Africa's Growth Hinges On Entrepreneurship - The Discuss
Is Entrepreneurship really a thing for Africa? if yes we look at the ways.
You cannot Get Rich and Wealthy Working For Other People.” - statement attributed to Napoleon Hill
Life in the 21st century is more challenging than ever before, especially in Africa. If there has been any time we need to begin to think and assess ourselves and take action as a people about the happenings around us that time is NOW. You will agree with me that a good number of people out there are working or employed. But majority are very much uncomfortable with their jobs. For some, the take home package (paycheck or salary) is not even enough to take them home! To others, it is the poor and vexing working condition that constantly drives them over the edge.
NB This is not to say or justify entrepreneurship as the option for everybody, this is just an expose and a personal opinion.
Most if not all African countries are classed as third world countries with the "developing" tag ascribed to us, and for good reason as our economy is dwindling rapidly, the so called growth is a mirage a smoke screen of some sought, we are fixated on GDP without any meaningful growth within, those are just mere numbers. The continent like any other is rich in people, natural resources, labour and a willing and buying market, so how do we make these advantages count not only for the continent at large, but also for her teeming populace many of whom live on less than a dollar per day. Entrepreneurship is one of those ways we can bridge that divide and gradually make Africa great again.
Entrepreneurship is important for a number of reasons, from promoting social change to driving innovation. Entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated, and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. In fact, some of the most developed nations such as the United States are world leaders due to their forward - thinking innovation, research, and entrepreneurial individuals. Great entrepreneurs have the ability to change the way we live and work, on local and national bases. If successful, their innovations may improve standards of living, and in addition to creating wealth with entrepreneurial ventures, they also create jobs and contribute to growing the economy. Their importance cannot be underestimated.
Entrepreneurship is important, as it has the ability to improve standards of living and create wealth, not only for the entrepreneurs but also for related businesses.
Entrepreneurs also help drive change with innovation, where new and improved products enable new markets to be developed.
On the down side:
Too much entrepreneurship (i.e., high self - employment among the populace) can be detrimental to economic development.
What are some of the key benefits of entrepreneurship:
ENTREPRENEURSHIP HAS AN IMPACT ON NATIONAL GROWTH
Entrepreneurial ventures directly help generate new wealth. Existing businesses may remain confined to existing markets and may hit a limit in terms of income. New and improved products, services, or technology from entrepreneurs enable new markets to be developed and new wealth to be created. Interestingly, increased employment and higher earnings contribute to better national income in the form of higher tax revenue and higher government spending. This revenue can be used by the government to invest in other struggling sectors and human capital. Although it may make a few existing players redundant, the government can soften the blow by redirecting surplus wealth to retrain and retain workers. All this is brought about by a spur in economic growth, as we will see next.
ENTREPRENEURS SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH
New products as well as services created by entrepreneurs can produce an effect, where they stimulate related businesses or sectors that need to support the new venture, furthering economic development.
As an example, a few information technology companies made up the IT industry in India during the 1990s. The industry quickly expanded and many other sectors benefited from it. Businesses in associated industries such as call center operations, network maintenance companies, and hardware providers flourished immensely. Education and training institutes nurtured a new class of IT workers who were offered better, high paying jobs.
Similarly, future development efforts in other smaller countries require robust logistics support, capital investments, and a qualified workforce. From the highly qualified programmer to the construction worker, entrepreneurship benefits a large part of the economy. In 2019, in the U.S. alone, small businesses created 1.6 million net jobs.
As a fall back on the community:
Entrepreneurs regularly nurture ventures by other like minded individuals. They also invest in community projects and provide financial support to local charities. This enables further development beyond their own ventures. Some famous entrepreneurs, such as the American Bill Gates, have used their money to finance good causes, from education to public health (in which Africa has been a major beneficiary). The qualities that make one an entrepreneur can be the same qualities that help motivate entrepreneurs to pave the way forward through philanthropy, in a later chapter of life.
Still some may wonder, is all entrepreneurship good? What happens to an economy over populated with entrepreneurs? Especially true for the African continent where we copy and paste everything the westerners do just because there is a claim accompanying, without being objective as to the added drawbacks.
Question is are there any drawbacks to cultivating entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship? Is there a set limit to the number of entrepreneurs a society can and should hold?
In this dispensation Italy may provide an example of a place where high levels of self employment have proved to be inefficient for economic development. Of recent, research has shown that Italy has experienced large negative impacts on the growth of its economy because of self employment. There may be truth in the old saying after all, "too many chefs and not enough cooks spoil the soup."
How do we then curb this practical problem and ensure the purpose of entrepreneurship remains and impacts positively rather negatively on the African continent?
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
Regulation plays a crucial role in nurturing entrepreneurship. Unregulated entrepreneurship may lead to unwanted social outcomes, including unfair market practices, pervasive corruption, and worse of criminal activity. Paradoxically, a significantly high number of entrepreneurs may lead to fierce competition and loss of career choices for individuals. Case is with too many entrepreneurs, levels of aspirations usually rise. Owing to the variability of success in entrepreneurial ventures, the scenario of having too many entrepreneurs may also lead to income inequality, making citizens unhappier, where promotion of happiness is increasingly seen as an essential goal.
The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development is important to understand for policymakers and business owners. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of entrepreneurship allows a balanced approach to nurturing entrepreneurship to be taken, which can result in a positive economic and societal impact.