… offering a one-stop shop for early to mid-stage startups
In a move aimed at deepening the innovation and accelerator ecosystem for startups in the country, Enterprise Village (EV) has been formally launched in Accra. The soft-launch, which was held in-person and virtually at the Dzorwulu-based head office, brought together key stakeholders in technology, finance, logistics and product-design among others.
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at EV, Moutia Murheb, offered insights into the unique role her outfit is set to play in the wider incubation ecosystem. She stated that EV has identified yawning gaps in the community which it is seeking to address.
A number of comparative studies suggest that in 2019 the failure rate of startups was around 90% globally; with 21.5% of startups failing in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year and 70% by year 10. With gloomier statistics locally, the CEO explained how the newly launched hub will, in a complementary fashion, be providing support to start-ups at various stages of their development beyond what is currently offered.
“We are looking to start from where others stop; we are not merely replicating existing models. ‘Why do startups have such a low rate of success?’ We took the decision to start from where others have stopped and complement what is currently available. We will be taking business from the seed stage to the incubation and acceleration stages, but go beyond merely linking them to sources of funding and provide continuous tailor-made business support across the board,” she said.
She added that EV will provide special focus for startups which have proven themselves to be sustainable and scalable. “Our incubation period will be quite stringent, as we want startups which can withstand the harsh, real-world business conditions. It will not be business as usual,” she stated.
The launch also featured a roundtable panel discussion on the theme ‘What does it take to build a unicorn?’, wherein insight was offered into what is required for businesses to attain the US$1billion valuation unicorn status.
A clear, marketable value proposition; an understanding of the external business environment including regulatory considerations; the local economy and competitors; proper timing, as well as appropriate use of technology and expert advice were mentioned as indispensable factors required to attain unicorn status.
The panel comprised the co-founder of agritech solutions provider AgroCenta, Michael K. Ocansey; Principal Advisor at InvestPro, Dinah Hammond; Digital and Financial Services professional, Ibrahim Misto; as well as Design Expert and Scale Manager at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Kweku Fleming.
In addition to providing access to funding and networking within its rich community of industry stakeholders, EV will also be providing co-working spaces for startups under its tutelage.