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Entrepreneurship driving change and growth in sub-Saharan Africa

GEM 2012 Report Cover

The report draws on data collected during a three-year study on entrepreneurial attitudes, perceptions, and intentions in 10 sub-Saharan African countries conducted by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and supported by IDRC. Established in 1999, GEM studies entrepreneurship, with research from more than 300 scholars in 99 countries. Its national surveys and findings help governments understand what motivates and challenges small enterprises and how to help them grow. 

IDRC has supported GEM since 1999, enabling the organization to broaden its scope to reflect developing-country realities and helped bring Canada back into the GEM research community.

Business hopes and challenges

The report findings present two sides to the entrepreneurial dream: one which found that entrepreneurship rates are the highest in the world with a high proportion of the population either already involved in business or intending to do so in the near future. However, on the other side, these high levels of enthusiasm are countered by a high number of failed businesses and limited growth potential for those businesses that survive.

The hurdles preventing businesses from prospering range from lack of government support, difficulty in accessing funding, as well as corruption, bureaucracy, and lack of access to research and development.  

IDRC is now supporting the next phase of GEM's analysis in the region which focuses on youth and their perceptions about making entrepreneurship a career choice.

Download the report, African Entrepreneurship: Sub-Saharan African Report (PDF, 7.52MB)

Learn more about GEM 

Read more about IDRC's support to GEM