Supporting entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ten reasons why it’s the answer to addressing economic inequality

Entrepreneurial activity and supporting entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa plays a crucial role in the development of economies, particularly in developing countries. It creates jobs, drives innovation and generates economic growth, which in turn leads to improved standards of living for citizens.

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of job creation. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of many economies and are responsible for a significant proportion of employment. In developing countries, where formal employment opportunities are often limited, SMEs provide a vital source of income for individuals and families.

Access to Venture Capital is of course a very important factor in enhancing the success of entrepreneurs. Below we can see statistics from Statista on the regions where more venture capital is being invested in Africa

Supporting entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa

Innovation is also a key benefit of entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurs are constantly seeking new and better ways of doing things, which leads to the development of new products, services and technologies. This not only improves the competitiveness of businesses, but also drives economic growth. In developing countries, where resources are often scarce, innovation can help to overcome constraints and create new opportunities for economic development.

Supporting entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa

Entrepreneurship also contributes to economic growth by increasing productivity. Small businesses, in particular, are often more agile and responsive to changes in the market than larger, established firms. This allows them to quickly adapt to changing conditions, which can help to drive economic growth.

In addition, Entrepreneurial activity also has a positive impact on society.

Entrepreneurs create new products, services, and jobs, which improve the quality of life for citizens. They also contribute to the development of a culture of innovation and risk-taking, which can help to foster a more dynamic and resilient economy.

Entrepreneurship is not only important for the economic development of developing countries, but also for social and political development as well. It encourages citizens to take control of their lives, pursue their passions and dreams, and create a better future for themselves and their communities.

In Africa, entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized as a key driver of economic growth and development. In Sub-Sharan Africa, where economic development has lagged behind other regions of the world, entrepreneurship is seen as a particularly important means of realizing the continent’s economic potential. This paper will explore the importance of entrepreneurship in Africa, and the ways in which it can contribute to economic development on the continent.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported that there was an increase in entrepreneurial activity in South Africa post 2021 despite the Covid-19 Pandemic.

supporting entrepreneurs in Sub Sharan Africa 2 Supporting entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ten reasons why it's the answer to addressing economic inequality

Africa is a continent with immense potential for economic growth and development. However, in recent decades, the continent has lagged behind other regions of the world in terms of economic development. One of the key reasons for this is a lack of entrepreneurship and small business development. Entrepreneurship is the process of creating or starting a new business venture in order to make a profit. It is a crucial driver of economic growth and development, as it creates jobs, generates income, and stimulates innovation. In Africa, where the need for economic development is particularly acute, entrepreneurship is seen as a vital means of realizing the continent’s economic potential.

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

Entrepreneurship is essential for economic development in Africa. It creates jobs, generates income, and stimulates innovation. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly important in this regard, as they account for the majority of businesses in Africa and are responsible for a significant portion of the continent’s GDP. Furthermore, entrepreneurship is seen as a means of addressing poverty, as it provides opportunities for individuals to improve their standard of living through self-employment.

Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs in Africa:

Despite the potential of entrepreneurship to drive economic development in Africa, there are a number of challenges faced by entrepreneurs on the continent. These include a lack of access to finance, inadequate infrastructure, and poor educational opportunities. Additionally, there is a lack of a supportive business environment, as well as a lack of access to markets and networks.

Here are ten reasons why supporting entrepreneurs in Sub-saharan Africa is the answer to addressing economic inequality

  1. Entrepreneurship creates jobs: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are responsible for the majority of job creation in developing countries. By supporting entrepreneurs, we can help to create more jobs and reduce unemployment.
  2. Entrepreneurship drives innovation: Entrepreneurs are often the ones pushing boundaries and coming up with new ideas that can improve products, services, and processes. This leads to the development of new technologies and industries, which in turn can help to boost economic growth.
  3. Entrepreneurship leads to greater economic diversification: Entrepreneurs often start businesses in new sectors or industries, which can help to diversify a country’s economy. This is particularly important in Sub-Saharan Africa, where many countries are heavily dependent on a single resource, such as oil or minerals.
  4. Entrepreneurship improves income distribution: Small businesses are often owned by people from marginalized groups, such as women or rural residents. By supporting these entrepreneurs, we can help to redistribute income and reduce poverty.
  5. Entrepreneurship supports social and economic mobility: Entrepreneurship can provide people with the opportunity to improve their lives, regardless of their background. This can help to break the cycle of poverty and improve social and economic mobility.
  6. Entrepreneurship helps to reduce dependence on foreign aid: Entrepreneurship can help to generate income and create jobs, which can reduce a country’s dependence on foreign aid. This can help to promote self-sufficiency and sustainable economic growth.
  7. Entrepreneurship generates tax revenue: Small businesses are often the backbone of a country’s economy, and by supporting them, we can help to generate tax revenue that can be used to fund public services.
  8. Entrepreneurship increases resilience to economic shocks: Small businesses are often more agile and adaptable than larger companies, which means they can weather economic shocks more easily. By supporting entrepreneurs, we can help to build a more resilient economy.
  9. Entrepreneurship helps to improve the business environment: Entrepreneurs often have to navigate complex regulations and bureaucratic hurdles to start and grow their businesses. By supporting them, we can help to improve the business environment and make it more conducive to growth.
  10. Entrepreneurship is key to addressing economic inequality: Entrepreneurship can help to create jobs, generate income, and improve social and economic mobility. By supporting entrepreneurs, we can help to address economic inequality and promote sustainable economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We know from our own experience that, entrepreneurship helps to drive the development of local communities and support sustainable development in the region. Local businesses, for example, are more likely to source materials and goods from within the community, which can help to boost the local economy and create jobs for people in the area.

