In the face of a weakening economy and high unemployment rates, the people of Africa have resorted to innovation and entrepreneurship for survival. Instead of waiting around for a job to be offered to them, these people have taken it into their own hands by starting their own businesses to earn a livelihood. Just last year, Uganda was named the “World’s Most Entrepreneurial Nation” by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), where 28.1% of its population are entrepreneurs.
The growing number of entrepreneurs in Africa along with the fact that a majority of the population are the working age youth, indicates the emergence of a new generation of innovators who could change the lives of millions. Many of these small businesses aim to improve living conditions of the local people, and in addition, they create new jobs.
For example, Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP) is a Ugandan startup whose goal is to improve the standard of living in rural African communities by distributing bikes. Through their financial plans, BAP makes the bicycles affordable, and opens up opportunities for the people to do so much more. Traveling to school, or to the marketplace, or places of employment becomes more accessible through BAP’s program.
Another example is Aryodi’s Bee Farm, also based in Uganda, it aims to improve standard of living for bee farmers by training smallholder beekeepers using modern beekeeping methods. The modern methods have proven to be more environmentally friendly, as well as more profitable compared to traditional beekeeping techniques. The Aryodi Bee Farm also encourages entrepreneurship through mentoring the farmers in business and entrepreneurial skills.
It is evident through these Ugandan startups that it is a new era for African innovation, where the youth are creating businesses that have positive impacts on the development of the countries, as well as increasing job openings. What is most remarkable is that each small business creates a chain reaction that further encourages employment and entrepreneurship.
Crowd Watch Africa