On the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, GeoPoll, the Global Entrepreneurship Network and the US State Department have released a survey on entrepreneurship on 1,000 businessesin five sub-Saharan Africa countries.
GeoPoll is the world’s largest mobile survey platform, with a network of over 200 million users across Africa and Asia, and it carried out a survey on 200 entrepreneurs per country in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, asking them what resources are most needed to encourage entrepreneurship, what programs they have participated in to improve their businesses, and the biggest challenges facing new businesses.
According to the surveyconducted via SMS message the week of July 13, 2015, 44% of respondents participated in a program or activity in the past year aimed at improving their business, while 36 % said more financial resources would help increase the number of entrepreneurs in their respective countries. Twenty four per cent said better facilities or services would help boost entrepreneur numbers while 23 per cent said government support was the best answer to help boost numbers.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit gets underway tomorrow in Nairobi, and will be co-hosted by Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and the findings of the survey will be used at the Summit to highlight common needs of entrepreneurs across Africa and around the world.
Asked about specifically increasing youth and women entrepreneurship, which is the focus of GES’ opening day, the 41% of respondents felt funding was the resource most needed to help youth and women entrepreneurs.
Other respondents cited government support (22%), access to market information (18%) and access to high-skilled workers (16%); while social media was found to be the most popular online tool for supporting business growth.
According to Jonathan Ortmans, the president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, entrepreneuers need to be accorded priority in order to overcome the challenges they experience.
“As policymakers explore smart and sophisticated steps to develop healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems across the African continent, the voice of the entrepreneur must remain in the foreground,” Ortmans, said adding: “Being able to hear directly from the entrepreneurs helps guide our conversations at the Summit and beyond.