However, for entrepreneurship to truly thrive in sub-Saharan Africa, governments need to create an enabling environment that promotes and supports entrepreneurship. This includes policies and regulations that encourage the creation and growth of businesses, as well as access to finance, training and mentoring programs, and infrastructure development.

Entrepreneurship is essential for economic development in Africa. It creates jobs, generates income, and stimulates innovation. Despite the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Africa, the continent’s economic potential can be realized through the development of a supportive business environment, improved access to finance and markets, and better educational opportunities. Therefore, governments, private sectors and other stakeholders should take necessary actions to support and develop entrepreneurship in Africa to achieve sustainable economic growth.

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Matthew Musgrove

Matthew Musgrove

Matthew is an entrepreneur and business Advisor with a passion for change management and social empowerment. With a background in business accounting and advisory, as well clinical research project management, he strives to find strategic and sustainable solutions to business problems.



Mark Van Hoff comes from background of technical & production planning, budgeting & scheduling of major live events. As the first production co-ordinator at M-NET for Outside Broadcasts, Mark has managed major local and international productions including Miss South Africa, Miss World, multiple music events and major sports events, including the PnP Cycling Tour.​Mark co-founded Van-Man Productions in 1994, Page to Picture in 2000 and Move Media Networks in 2007. All three companies have achieved domestic success and have been well-regarded in the South African production industry.



Oluwaseun Adewuyi who is the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Caban, is a Certified Chartered Accountant, with Fellowship status at both the ACCA as well as the Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, a UK Based industry body with a specific focus on the management of charities, not-for-profit organisations and NGOs.. Oluwaseun comes with strong business acumen and 20+ years of progressive experience in finance and operations management within well-reputed and high growth organisations Including Next Plc and Royal Mail. He has been heavily involved in impact investment across Sub-Saharan Africa and has been instrumental in the creation of a series of community schools in West Africa. Throughout his career, he oversaw a broad range of operations, including Business Strategy and Business Reorganisation, summarising the organisation’s financial status, and coordinating the preparation of tactical plans, financial forecasts, and budgets. Adept at developing and implementing effective internal control framework to maintain sound financial accountability.

tim scholtz


Tim Scholtz, who's is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Caban Investments, is experienced in implementing corporate governance guidelines, formulating risk management structures, process and cost optimization. Tim has a strong corporate background, having worked as COO at the South African Tourism board, was COO at the Nelson Mandela foundation and as a internal audit manager at Arthur Anderson earlier in his career.

Ben Botes


Ben Botes is Entrepreneur, VC, co-Founder, Author and Academic with a strong social conscience. Ben Involved with early stage and growth firms for the past 20 years and has been Co-founder of 9 separate businesses across Africa. Ben has directly and indirectly been involved in impact investment and the support of charities and non profits for the last 30 years. Ben is a regular speaker at the African Investment Conference in London and has been featured in Wall Street for Europe, The Guardian Small Business, BBC, the Mail and Guardian in the UK and BizCommunity, Channel 3 TV, Investors Weekly, The Cape Times, Radio 702 with John Robbie and Good Hope FM in South Africa

Dave Romero


Dave Romero is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur with a passion for making an impact. A qualified Professional Accountant, Dave has been a director in multiple financial institutions and was once the youngest Chairman on the JSE, in addition to being listed as one of Business Times’ Top 100 companies and the 40th fastest-growing company in South Africa. Dave is a core founder of the Caban Group, which aims to provide a comprehensive service offering to small businesses in return for equity. With a passion for nurturing entrepreneurs, Dave can often be found outside of the boardroom – offering advice, creating innovative funding solutions and building communities through sustainable practices.



Dr Ruben Richards is a truly inspirational South African leader. Through his peace-building seminars for criminal gangs, Dr Ruben has facilitated the longest ceasefire in the history of gang warfare on the Cape Flats. In addition to being Chairman & Founder of the non-profit Ruben Richards Foundation, Dr Ruben is an ordained cleric, company director, non-executive Chairman of Visual International Limited and was once the Deputy Director-General of the now-disbanded Scorpions.