Innovative early stage ventures that potentially have a high social and environmental impact, but require less than €1 million in capital are the most difficult segment of the SME pipeline to reach. Yet their potential for growth is immense.
Skill gaps and effective pairing of education with labour market needs remain one of the most pressing obstacles for SME development in Africa.
Africa is the world’s youngest continent, with two-thirds of its labour force working on farms and at least another 15% in small rural enterprises.Can Africa’s rural economy create enough jobs for predominantly young job-seekers?
To give local and international businesses a new role in assuring inclusive growth in Africa, the African Studies Centre and the Netherlands African Business Council organized the two-day Africa Works! 2014 conference. They invited 740 representatives from business, government, NGOs and knowledge institutes to come to Leiden and create new partnerships. To make sure both host and investing countries sustainably benefit from new business opportunities, they need to look beyond success stories.