The Anzisha Prize, the annual award for Africa’s best young entrepreneurs, this week published the Anzisha Youth Entrepreneurship Survey 2016, which provides a snapshot of the realities facing young entrepreneurs in Africa.
The survey is based on an emailed questionnaire answered by a selection of young entrepreneurs within the 15 to 25 age group, and located across the continent. The questions focus on five areas of operating a business, namely growth, sales and marketing, human resources, funding and support.
Some key findings include that entrepreneurs who participated are confident about the future. More than three quarters are “very positive” (79%), while 21% are “somewhat positive” about the outlook for their ventures. None expressed any negative sentiments.
Funding is by far the greatest impediment to growth, with 48% of respondents highlighting it as the biggest obstacle to expanding their companies.
With regards to sales and marketing young entrepreneurs said they invest in paid-for advertisements on social media networks (57%) as well as exhibitions and events (50%). However, word-of-mouth (83%) is by far the most popular marketing medium. Relatively few make use of more expensive channels such as television (10%), outdoor (17%) and radio (18%).
With regards to the entrepreneurship ecosystem, the majority described the level of support available to entrepreneurs in their country as “fair” (43%). However, 24% and 17% labelled the situation as “poor” and “very poor” respectively, suggesting significant work remains to make it easier for young business people to succeed.
Three Limpopo schools take top honours in entrepreneurship education competition
Three schools from Limpopo took top provincial honours in the Eskom Simama Ranta competition for entrepreneurship education in schools. In a ceremony held on 12 February 2016, Ebenezer High School from the rural town of Mogalakwena was crowned the provincial winner, Dendron Secondary the first runner-up while Vhembe District’s Thengwe Secondary was named the second runner-up.
The annual Simama Ranta competition is aimed at recognising South African secondary schools that excel in entrepreneurship education. All South African intermediate and secondary schools can enter the competition. To qualify, the schools must have enterprise clubs that teach learners the basics of running a business.
The provincial winner received R50 000 prize money and the first and second runners-up received R30 000 and R10 000 respectively. Twenty eight schools from across South Africa were named as finalists, nationally, in the 2015 competition, powered by the Eskom Development Foundation.
Startup competition ‘The Venture’ announces its 27 finalists
The 27 finalists have been selected in the Chivas Regal ‘The Venture’ startup competition across six continents. Each finalist is tackling a range of social and environmental issues with scalable and sustainable business solutions.
One finalist will represent each of the 27 participating countries at The Venture Final in New York City in July where they will pitch to win funding.
Finalists range from Onicio Neto, the founder of Epitrack (Brazil), who has created a faster way to identify and track disease outbreaks through a digital detection platform based on crowdsourcing; to Jaco Gerrits, the CEO of CrashDetech (South Africa), who has developed a smartphone application that automatically detects serious car crashes, pinpoints the location, and immediately dispatches the nearest ambulance and provides paramedics with lifesaving information.
In preparation for The Venture Final, the 27 finalists have travelled to Oxford to take part in a transformational Accelerator Week programme created by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship embedded within the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.
During an intensive five days of learning, finalists will receive leadership coaching and support in preparing for the high stakes pitch in July. The week will involve expert trainers and inspirational mentors recruited by the Skoll Centre.