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ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM IN AFRICA

By Ubukombe Hallellua Pacifique CONTRIBUTOR (Opinions expressed by YOH contributors are their own.)

If you’re an #Entrepreneur or wanna be one or passionate about the whole entrepreneurship bubble. This is for you.

You’ll hear that the entrepreneurship ecosystem has incubators, accelerators… Do they provide REAL VALUE in an ecosystem?👇

The value is not much bad but also not that much valuable. .

Governments and development partners across Africa are busy building incubators and accelerators with a specific philosophy of what they want to do.

However I see their approaches very wrong to some extent.

You may wonder how wrong they do it?

There’s nothing wrong or bad, that such incubators and accelerators are there.

What I would say is that entrepreneurs would thrive whether incubators & accelerators are there or not.

I think Africa has not thought hard enough on how to build thriving entrepreneurship ecosystems

What builders of incubators & accelerators are doing is just QUICK WINS. Employ people with MBAs and write good reports bla bla as well as spending money on entrepreneurship programs that don’t help in the long run.

They spend a little bit of money, basically cheating the system.

Basically they commit some funds for helping entrepreneurs grow…

They introduce programs that don’t work with a big launch event and then nothing happens for 12 months and then they will do another one the following year.

The governments & partners want to do stuffs that don’t work.

If you want to build an ecosystem, there is only 3 parts of the ecosystem that need to build:

1. INNOVATION

2. TALENT

3. CAPITAL

It is really not that complex.

Do we’ve innovation in Africa? do we’ve talent? We do (my views.)

Now the problem becomes CAPITAL.

Consider for a moment that in the US, they’ve got everything. How?

Facebook was able to run for 7 years pre-revenues not pre-profits. They run 7 years without selling anything for anyone.

AMAZON by Jeff Bezos has been around for 17 years with 13 years of making losses.

Remember AMAZON is the world largest retailer by market cap.

In a business, when you’ve a losses at the end of the year, there’re only 2 ways to fund it: Shareholders’ funds or debt.

Who were funding amazon losses for 13 years?

Government or development partners? NO

The good thing about America that China, Europe and Asia are imitating except Africa is availability of CAPITAL.

Africans’re not getting the message. We’re not!!

We don’t need states funding agencies. We need 1000’s of venture capital, each one of them having 100’s of $.

And each of them willing to exit deals for the others.

Here is what will happen:

One will find a business for 2 years and will have proven a concept and business model, then calls another one for a next deal of funding, and another… then the business runs and is profitable

In Africa, you’ve to start day one and be profitable… then raise more money. It does not work this way.

To build an entrepreneurship ecosystem is not rocket science.

Then why is it not happening? A very simple reason.

Wolves read by sheep are still sheep.

Don’t you agree?

The problem in Africa is that people driving the entrepreneurship conversations have never been entrepreneurs.

Never registered a business, never had to go and sit at the client’s home and say, I am not leaving until you pay me. Never been chased by landlords….

Look at people running African entrepreneurship programs, they’ve good hearts but don’t get it.

Entrepreneurs are the only ones going to create solutions for us (themselves.)

Governments & partners can come up with incubators and accelerators but let them be run by entrepreneurs.

UBUKOMBE HALLELLUA PACIFIQUE is a Voracious Reader, Entrepreneur/Investor, Business Scientist, Writer, Renaissance Speaker & Student of Life. He can be contacted at the following email: ubukombe.pacifique@gmail.com

Ubukombe hail from Kigali, Rwanda

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