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How Startups are Fixing The Unemployment Problem in Africa

Many West African countries are looking to entrepreneurship and startups to create job opportunities.

Startups from sub-Saharan Africa go head to head to compete for the top prize. The event is however not only about winning but also a platform to market products. Image courtesy: TechCrunch

The rates of unemployment in West Africa are high with Nigeria having the highest number of jobless people. It is widely accepted that unemployment is a major problem on the entire continent. It is also believed that the African continent needs innovations to reduce unemployment to a minimum level, and startups seem to be visible solutions.

Many West African countries are looking to entrepreneurship and startups to create job opportunities. But, one of the biggest challenges of startup businesses in West Africa is infrastructures, which could determine their success. Though funding might not be sufficient for entrepreneurship to thrive, experts agree that a partnership from the corporate world would definitely help startups in terms of growth. West African youth have started to innovate through startups and taking their fate into their hands to fix the unemployment problem.

The Role of Startups in the Economic Growth of West African

Startups are business models started by individuals or entrepreneurs with an intention to meet the needs of the marketplace. It an emerging business venture purposely founded to provide employment to a large number of people. The founders of startups design their business models in such a way that they are scalable and profitable.

Even though the average started faces a tremendous amount of challenges, many of them go on to be employers and subsequently become successful companies. Market watchers have identified industries like tech, agriculture, and real estate as ones with the highest growth potential in the coming years.

Why Startups Should partner with Larger Firms

As the popular African saying goes: ‘A tree cannot make a forest’. Startups in sub-Saharan Africa definitely need support from foreign companies operating in different countries. One such multinational firm is French telecom company Orange Group. The firm partners, and help fund tech startups in various parts of Africa.

MTN Group is another multi-national telecom giant with a strong business base in Nigeria and partnering with the federal government to fund startups founded by university students. Entrepreneurship isn't an easy endeavor even in the western world and it becomes a lot harder in developing countries.

Notwithstanding, West African youth have started to innovate and be creative in solving unemployment through startups. With support regularly coming from big companies based in the region, as well as government policies – the future looks brighter.

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