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The present state of entrepreneurship ecosystems in selected countries in Africa

Michael Sheriff (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua, Padua, Italy)
Moreno Muffatto (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua, Padua, Italy)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Article publication date: 9 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Entrepreneurship ecosystems could be useful road maps for the formulation of entrepreneurship policies for countries in Africa. The twenty-first century economic development agenda lay a lot of emphasis on the pivotal role that entrepreneurship plays in the growth of economies, job creation and poverty alleviation especially in Africa. But without the right entrepreneurial ecosystems to enhance the formulation of pertinent entrepreneurship policies, achieving entrepreneurial economic growth will be difficult. The existing frameworks for the development of entrepreneurship ecosystems are based on research that has been conducted elsewhere. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Entrepreneurship research in Africa has rarely focused in understanding and evaluating the entrepreneurship ecosystems. In this paper, we have attempted to examine the present state of the entrepreneurship ecosystems in four countries (Botswana, Egypt, Ghana and Uganda) in Africa. Despite the fact that extant literature on the concept is limited, it has been reviewed to provide a picture of entrepreneurship ecosystems. Relevant national and international documents were also examined to evaluate the present state of entrepreneurship ecosystems in these countries.

Findings

The findings from each of the countries though they depict a static situation, justify the proposition that entrepreneurs are omnipresent, it is only the entrepreneurship environment that accounts for the differences in entrepreneurial economic growth and the cross-countries comparisons shows the dissimilarities in national entrepreneurship environments.

Research limitations/implications

In conclusion, a broad process to develop entrepreneurship ecosystems initiatives is suggested alongside the crucial roles that governments and other stakeholders should play which implies that a National Entrepreneurship Mission might be necessary.

Originality/value

Multiple case studies that have compared entrepreneurship ecosystems of countries in Africa are very rare. This study though explorative, is one of the first. The findings and conclusions could be useful for a detailed study to map out pertinent and self sustaining entrepreneurship ecosystems that are necessary for the formulation of entrepreneurship policies.

Keywords

Citation

Sheriff, M. and Muffatto, M. (2015), "The present state of entrepreneurship ecosystems in selected countries in Africa", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 17-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJEMS-10-2012-0064

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited