Today’s top entrepreneurship and business stories (15 February)

Botswana and Senegal are the top performing African economies with regards to entrepreneurship
The 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report, released last week, revealed that 66% of adults worldwide see entrepreneurship as a good career choice, and in Africa, more than half of the working-age population feel they have the ability to start a business.

Top performing African economies with regards to entrepreneurship are Botswana and Senegal. Both of which exhibit an upward trend year-on-year in terms of the number of adults starting new business 33% and 38.6% respectively (measured as Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity or TEA by GEM). South Africa’s TEA rates stand at 9.2%.

Botswana and Senegal also have one of the highest stated rates of entrepreneurial intentions with over 60% of adults in those countries reporting that they intend to start a business over the next three years. The global average for this across all 60 participating economies in 2015 was 21%. (GEM)

Investec Asset Management closes second Africa private equity fund
​Investec Asset Management, one of the largest investors in Africa, has successfully closed its sophomore fund, the Investec Africa Private Equity Fund 2 (IAPEF 2) at US$295 million. The investor base includes pension funds, endowments, fund of funds and development finance institutions from across the US, Europe, the UK and Africa.

As with its first African fund, IAPEF 1, launched in 2008, IAPEF 2 will focus broadly on African consumer sector businesses and will diversify geographically across the continent, continuing the strategy of IAPEF 1 which has exposure across 10 African countries.

IAPEF2 has already made three investments – into wiGroup, Africa’s dominant mobile transacting technology provider, IDM, the leading consumer debt management company in South Africa, and a further investment into IHS, the mobile towers company in which Investec Asset Management first invested in 2011.

John Green, Global Head of Client Group at Investec Asset Management, commented: “We are very pleased to have achieved a final close on our second African private equity fund. This marks a further step in the development of our African investment capability, one which now operates across the liquidity spectrum and capital structure.‎ We continue to see opportunity on the continent and have already begun deploying Fund 2 capital into some very interesting companies there.” (SAVCA)

Business urged to invest in Africa
President Jacob Zuma has encouraged the business community to invest in the African continent so it can assist in creating jobs and improving the standard of living.

Speaking on Saturday during the 2nd Annual Ubuntu Awards at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, he said the regional efforts and the creation of the continental free trade was a step in the right direction as it will contribute immensely to Africa’s development.

“The global economic climate is far from favourable. South Africa has made the economy an apex priority in this current period,” President Zuma said.

In his efforts to find solutions on how to grow South Africa’s economy, President Zuma recently met with the business community to discuss what measures can be put in place to ignite growth and create jobs.

He said government will be meeting with labour and other sectors as well, as it responds to the persistent low growth, low commodity prices and other challenges facing developing economies. (SANews)

Report calling for partial privitisation released 
President Jacob Zuma has released the report of the presidential review commission, which advocates partial privatisation through listing and the sale of equity stakes in some companies.

The report was commissioned by the president in 2010 and he received it in December 2012. In 2013 a brief summary was made public by then minister in the presidency Collins Chabane. The full report was finally released by the Presidency on last week.

According to Business Day, the report recommends a shake-up of state-owned enterprises, including the partial listing of some, the privatisation of others and the establishment of an overarching state authority to co-ordinate the government’s big infrastructure-related companies.

It suggests that the government “should adopt a policy shift towards a greater mix of debt and equity finance” — particularly for enterprises on which “colossal” infrastructure demands have been placed — as the scale of debt “is not sustainable”. (BDlive)

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