Ven Sriram and Tigineh Mersha, University of Baltimore, USA
Abstract: Entrepreneurship is lauded as an engine of economic development and job creation, with SMEs often creating most of the new jobs in many countries. This paper identifies some important factors that contribute to the start-up and success of new business ventures in Africa, emphasizing that while personality factors such individual drive and competency and availability of resources are important for the successful launch of a new business venture, effective government policy is also critical in promoting successful entrepreneurial initiatives. Survey data collected showed that most African entrepreneurs believe that they have the requisite passion, energy, and determination needed to start and manage new businesses. However, they are constrained by scarcity of adequate start-up capital, stiff competition, lack of employees with the right skills, and difficulty in finding adequate facilities to start their business. Building on this research and earlier work, the paper discusses the crucial role that African governments can play to stimulate and nurture entrepreneurial endeavours. While the findings and recommendations in this paper are based on the study of Ethiopian and Ghanaian entrepreneurs, they have applicability in several African countries. The actual implementation of the proposed recommendations will of course need to be adapted to suit the special circumstances prevailing in each country.
Keywords: African entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial competency, enterpreneurship in Ethiopia and Ghana, Government support for new ventures