It’s still a boys’ club. Over 75 per cent of start-up founders and C-suite positions are occupied by men. Despite the considerable in-roads female founders are making in the ecosystem.
Less than one per cent of the funding secured in 2021 went to female-owned start-ups. Investors still prefer and favour African male start-up founders over their female contemporaries on the continent.
Three is the lucky number. At least three start-ups are launched every second. That’s about 11, 000 businesses every hour.
And a significant number of them fail within their first five years. The figure is a whopping 90 per cent. It doesn’t stop them from popping up relentlessly though. Kudos to them!
Two founders (heads) are better than one and more likely to succeed in their venture. It takes single founders more than three times longer to scale than a duo of cofounders.
45 years is the average age of a successful start-up founder, according to research by the Harvard Business Review. This throws a spanner in the works of the myth about entrepreneurs being mainly young, gen X, Y, millennials and so on, doesn’t it?
Most start-ups have their origins in their founders’ homes, garages, basements, dormitories. . . you get the drift; a good number of them come from modest beginnings.
Start-ups have a unique club. It’s aptly called the Unicorn Club, and solely for those with a valuation of over $1 billion. Members include such heavyweights as Uber, Google, Pinterest, etc. In Africa, the qualified entrants would be Flutterwave, OPay, Andela, Interswitch, Chipper Cash, Jumia, etc. In other words, all the unicorns on the continent are eligible.
The most valuable start-up in Africa is Nigeria’s Flutterwave at over $3 billion. Following closely behind are Uganda’s Chipper Cash and another Nigerian company, OPay, at $2 billion each. It is interesting to note that they all belong to the same fintech sector.
The top three countries globally for the most start-ups are the United States, India and the United Kingdom. The top three countries in Africa having the most start-ups are South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
Fintech is the current belle of the African start-up ecosystem ball in the last couple of years. The sector secured the most funding on the continent in 2021. It practically dominates.
Foreign-degree holding start-up founders in Africa receive more attention and funding than their home-trained counterparts. According to The Big Deal, “Homegrown talent still has it harder.”
The top four conducive environments for start-ups in Africa are Mauritius, Rwanda, Morocco and Kenya.