Lack of serial entrepreneurs challenge to startup development

Lack of serial entrepreneurs challenge to startup development

The lack of experienced tech entrepreneurs in Africa is a challenge, with many startup businesses run by graduates who lack critical experience in developing profitable companies, according to an investor panel at DEMO Africa 2013.

Kresten Buch, co-founder and managing director of accelerator programme 88mph, said Africa as a whole, and Kenya in particular, has much talent, but most such people work in the corporate world.

“The ecosystem is quite young, which makes it very hard to find serial and experienced entrepreneurs,” said Buch.

“The corporate world pays extremely well compared to developing your own startup. The big question is to how we can bring back such talent and encourage them to be entrepreneurs.”

Buch also said the ecosystem should develop strategies through which talented entrepreneurs are attracted back to Africa from the diaspora.

Andrej Machacek, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nairobi-based equity fund Progression Africa, said the lack of unproven capability challenges the sustainability of startups.

Machacek said maturity in communication between all stakeholders in the ecosystem is essential in realising a beneficial relationship that will see startup challenges addressed at the right time.

“Most startups come to look for us investors four to six months when they are about to run out of cash at a stage that mostly we can’t do much about,” he said.

Nicol Woodard, CEO of private equity firm Nexus Group Global, said leadership teams should sit down and discuss what they have done with their funding, understand their strategies and get a clear grasp of their financial activities, such as earnings after tax or depreciation.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted in: FeaturedStartups

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