The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, has urged entrepreneurs to envision a future beyond limits, and build a legacy of entrepreneurship that inspires future generations and transforms Africa into a dominant force in the global economy.
A statement said the call was made at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress Africa meeting organised by GEN Nigeria themed ‘Connecting Africa: Strides in the Nigeria entrepreneurship ecosystem,’ which held in Lagos.
GEC+Africa is an influential initiative of GEN Africa that unites entrepreneurial communities across the continent, which aims to drive economic growth, empower innovators, and create a sustainable ecosystem for businesses in Africa.
Pitan, a keynote speaker at the event said African entrepreneurial landscape had experienced unprecedented growth in recent years because of the massive pool of diverse and talented young people, increased access to technology, expanding urban population and increased investors’ interest in the continent’s potential.
He said, “This has led to an upsurge in the number of start-up businesses established in strategic sectors such as agribusiness, Fintech, renewable energy, e-commerce, health tech and so on. These businesses have consistently devised innovative solutions to some of the continent’s most pressing developmental challenges.”
According to him, “When I look at the activities in the African Start-up ecosystem, I am filled with pride that Nigerian start-up businesses are leading the charge in shifting the continent’s economic narrative into a more positive trajectory.
“Nigeria is leading the pack with the highest number of start-ups in Africa with $8.43bn in funding according to a 2023 report by Statista and Start-up Genome respectively.
Their success and impact have further bolstered arguments made about the importance and roles of entrepreneurship and innovation in the economic future of Africa, hence the need to replicate these track records in other parts of the continent.
However, he highlighted the challenges facing the entrepreneurial landscape in Nigeria which includes limited access to finance, regulatory constraints, scaling up beyond their local market, inadequate infrastructure and lack of mentorship and support structures.