The eggheads in the business of economic development of the world converged in Istanbul last week for the World Congress 2020 of the World Business Angel Investment Forum (WBAF).
The congress hosted 1,658 angel investors, Venture Capital firms, Startups, SMEs, Investment Funds, Financial Institutions, Policy makers, Governments, Multi-national corporations, Foundations, Non-Profit organisations, Entrepreneurs Support Organisations, international bilateral and multilateral institutions from 92 countries.
The Founder and the Executive Director of Grand Africa Initiative, Chinwe Okoli, was among the experts selected to speak at the World Congress 2020.
The panel within the Science, Technology and Innovation Summit discussed the topic Innovative techniques to maximise startup potential: Building a disruptive entrepreneur-friendly community through multi-stakeholder engagement.
In her discussion, Ms Okoli explained the need for relevant stakeholders to join forces in building communities where entrepreneursip can thrive. She pointed out the huge role of the government in creating such enabling environment for businesses generally and for startups businesses in particular.
“Building an entrepreneur-friendly community requires all stakeholders’ hands to be on deck. The role of the government here is multifaceted: providing the basic infrastructure such as transportation network and telecommunication broadband; enacting business-friendly regulations and legislations, creating cross border policies; friendly tax policies, fiscal incentives which can also encourage the corporations to support young businesses, local content policy to promote new businesses and setting up entrepreneurship support fund to support seed stage businesses.
“The corporations need to create the market for and also support startups; Universities that demonstrate value for practical entrepreneurship, research, and impact the right skills; Mentors who will offer professional services and business advisory; and Investors who will provide the capital etc,” she said.
Ms Okoli highlighted the importance of building communities that will develop the capacity of young people and encourage entrepreneurship even in the rural areas. “There are a lot of gains from this. Gains to the society, the entrepreneurs and potential investors. Investing in capacity building also entails developing organisations that support entrepreneurs. This she said would result in breeding entrepreneurs who are more knowledgeable about their product or service, market dynamics, government legislations, customers; competition, posses better skills and stand a better chance of building successful businesses.
“Investing in capacity and community building will also favour the investors by mitigating the risk of business failure and potentially maximizing the value of their investments” she stated.
She emphasised that all stakeholders must synergise to create the support system that will encourage entrepreneurship and also nuture entrepreneurs to increase their success rates.
“When more young people succeed in business, entrepreneurship will become more attractive to the youth, investors will want to invest more for better returns on their investment, tax revenue will rise, a thriving economy creates a safer society” she concluded.
Other panelists include Mondher Khanfir, Advisory Board Member, AM Acceleration @Station, France; Nawaf Mohamed Alkoheji, Chief Executive Officer, Tenmou, Bahrain and Mejra Juzbasic, Regional Director, Finance in Motion, Bosnia and Herzegovina.