AfriLabs-Briter Bridges Innovation Ecosystem Report​

CHALLENGES vs SUCCESS STRATEGIES The study counts over 110 hubs that have shut down operations over the past half decade. This is due to an uncertainty around sustainability and business models that are partially dependent on external donors. Access to funding is considered to be the primary challenge holding back the ecosystem and, as a consequence, the scope for connecting companies with investors or providing themwith a clear pathway to fundraising, is limited. In addition, the lack of experienced staff able to effective provide value to founders is an increasingly recognised factor preventing hubs from taking a more central role in setting companies on a sound path to growth.

24.5% Collaborations with other support organisation 27.0% Greater access to financial resources

11.0% Helping entrepreneurs scale 19.7% Talents and skilled staff 20.2% Linking entrepreneurs to investors 28.3% Access to reliable, constant capital

13.7% Greater networks

12.0% More Success Stories / Exits

11.6% Increased Exposure

9.4% Exposure and brand awareness 9.0% Mentors' ability to provide value to participants

11.2% Greater access to physical resources

1.8% Competition from other tech hubs

In the past few years, hubs seem to have - somewhat mistakenly - become the proxy to address the totality of the ecosystems they belong to. This has caused many to attribute to these hubs a role and a duty that has oen proven to be problematic. In this sense, whilst hubs have had fingers pointed at them for not living up to the expectations of several entre- preneurs, who were hoping to scale as a consequence of their involvement with such hubs. This has led to a shi in responsibilities from civil society, private sector, and the government to these hubs, which have found themselves being tasked with unlocking opportunities that can be out of their scope. The lack of enough success stories and adequate track record that would enable bench- marking and to identify best practices, remains a problem for any African ecosystem. Hubs across the continent are now on a quest to establish partnerships and knowledge transfer networks and collaborate to avoid unnecessary costs and provide the organisations they support with the right resources.


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