Generation Africa – A landscape study: Youth enterprise in Africa’s agri-food sector
This landscape study (PDF) by YARA International and Econet seeks to answer the question: “What can we do today to inspire and propel the “agri-food stars” of tomorrow?” The study reveals a window of opportunity to strengthen the ecosystem of support around young entrepreneurs, helping them to build successful enterprises, including high-growth businesses, spurring job creation and a vibrant agri-food economy. The study recommends a joint action agenda with five priorities: 1) Create a new narrative that inspires African youth to pursue entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector. Over time, efforts of creating new narratives will crowd new talent and ideas, bolstering creativity and opportunity. 2) Curate the entrepreneur’s journey to help youth access the education, technology, support and capital needed to move from idea to scale. By clustering resources to support the entrepreneur’s journey, organisations, governments and investors can provide a more coherent path for young businesses. 3) Highlight opportunities for innovation and disruption to address unmet needs through commercial activity in the agri-food sector. By expanding focus from “agriculture” to “agri-business innovation” and bridging market research with business incubation, entrepreneurs can position to create new types of value in the sector. 4) Facilitate Small and Growing Businesses (SGB’s) access to finance. A dual effort can be put on improving the business model, value proposition and team capacities of the enterprise team, while simultaneously encouraging investors’ attention and development of financing vehicles that can reach smaller, high-potential SGBs. 5) Champion a new agenda that connects leadership, learning and resources. Strengthening the ecosystem for entrepreneurship across Africa’s agri-food sector will require a sustained, multi-year effort from diverse actors. A “Champions Group” is needed, inclusive of youth, to inspire and encourage the contribution of a new generation of young African entrepreneurs in driving innovation and growth in the agri-food sector.
A video of the launch of the report can be found here.