Entrepreneurship Education in Africa

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Written by Akachi Obijiaku. 

Despite Africa’s reputation as the world’s next economic frontier, the continent’s expansion has created insufficient jobs and the high unemployment rates pose threats for the next generation. This points to a greater need for entrepreneurship education in Africa.

University of Oxford’s Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship predicts that over 600 million jobs need to be created by 2020 just to keep employment levels the same in the developing world; in sub-Saharan Africa alone, long-term unemployment among youth is estimated to be 48%.

To foster an entrepreneurial culture, effective entrepreneurial education among youth is much needed. Indeed, several studies have shown that specialized education directed toward entrepreneurship is a strong motivator that can engender a startup mentality among students. Such education can equip African youth with the knowledge needed to be self-reliant and manage SMEs, creating jobs and boosting economic growth in the process.

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Alternative Finance in Africa Report Released

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crowdfunding newsWe’re excited to announce the inaugural Developing World Alternative Finance report! The first edition focuses on the state of alternative finance in Africa.

The report is based on data from the AlliedCrowds Capital Finder, a database of over 6,500 alternative capital providers across the world. These include angel investing networks, VCs, private equity firms, impact funds, crowdfunding platforms, DFIs, accelerators, and more. The providers are categorized by sector type (agriculture, healthcare, etc.), as well as the type of capital they provide (equity, loan, grant/donation).

This report focuses on Africa, which is an emerging continent for alternative finance. It highlights western Africa as an emerging region, and shows unique data on the continent’s alternative finance ecosystem.

Data in the report

The data in the report includes:

  • Ranking of African countries by strength of alternative finance
  • Top sectors in Africa
  • Breakdown of provider types
  • and much more!

Click here to view the report!

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Crowdfunding Solar Energy in Africa

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Written by Akachi Obijiaku

Access to electricity in Africa is poor; over 45% of sub-Saharan Africans (almost a billion people) are without energy access. Current deployment rates suggest that it will be 2080 before every African has adequate access. Further compounding the problem is that over 60% of the energy supply in Africa is from fossil fuels, while just about 1% is made up of wind, solar and geothermal sources. Innovative government-supported (but not necessarily government-run) financing options and entrepreneurial initiatives might prove to be beneficial in sparking change.

To avoid the deleterious effects of carbon-intensive economic growth, there will need to be an energy revolution in the region, one which is smart and dependent on client-resilient infrastructure and the plentiful renewable energy sources. A diversification of energy sources seems crucial at this point, and off-grid solar solutions are becoming increasingly relevant. Some leaders, like Oxfam’s executive director Winnie Byanyima, are going a step further and calling for African economies to be explicitly designed to achieve the wellbeing of the people as well as the environment. Such climate-smart measures will increase access to energy, provide jobs, and reduce environmental pollution.   Continue reading →

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Private Funding for Development: Insights from the Capital Finder

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Private funding for development is becoming increasingly important, as organizations look to find capital to finance their programs amid a climate of high political uncertainty.

In this shifting environment, AlliedCrowds has created the Capital Finder, a solution that can be hugely beneficial in unlocking private funding for development organizations, firms, and individuals.

Over the last several months, we have been working hard to improve the data behind the Capital Finder, and we’re excited to tell you a bit more about the tool, and show you how it can be used. Continue reading →

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Crowdfunding in India: Emerging Trends in the Startup Ecosystem

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The following is a guest post from Norin Salim of ZingoHub, a crowdfunding platform based in India. Salim writes about the startup ecosystem, and crowdfunding in India. 

Every day, 3 to 4 startups are founded in India. It is of little surprise that the NASSCOM Startup Ecosystem Report 2015 talks of India as the youngest (and steadily growing) start-up nation in the world. The developing nation has over $5 billion dollar worth investments.

What’s more, India ranks third in technology driven product start-ups right after US and UK respectively.

The ecosystem for the growth of startups is 55% conducive and merely 2% negative. This response collected by the Economic Times Barometer also depicted twice the growth since 2014. This boom has generated employment for more than 85,000 people. The start-ups are spread mainly over technological hubs of Delhi and Bangalore, accounting for 28% and 24% of activity, respectively.

The startup explosion comes from several factors, like the rise of the middle class — it’s expected to grow from 50m Indians in 2007 to 583m by 2025 — and education excellence, especially in the IT sector.

Funding Startups in India

The Government of India has set out to encourage investments and provide a nurturing environment for the growth of entrepreneurs. The key to this is stable financial input for entrepreneurs to enter the market.

When it comes to approaching private lenders, most startups fail to secure credit with traditional financial institutions, and meet the narrow and stringent lending norms. Alternative lending startups such as Rubique and Capital Float have set out to revolutionize the way consumer loans are handed out.

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