Finweek English Edition - - COVER STORY -

Ac­cord­ing to a report by Con­sul­tancy Africa In­tel­li­gence (CAI), there has been a “no­tice­able in­crease” in the emer­gence of SMEs in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. The Global En­trepreneur­ship Mon­i­tor on South Africa, Uganda, An­gola, Ghana and Zam­bia showed that the num­ber of small, es­tab­lished busi­nesses is high. CAI re­vealed that the per­cent­age of es­tab­lished owned busi­nesses in se­lected African coun­tries was the high­est in Ghana (40%) and Uganda (27%) in 2010, both sig­nif­i­cantly higher than China and Brazil (un­der 15%). Coun­tries that reg­is­tered be­low 10% es­tab­lished busi­ness own­er­ship, in­clud­ing SA and An­gola, are com­pa­ra­ble to France, the United King­dom and the US.

For en­trepreneurs, ac­cess to credit re­mains a key prob­lem for SME devel­op­ment on the con­ti­nent. The African Devel­op­ment Bank re­ported that only 20% of African SMEs had ac­cess to credit, and that only 9% of the in­vest­ments SMEs make are funded by a bank (17%). By com­par­i­son, in South Amer­ica and the Caribbean, 44% of SMEs re­ported ac­cess to credit and in Europe 23% of SMEs’ in­vest­ments are fi­nanced through bank loans.

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