According to the “The Better Africa” report, the failure rate for startups on the African continent, between 2010 and 2018, was at 54.20% on average, with Ghana (73.91%) and Nigeria (61.05%) having some of the highest failure rates.
While there are multiple contributing factors to why businesses fail, companies like Code Management Group (CMG) are working to bridge the knowledge and funding gap for African start-ups.
This past weekend, investment firm CMG hosted a dynamic speakers series event featuring William Adoasi, CEO of luxury watch brand, Vitae London, and moderated by Dentaa Amoateng, CEO of Ghana UK Achievement Awards (GUBA).
The experience was an intimate conversation between moderator, Dentaa, William and the audience, where Adoasi answered questions and vulnerably shared business lessons and mindset-shifting advice.
William urged African entrepreneurs to consider collaboration and intention whilst building their businesses. When discussing team building, he advised that teams should be built with intention, sharing that he achieves efficiency by structuring his team around his weakest areas. He also encouraged start-ups to work together instead of working solo, in efforts to better position themselves for business opportunities on the continent.
The Africa Development Bank further affirms Adoasi’s point that entrepreneurs are the solution to the future of the continent. A 2021 white paper released by the Bank recommended that “entrepreneurship must be at the heart of efforts to transform Africa’s economic prospects.”
Ghana, like the rest of Africa, is ready for a huge transformation that depends on collaboration. The African Export–Import (Afrexim) Bank in a 2020 report revealed that Africa’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has not been as resilient as that of the Western and Asian economies. However, it is believed that a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem could enhance the recovery.
Advising on business growth, William shared that “he’d rather have a smaller percentage of a bigger pie than have a larger percentage of a small pie.” This is one-way entrepreneurs can think about scaling their companies, he added.
Vitae London is a publicly owned company with shareholders and runs on a social enterprise business format, where a portion of a sale of each watch contributes to educating a child in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Entrepreneurs from Ghana and Nigeria, industry stakeholders and diaspora returnees packed out the space and got to interact with both Dentaa and William throughout the evening.
When asked what he thinks the future of Ghana will look like, Adoasi professed, “There are cities yet to be birthed”, urging startups to take their solutions seriously and to make their mistakes their biggest strengths and not see them as a failure.
Africa is the future of markets. According to the United Nations, by 2050, 25% of the world’s population will be in Africa; a proof that local businesses will be a key part of the continent’s growth trajectory.
For start-ups to be better positioned, Adoasi expressed, “Data is key,” encouraging African entrepreneurs to literally go to market to understand the environment, the customers and their desires. This process generates valuable data that can foster true business development, Adoasi stressed.
Vitae’s social entrepreneurship format is an example of how African businesses can meet the needs of societies.
The event series is one of many solutions CMG will offer in Ghana and will continue its roll out throughout the year. On March 5, 2022, CMG will begin its inaugural four-month incubator in partnership with the Chinese Europe International Business School in Accra, Ghana and then Lagos, Nigeria.
The incubator will focus on building start-ups into investment ready companies, in efforts to generate global business opportunities for start-ups and international investors.