More than half of all start-ups fail, and fold up within the first two, to five years, even though recently there has been a proliferation in the emergence of start-up hubs, business incubators and business accelerators, as the case maybe.
The setback is that viable and valuable entrepreneurial innovation and opportunities that could potentially contribute to national economic development, job creation and fulfilled career paths are lost.
It is for this reason that green business incubator, the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC), last week organised a day’s symposium to examine and analyse measures that can be taken to ensure business innovation within the start-up ecosystem is purposefully stimulated, nurtured and realized.
GCIC’s position is that while on the demand side, entrepreneurs are predominately seeking funding for their business and will seek the services of incubators, accelerators and hubs as a means to that end, they sometimes ignore, or are less aware of, the tremendous rigour, technical know-how, personal self-awareness and leadership requirements needed to successfully birth and operate their business idea in the marketplace.
On the supply side however, business hatchery organisations have a huge role to play in structuring intervention to responsively deliver expertise, advisory services, and the seed investments that are tailored to the socio-economic context.
Individuals and organisations that are successfully incubating innovative ventures and entrepreneurs, and or, are incubating ideas and creativity for Africa’s transformative future spoke at the day’s symposium held in Accra.
Additionally, entrepreneurs that have successfully exited incubators also shared their experience.
Israel enjoys the status of the world’s leading global start-up ecosystem and one of its deliberate response to its geo-political situation, was to intentionally incubate innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs in particular sectors of geo-political interest.
Oren Simanian, founder of Star Tau, Tel-Aviv University Entrepreneurship spoke on lessons from Israel while Seapei Mayfoyane, CEO of Black Umbrellas, South Africa, a programme that focuses on promoting entrepreneurship as an economic path and nurtures 100% black-owned businesses, spoke of experiences incubating black-owned businesses.
‘‘To break off poverty, leadership needs to be enhanced by professionalising the environment because due to the lack of opportunities, black small scale businesses tend to collapse’’, Moyfoyane stated.
Three sessions were held at the symposium explaining the purpose, practice and profit of incubating innovation to help Africa understand that on her developmental trajectory, it needs incubators to be truly world class and very responsive to the business structuring in financing the needs of enterprises in Africa’s small and growing business sector who are seeking to scale.
Panelists present at the symposium were; Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Djabanor Narh, Advisory Services, Ernst and Young Ghana, Ruka Sanusi, Executive Director, GCIC ,Eric Nyanteh, CEO, Translight Solar Ltd, Charles Hansen- Quao, co- Founder, DreamOval, Gerard Badaweh Yitamkey, CEO and co- Founder, Ahonya.com, Ivy Appiah, CEO, Tiwajo Industries Ltd, Abdul- Nasser Alidu, Entrepreneurship Director, GCIC, Ebenezer Arthur, Wangara Capital, Ashwin Ravichandran, Head of Operations and Partnerships, MEST and Rethabile Melamu, General Manager, GCIC, South Africa.