Fund Raising

Entrepreneurship Funds In Africa; What Options Available

Entrepreneurship funds - cfamedia

The increased rate of unemployment in Africa is very alarming and disheartening.

Every year, young people graduate from universities, after studying courses of their choice and having acquired, so much knowledge, which they want to give back to society.

Most often, they do not, however, get the opportunity of giving back to their society, in their little way because of unemployment.

Only very few jobs are created in the country, for the teeming numbers that graduate on an early basis. The government is not, also, creating enough enabling environment for jobs to be created, for these set of people.

The truth is unemployment, usually, throws some graduates into states of emotional trauma.

They know what they want to do, but they are not able to them, exploring their wealth of knowledge.

There is, however, always light, at the end of the tunnel.

If the government is not providing enough employment or enabling environment for employment to be generated, then, this is where entrepreneurs come in, to play vital roles in eradicating the unemployment crisis.

In Africa, as a continent, needs to provide 18 million jobs each year till 2035 according to Phil Hogan, EU Agricultural and Rural Development Commissioner

This job creation can be possible only if the government put up policies that can help boost economic growth and competitiveness, among business owners.

This will help increase the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The increase in SMEs is important because, they produce a large chunk of the existing jobs and are, also, responsible for a large number of new ones created each year.

The SMEs’ fundraising structure is not better managed and this is the best way to support the growth of SMEs.

The governance structure put in place, to manage them, determines if they will succeed, or, fail.

Funding Gap

One of the biggest problems of SMEs in Africa is access to entrepreneurship funds.

A lack of entrepreneurship funds is one of the many complains of most small business owners.

Different small business owners were interviewed and they lamented that banks have refused to grant them loans to support their small businesses.

One of the ways to address this is for the government to start a new scheme on business grants for entrepreneurs and business owners.

The structure is in place in Nigeria, where we have both the private and public sectors, giving grants to SMEs, which are:

  • Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP)
  • YouWIN Connect Africa
  • Bank Of Industry (BOI)
  • GroFin Fund
  • AYEEN Financial Grants
  • Lagos State Entrepreneur Trust Fund (LSETF)

African governments should be on the lookout for the pitfalls of the global fundraising system, which are already in use, to avoid common pitfalls.

The What And The How

The government and those leading the entrepreneurship funds have a relationship; a neutral person, who manages these investments.

In this way, we can eradicate corruption and give a chance to everybody and anybody, to benefit from this scheme.

Also, how the managers are selected should be a transparent process, so, there can be accountability and impartiality, towards those who benefit from this scheme.

Measuring Success

The government should set priorities, based on each country’s needs. Governments need to set priorities on job creation, by evaluating an investment on key performance indicators.

Apart from setting priorities on investment criteria’s, the government should, also, ensure that they follow up on the result produced from each investment, to inform future investment decisions.

Fighting the issue of unemployment in Africa takes a lot of innovative thinking by the government, private sector and even, SMEs.

This should be a collective project on job creation, as this can also boost the country’s economy.

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