Young entrepreneurs hold the key to growth

WEF - What can we learn from the way Africa is growing
10 May

Young entrepreneurs hold the key to growth

Today, I believe Africa is the single most exciting place in terms of opportunities. The continent is not only experiencing its longest boom for 30 years but, according to International Monetary Fund forecasts, seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies for the period 2011-2015 will be African. This exceptionally strong growth is generally attributed to the commodity boom, but when you look closely, the most significant factor is the value generated through entrepreneurship. More importantly, it is the new generation of Africans that is actually making things happen.

Evidence suggests that the backbone of every African economy is small and medium-size business, rather than large domestic businesses, multinationals or government organizations. These SMEs are driving the economies, contributing to national GDPs and creating employment for millions of people. The most innovative, high-growth companies are those created by young men and women who are “thinking outside of the box”. Therefore, the key solution for creating jobs and generating renewed economic growth on the continent is to empower African youth and entrepreneurs to turn great ideas into a reality.

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Written by

Ashish J. Thakkar, Chair, Global Entrepreneurs Council, United Nations Foundation