E X E C U T I V E S U M M A R Y
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL A qu i ck snapshot of i ns i ght s f rom i nves tor s , ESOs and ent repreneur s sur veys and focus groups
Innovation ecosystems across Africa have witnessed incredible growth over the past few years, which is boosted by venture funds, development finance, corporate involvement, as well as ever-growing, innovative communities. According to the GSMA Ecosystem Report, the number of identified ESOs grew respectively from 314 in 2016 to 442 in 2018, and 618 by the second quarter of 2019. As some stakeholders have observed, the strength, health and sustainability of Africa’s innovation ecosystem varies immensely across the continent. At the same time, its success is closely tied to its health and capacity. Accepting this truth is important and taking on capacity building as an indisputable part of our responsibility to Entrepreneurs Support Organi- zations (ESOs), entrepreneurs and investors is a must. Thus, understanding how to meaningfully support diverse ESOs, entre- preneurs, and investors across varied regions, languages, cultures, venture sizes and structures, as well as in other dimen- sions, proves a complicated, yet achievable undertaking. This report seeks to uncover the needs of ESOs, entrepreneurs and investors, as well as share emerging best practices and strategies to meet them. By highlighting key gaps, this report presents salient considerations. The needs assessment com- prises of analyzing quantitative and qualitative data collected from ESOs, entrepreneurs and investors through surveys and focus groups. The report was commissioned by AfriLabs. African Business Angel Network (ABAN) carried out the data collection. The analysts conducted the data analysis, a deep dive into survey data and secondary research informed a general needs assess- ment of ESOs, entrepreneurs and investors, coupled with focus groups. The findings showed that there is promising develop- ment within Africa’s innovation ecosystem, looking at the influx of investments, increasing numbers of ESOs and aggressive rise of tech start-ups across the continent. Yet, the ecosystem is still facing some challenges that are acting as detractors to the sustainability of ESOs and start-ups.
N E E D S A S S E S S M E N T R E P O R T
Trends and insights from ESOs, entrepreneurs, and investors
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