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Anansy will provide real-time insights tailored for each individual business, resulting in more funds going to more sustainable SMEs – with far less risk, shorter lead times and higher returns.

The Motivation

 

As Africa's sustained demographic growth continues to outpace both India and China, it is estimated that by 2034 Africa's workforce population will exceed twice that of the rest of the world combined. In fact, by 2050, a quarter of the world's population will be African. As China did some 35 years prior, Africa now sits on the precipice of the world's next historic demographic dividend. For this population boom to be matched by economic strength, Africa's fast-growing labor force will have to be supported by an even faster rate of economic growth, investment and job creation.

 

Perhaps more than any other single economic factor, Africa's economic fortunes will rise or fall on entrepreneurship and the performance of SMEs and startups. Across emerging markets, 60% of total employment and up to 40% of GDP is driven by SMEs. Fortunately, Africa is uniquely positioned with some of the richest SME and startup potential anywhere. A 2016 study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that working age adults in African countries have the highest confidence levels of all surveyed regions of the world in terms of the quality of available business opportunities and their ability to start a business.

 

Anansy: Building the Startup Economy for the Data-driven Era 

 

There is little doubt that nimble and innovative African SMEs and startups will be the catalysts across the continent to leapfrog into the data-driven era of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Anansy will enable these businesses to succeed and thrive. Across Africa, the crucial risks for both startups and their investors lie in weak entrepreneurship ecosystems – the lack of management training, funding and post-launch support. SME and startup investor methods have not kept up with the need for innovative risk management. Despite sometimes ambitious business incubation experiments, at the end of the day most investors rely on conventional portfolio approaches drawn from credit analysis. They will fund ventures only to wait to see if they make a profit or a loss. Where there are poor entrepreneurial ecosystems, loss rates are very high because there is little post-launch guidance and monitoring available for SMEs to course correct and succeed. The micro-finance revolution of a few years ago stalled because micro-entrepreneurs were not supported and MFIs failed to understand why and what to do about it. The answer for entrepreneurs, especially for small business, lies in enabling them in real time along their path to success.

Anansy will provide real-time insights tailored for each individual business, resulting in more funds going to more sustainable SMEs – with far less risk, shorter lead times and higher returns.