What are the opportunities ahead of African technology startups?

Let’s briefly discuss the opportunities available to African technology startups now that we have run through the problems facing African tech startups.

  • Africa is the new frontier for entrepreneurs and investors alike, a continent of growth, vibrancy and opportunity.
  • African tech entrepreneurs are on a mission to change their countries using digital entrepreneurship as their tool. It really is a time like no other. If you are a charity or social enterprise startup then, even starting from very humble beginnings and with not much in the way of funding, there is scope today for doing so much good for so many people with scalable and carefully applied tech solutions. If you are a startup business, rather than a charity, then these same conditions mean that the growth of a successful tech business is entirely possible and, moreover, that this can be done in a relatively short space of time.
  • While Africa has borders, within and without, technology does not see these borders, so in this sense there are no constraints to where your SaaS or app or digital platform etc can be used. Your potential customers are physically worldwide but logistically feel as though they are on your doorstep – what a time to be trading.
  • There is a lot of money going into African communities, with many overseas funds, particularly from the US, looking at Africa as a relatively untapped market and also one that is not overly constrained by regulation.
  • Africans have been keen to define business models that look outwards from the continent rather than inwards towards it, and with today’ s apps and technology the business world has never been smaller and more accessible. Gone are the days of needing to be a corporate mega-entity in order to benefit from multinational business – savvy African tech startups can now access these same global markets.

African startups, while facing certain unique problems, are well-equipped to compete both locally and globally. African small businesses can enjoy the same benefits and opportunities for growth as startups in many other parts of the world i.e. access to global markets. South Africa in particular is especially attractive for tech startups and entrepreneurs and this is why Next Disruptor (South Africa) is running its first tech business competition here.