Angola: Entrepreneurship is the highest in Africa

27 July 2009

Luanda, Angola, 27 July – Entrepreneurship amongst Angolans is one of the highest in the world and is the highest on the African continent, yet they consider the financial support available to be insufficient, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).

The study, carried out by the North American university of Babson and by the London Business School, is considered the biggest of its kind and aims to establish a link between economic growth and entrepreneurial activity.

In the latest edition (2008), published in July, Angola is included for the first time in the group of 43 countries, in the analysis made in partnership with the Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (the Portuguese Association for Innovation) and the Angolan Universidade Católica, and surprised by coming out first, beating the big countries like Egypt and South Africa, and appearing alongside European and Asian economies.

The level of entrepreneurship is considered “very high,” with close to 23 percent of people involved in entrepreneurial activity, although “reforms are necessary to improve entrepreneurs’ access to funding and their capacity to set up new companies.”

The data, mainly originating from a poll, indicate that, in 2008, 23 adults in every 100 were involved in start-up companies, the fourth highest rate of the 43 countries in the study and over twice the average for these countries (10.5 percent).

“Angola has around 4.7 times more entrepreneurs in upcoming businesses than owners of new businesses. This data makes Angola the country (included in the study) with the biggest relative difference between the two types of entrepreneurial activity,” says the Monitor.

“In Angola, around a quarter (25.2 percent) of the female adult population is involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity. For men, this proportion is down to one fifth (20.3 percent). No other country in the GEM 2008 has a greater proportion of female entrepreneurs than male ones,” it says.

Over half of the adult men and women in Angola believe in accumulating the knowledge and skills necessary to set up a business and this “necessity” is the main motivating factor.

Those specialists contacted by the authors of the study “consider that the financial support offered to entrepreneurs is partially insufficient,” such as the government programs for supporting entrepreneurship, education and the transfer of Research and Development.

Other low points are bureaucracy, regulations requiring licences being “excessively difficult in Angola,” as well as infrastructures which are still considered insufficient.

“On a more positive note” is the improvement in social and cultural factors, subsidies and government policy, “particularly with regard to the extent to which they favour new businesses and the nature of the priority the government gives to entrepreneurship.”

“When one compares Angola with economies driven by efficiency and innovation, this trend can also be seen across nearly all aspects,” said the study.

At a time when reforms are being introduced at every level throughout the country, with the aim of improving existing conditions and boosting the private sector, “entrepreneurship in particular, is recognized as a critical factor in Angola’s continuing development.”

“Stimulating entrepreneurial activity among the Angolan population,” it adds, would “enable a growth in new and innovative businesses, thus contributing to reducing the country’s relative dependence on oil and maintaining the world’s highest rates of growth. (macauhub)