With the current pace of technological development, African startups are being prepped to be competitive and successful at any stage in the next few years, industry insiders say.
“African startups will inexorably take over some infrastructural projects that have originally been the prerogative of the government in the near future,” says Mark Essien, founder of Nigeria’s largest hotel booking platform, Hotels.ng, via email.
This will lead to more inter-regional startups across Africa in the next few years because, according to him, “As local saturation occurs, the logical next step will be international expansion for startups.”
“Sure, some of them will be successful in competing at a global stage,” added the West Africa Area Manager for E4Impact Foundation, Martino Ghielmi. “I am very confident that the ‘leapfrog innovation’ will pay out abundantly to them.”
There have been growing interests in African startups by established companies and incubators from various locations.
Just last month, Nigeria’s Pass.ng, Ghana’s MedRX and Tanzania’s Vicoba were chosen for the MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge powered by Jumia while ten others qualified for startup incubator Techstars’ newly opened Barclays Accelerator partnership in Cape Town.
“Yes, surely the world has changed and will change more. Knowledge and tools to create and grow a business are much more available in Africa, as well as mindset and capital,” Ghielmi said, adding that startups can address needs better because of their agility and knowledge of their terrains. “This is even more relevant in Africa, home of thousands market niches caused by its unique culture/geography/economy. All in all, I think the key issue remains in human capital, which is still a challenge in the continent.”
For Essien, there is a correlation between the current state of African startups and likely challenges. “Depending on the stage of the entrepreneur’s business it could be anything from the state of the market, the weight of competition or keeping operational overhead low,” he said.
On the particular trend present across the sector, Essien said startups that have started to move beyond the first steps of establishment have begun to look into human resource acquisition and development.
“It is a natural step as specialisation needs will strengthen as startups grow and consolidate their operating strategy,” he concluded.
This post first appeared HERE