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Barriers to African entrepreneurship and how to overcome them

December 22, 2015 12:15 pm

3435380297_49722db05f_oWe highlight some of the barriers that hinder small business growth in various African markets, and the steps you can take to overcome them.

Unsupportive business environment

Lack of supportive governmental regulations serve as a barrier to entrepreneurship. A number of African nations lack rule of law. They have poorly defined property laws, enforce regulations inconsistently, and allow widespread corruption and bribing. What measures can be taken to overcome this huddle? This administrative barrier is not easy to overcome, however, consulting your industry chambers and associations will help. Cooperatives and advocacy groups can fight against such predatory behavior. Entrepreneurs should be vocal about favourable policing and regulations.

Shortage of funds and resources

Money to start up an enterprise is another leading barrier to entrepreneurship. Without funds, any person cannot begin to organise, train, develop and sell product. How can one overcome financial barriers? It is very important that you do not see money as the fundamental element to make or break your business. It is true that money is important, but if you put it in front of your projects they will never take off, and you will end up putting aside other key elements. If you start a business online, you will be reaping the benefits of Internet and investment costs are lower.

Employee related difficulties

Entrepreneurs must find and select the best-qualified employees who are motivated and willing to grow with the venture. Then they must ensure the employees do not leave. Practically this task becomes a barrier when employees’ expectations increases, governmental regulations related to labour employment is hardened, and employee costs grow. Employee cost is more than pay. It includes healthcare, workers’ compensation, social security tax, and health and safety regulations. What’s the way forward? The finances of your business should be audited consistently and thoroughly also scaling down operations and overhead costs so that you will sustain profits and payments. Ensure that your business is authorised to function, has all the permits, pays all the taxes and compensations.

Severe market entry regulations

Taxation, environmental regulations, lending requirements, government rules and licensing are all barriers to entrepreneurship. Most countries license market entry and the creation of new firms to protect employees in certain industries and professions. Entry procedures vary such that entrepreneurs need one day to register an enterprise in one country and up to half a year in another. How do you deal with this red tape scenario? Honestly, you have to wait and pull through.

Lack of entrepreneurship opportunities

Business creation needs existing marketplace opportunities with possibilities known to the entrepreneur and favorable odds for success for entrepreneurial “spirit” to succeed. How do you start? Try to figure out new and hidden opportunities. A market opportunity for entrepreneurs should always be unique, a gap and should be serviced with ideal quality in form of products or services. Learn and acquire or pull yourself until you have the entrepreneurial capacity. Entrepreneurial capacity is the existence of entrepreneurship qualities, willingness and motivation to initiate new ventures.

Perception of society

Perception of society towards failure. Our society tends to reject and judge failure and a mistake, keeping us in a mindset of going through life trying to avoid mistakes without realising that failure is part of success. How to overcome cultural barriers? This obstacle is mostly in your head. To overcome it you need to change your thinking and your attitude towards life. Entrepreneurship is about attitude, to see life in a different way and be willing to fight tirelessly to achieve our goals.

Educational barriers

Entrepreneurs must develop skills related to leadership, teamwork, negotiation and communication. There are things you learn in school, yet many of these skills must be acquired by taking risks and throwing caution to the win, venturing into the unknown. How to overcome educational hurdles? It is important to begin to identify skills you need to run your company. Many of the qualities of an entrepreneur can only be learned through experience, start your project and start learning along the way.

Lack of adequate entrepreneurship training

Training and education can be a biggest advantage for new ventures. This includes training in technical skills, managerial skills, entrepreneurial skills and entrepreneurship. In Africa, are they adequate? Surely they are not. Join cooperatives, learn from other players in your industry and acquire free knowledge through banks and nongovernmental organisations.

Lack of industry experience

Rushing into a new market because it looks attractive and rewarding without having some experience and background in it can be fatal. The heart of leadership is learning first and doing before leading. Experience in a related business before startup is positively associated to success. You can work freely for big businesses that are into your chosen industry so that you acquire knowledge and experience. There is no harm in learning so that you follow your passion and succeed.

Hatred of risk

A psychological barrier closely related to the fear of failure is aversion to risk. Entrepreneurs must take initiative, create structure with a social-economic mechanism and accept risk of failure. So what should you do? Entrepreneurs have to be risk takers while those who are risk averse will seek the security if an existing establishment. Entrepreneurs have to decide whether to take action so they don’t miss the boat. Just be aggressive as a business person and take the risk. Big risk means big chances of making it.

Some countries do provide more support than others, but you can’t mourn about the circumstances in your country because it will not get you anywhere. Find a way to fight. That’s the spirit of entrepreneurship. Share your views on the barriers of entrepreneurship in your country.

Author: Staff writer

Barriers to African entrepreneurship and how to overcome them Reviewed by on . We highlight some of the barriers that hinder small business growth in various African markets, and the steps you can take to overcome them. Unsupportive busine We highlight some of the barriers that hinder small business growth in various African markets, and the steps you can take to overcome them. Unsupportive busine Rating: 0
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