barrier to growth, with 48 per cent highlighting it as the biggest obstacle to expanding their companies.

“Only 27 per cent of young entrepreneurs received any form of outside investment, with family members 59 per cent and grants 52 per cent being the major sources of funding accessible, despite challenges faced, 84 of entrepreneurs reported employing others, underscoring the employment creation potential of youth businesses,” the statement read.

Anzisha Prize applications are currently open for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 to compete for a share of $100,000 in prize money and receive access to support and networks to scale their businesses.

Applications will close on 15 April 2016. The Anzisha Prize is offered in partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and African Leadership Academy.

Vice President, Global Programmes at African Leadership Academy, Josh Adler said: “African Leadership Academy is excited to be investing in research such as this. It is our hope that this and future reports will guide the work of teachers, policy makers and other stakeholders in the youth development sector.”

Program Manager at The MasterCard Foundation, Koffi Assouan said there is a large deficiency of knowledge and insights on young African entrepreneurs.

“This report provides critical data that can drive programmes and strategies to support youth entrepreneurship and spark a much needed conversion among practitioners and stakeholders in this space,” he said.

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