African entrepreneurs ‘set for take-off’

African business leaders are expecting the entrepreneurial spirit to take off across the continent over the next three years on the back of an improved environment for business and greater political stability, new research for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows.

The study with African business leaders from companies with combined annual revenues of more than $6.75bn found 70% expect improvements in the entrepreneurial spirit with 15% predicting a dramatic improvement.

One of the key reasons for the increase is the expansion of internet connectivity with more than half (54%) expecting dramatic improvements, the research among senior executives from Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa found.

More than nine out of ten (91%) believe the environment for doing business in Africa will improve while 70% are optimistic Western countries will increase their investment in the continent.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) say greater political stability on the continent is boosting entrepreneurs while 59% say better education will support new entrepreneurs.

World Mobile is helping to revolutionise internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa and is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low altitude platform balloons.

Its blockchain-based network vastly reduces capital expenditure and cuts prices compared to traditional telecom operators and World Mobile is in discussions to expand in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators.

Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile said: “The African Development Bank has estimated that Africa is the world’s most entrepreneurial continent with millions looking to establish businesses.”

“The business environment and political stability are important to helping them but crucially there is also the issue of internet connectivity which is vital for most new businesses. It is good to see business leaders are confident but more needs to be done.”

“Launching new businesses will help to unleash the potential of the continent and raise living standards. World Mobile’s network based on the sharing economy sells affordable network nodes to local business owners, so they have the power to connect themselves and others while sharing the rewards. This will enable more people to access the opportunities that internet connectivity creates.”

World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, offering a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs.

The World Mobile approach is more sustainable, in environmental, social and governance terms. Environmental impacts are mitigated using solar-powered nodes, second-life batteries, and energy-efficient technology. World Mobile creates a positive societal impact through the application of its circular economy model – a “sharing economy” where locals share in the ownership and rewards of the network.