IS THE LACK OF START UP CAPITAL A MAJOR BARRIER TO AFRICAN ENTERPRENEURS?

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IS THE LACK OF START UP CAPITAL A MAJOR BARRIER TO AFRICAN ENTERPRENEURS?
David Rutabangama MUNANA , Entrepreneur, Rwanda

Basically, africans lack initiative, consistency and persistence.


According to the World Bank reports, Africa is considered to be the poorest continent of the globe whereas its population growth is very speedy. This makes the poverty circle to be persistent. ‘’ A child of a poor person is likely to become poorer than his/her parents”
Africa has to react viz a viz this issue, and look for the suitable approaches change its history.
‘Born poor is not bad, but growing and dying poor is the worst’ according to this assertion no matter how you are born (family, country, continent), change is a necessary and valuable condition.
That have been proved by Asian newly industrialized economies (NIEs) which have an extra speed development without much natural resources, they are good examples of all over the world. How Africa which is endowed of natural resources, productive work force, conducive weather and fertile land can remain poor?
The simple answer is “Africa is the poorest continent and needs support” That has impacted our way of thinking, hence Africans feel undermined. Our perception on development has been threatened including entrepreneurship as a key driving force to the development.
I have interviewed many entrepreneurs (young, women, and men), asking them why people don’t start their own businesses despite the fact that they know the benefits behind.
The answer was “we don’t have start- up capital”. Lack of start- up capital is the major barrier of entrepreneurship. Is that true? How much money do we need to start a business? What must come first, initiative or capital?
As Chris Gardner said "Find something that you love. Something that gets you so excited, you can't wait to get out of bed in the morning. Forget about money. Be happy." Oprah winfrey put that clear “I truly believe, that the reason I've been able to be so financially successful is because my focus has never, ever for one minute been money”.
Take a look at successful entrepreneurs around the globe, how they have started their businesses, and how much money did they start with? They were starting from practically nothing.
The problem is that people want success before its preparation. That’s why they face a lot of problems such as lack of access to start-up capital. It is better to examine the background of one’s success and then find a real cause that can be your obstacle to start a business; surely you will find yourself singing a different song from “lack of start-up capital is always a barrier to Africans”.
Lack of access to start up capital is no longer a relevant barrier to Africans who want to own businesses. Because, those who have (capital) and those who don’t have sing the same song “we are poor” we can’t do anything without outsider’s support (we need start-up capital),but many of businesses which have got subsidiaries ended up with failure. There are many reasons behind this failure, such as: Political and economic instability and so on, but basically it is the lack of initiative, consistency and persistence. Support is good and necessary for our business and economic growth, but it is not the first alternative to change our way of living. The answer is in our own hands.
In order to make a radical change, African governments have to play a crucial role in changing population’s mindset by encouraging people to use their brain and use the available resources to develop themselves and develop Africa. What we have is good enough to start a business and seeing it growing. And that is the only effective way to alleviate poverty that has been a threat to Africa since long time.
The author is a Managing Director at PRUNE Ltd in Rwanda.
David R. MUNANA



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