21 African Social Entrepreneurs​ Winners of Resolution Social Venture Challenge

Posted on July 21st, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (21 July)
Ten teams comprising of 21 African social entrepreneurs have been named winners in the Resolution Social Venture Challenge – a collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project – at the Baobab Summit in Johannesburg. The winning teams earned a fellowship including seed funding, mentorship and access to a network of young global change makers to pursue impactful projects in their communities.

“Giving back to your community is an important part of the Scholars Program, yet few young leaders have the opportunity to make an impact at a young age,” explains Ashley Collier, manager of the Scholars Community. “The Social Venture Challenge equips these young leaders with the tools, resources, mentorship, and capital they need to ensure that their venture is successful, and to maximise their impact.”

“We are fortunate to have such an outstanding partner in the Mastercard Foundation,” says George M. Tsiatis, CEO and Co-Founder of The Resolution Project. “The Foundation saw the work that we were doing and the ideas that their Scholars had, it was a perfect match, and we are thrilled to be expanding our efforts together to give these young leaders a platform from which to launch lifetimes of impact.”

Founder Teams Key To Startup Success In Africa – VC4A Research
Data from VC4A’s new ‘2017 Venture Finance in Africa‘ research proves that a strong team of founders is the key driver of startup success in Africa.

In this year’s study VC4A aims to better understand the critical success factors for African startups and identify the key ingredients that determine why one venture outperforms its peers. These learnings are useful for both the entrepreneurs and for the support systems they depend on to make well-informed decisions.

The 2017 release is based on data collected from 1866 ventures from 41 African countries and 111 Africa-focused investors from 39 countries around the world.

“We are truly entering a new stage of startup growth on the continent. Not only has the number of startups continued to grow at an impressive rate, they are increasingly successful at scaling into sustainable enterprises well-positioned for growth. With the right team in place, we are seeing a growing number of companies break rank. I’m sure we will witness many new success stories hitting the headlines as a result” – Ben White, CEO VC4A

Key outcomes

A key outcome from this year’s research on African startups was the identification of their unique traits relative to the startups’ level of commercial performance. And although many factors go into building a company, analysis of the data makes clear that a strong team of founders is the key driver of venture success in Africa. Many investors consider this as the main thing they look for, but now the data also shows that the right team of founders makes the difference, and is the single most unique characteristic across the companies making commercial progress.

By analyzing two data samples of 100 ventures in more detail, i.e.: ’emerging’ and ‘established’ ventures, the research team found correlations that help to understand the venture’s ability to be successful. The success of the ‘established’ ventures can be explained by the composition of the founding team based on size, education, gender and age.

Gender balance can further explain venture success, as the founding teams of successful ventures are more likely to include male and female founders. It is noteworthy that 46% of these ventures include a female founder in their team. Exclusively female teams run 9% of the startups.

Among the countries with 20 or more ventures participating in the survey, Uganda and Kenya have the highest female participation. For Uganda, 57% of the ventures include a female founder where for Kenya the number is only slightly lower at 55%. South Africa has the lowest female participation rate at 33%. Nevertheless, these percentages of female founders far outpace averages recorded in more established startup hubs like New York or San Francisco. More details and other factors that differentiate a successful team of founders are included in the 2017 report.

Three African innovations walk away with Innovation Prize for Africa 2017 total cash prize of US$150 000
The sixth edition of the coveted Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) culminated with a bang as the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) awarded three more African innovators for their incredible innovations.

Out of the total of over 2500 applications, 10 nominees were selected, and from these Aly El-Shafei of Egypt emerged as the Grand Prize winner, with Philippa Ngaju Makobore of Uganda landing the Second Prize, and Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia winning the Special Prize for Social Impact. Each one of the seven remaining nominees also went home with US$ 5 000 voucher to be used to further develop their innovations. Moreover, all nominees and winners will benefit from IPA post prize activities aiming at moving their innovations to the next level.

AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, Founder, African Innovation Foundation, commented, “This edition of IPA has been all about galvanizing support for African innovators in order to mobilize increased investments to help them commercialize and scale their innovations at a greater rate. AIF has rewarded IPA 2017 for developing solutions that can truly add value to the lives of Africans, and I believe that these innovations have incredible commercial potential and will succeed in attracting the right investments to go to the next stage.”