Omidyar Network and Monitor Group Announce Initiative to Strengthen Entrepreneurship Across Africa

JOHANNESBURG, September 10, 2012 – Omidyar Network and Monitor Group announced today the Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa initiative. The multi-phase research project will gather insights into the challenges facing African entrepreneurs and the barriers to creating an environment supportive of entrepreneurship. The initiative commences with a comprehensive survey of entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. Subsequent phases of the research will lead to the formulation of recommendations on the critical policies required for entrepreneurship to thrive in these six countries. Monitor will present the results of the first phase of the research at Omidyar Network’s Entrepreneurship in Africa Summit in Accra, Ghana on October 10, 2012.

Monitor’s findings and the Entrepreneurship in Africa Summit are part of a week of events focused on creating and celebrating high-impact entrepreneurship on the continent. The week begins with ON Baraza, Omidyar Network’s annual gathering of its portfolio organizations in Africa, and culminates with the African Leadership Network’s annual conference and the 2012 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship. For more information on the week’s events, please visit:

“Fostering an environment in which high-impact entrepreneurship can thrive is central to our work in Africa,” said Malik Fal, Omidyar Network’s managing director for Africa. “Our success will begin with understanding the needs of the entrepreneur, the landscape in which they operate and the barriers that need to be removed to create vibrant businesses. This research will shape that understanding and spark crucial conversations among business and government leaders that will begin at the Entrepreneurship in Africa Summit and carry on into 2013.”

Omidyar Network selected Monitor because of the firm’s success as a global leader in entrepreneurship development research. Monitor has conducted its Entrepreneurship Benchmarking Initiative in 26 countries with great success, and the report detailing the findings, Paths to Prosperity, is widely referenced. Both serve as frameworks to understand better the entrepreneurial climates in specific countries, as well as the programs and policies that can lead to successful high-growth entrepreneurship in those environments. As an example, Monitor’s role in helping Denmark foster entrepreneurship is widely lauded.

“The Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa initiative will lead to powerful collaboration among entrepreneurs and the public and private sectors across the continent. We have a unique opportunity to change the entrepreneurship landscape in Africa and significantly impact our continent’s development,” said Tebogo Skwambane, managing partner of the Monitor Group Johannesburg.

Monitor invites entrepreneurs and entrepreneur service providers in the focus countries to share their perspectives and participate in improving the continent’s entrepreneurial landscape. The links to the country-specific surveys are provided below. The surveys will close 16 September 2012.
• Ghana: 

• Nigeria: 

• Ethiopia:
• South Africa: Survey is closed

• Tanzania: