Image via Adobe Stock
Image via Adobe Stock
South Africa has been recognised as “fertile ground” for investment according to a recent report released by the Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance.
The authors of the African Innovation Report have released the document in hopes of initiating “conversations about entrepreneurial innovation in Africa and understand the challenges start-up ecosystems face.”
The Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance have positioned themselves as African innovators committed to unlocking the continent’s potential.
Harambeans, as members of the alliance are referred to, work together developing high impact ventures. Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance Chairman Okendo Lewis-Gayle explains:
“Collectively, Harambeans have generated over 3 000 jobs and raised over $500m (R7.9 billion) from Google Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Alibaba”.
The Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance focuses on Africa for the long-term potential the continent offers. Africa offers entrepreneurs access to a 1.2bn-person market with a growing population.
Despite the size of the African market and the fact that poverty rates have decreased, the continent is still challenged by widespread poverty.
The number of Africans who are surviving on less than $1.90 (R30) a day is increasing with Harambeans committed to empowering the African workforce and alleviating poverty.
The African Innovation report analysed the innovation potential of 54 African countries.
The report highlighted countries with “innovation ecosystems” which challenge the traditional understanding of African markets and their potential based on their economies and innovation environments.
The report also highlighted four innovation system archetypes; such as fertile grounds, innovation engineers, rising economies and autopilots.
Fertile grounds, which South Africa was classified as, are economies “that combines the strength of the local economy with a strong enabling environment for innovation.”
Innovation engineers are economies experiencing recent slowdowns, but that has created “an enabling environment for innovation.”
Rising markets are markets which are attracting investment and undergoing a transformation as they re-imagine their local economies. Autopilots are economies where innovation is emerging organically out of local needs.
Despite South Africa’s many economic challenges, the country has been earmarked by the report as one of the most mature start-up hub ecosystems in Africa.
The country has 80 active tech hubs with the government actively developing an environment conducive to innovation.
SA start-ups Spark Schools and Yoco have also been identified as two of six “market-creating innovators” in Africa.