Jacana Partners (London)

16 December 2012

Africa: Boost for African Business As MBA Graduates Plan to Return As Entrepreneurs

Photo: Jacana
Seventy percent of Africans studying for Master of Business Administration degrees in Europe and America plan to return home, 35 percent of them to begin their own businesses.

press release

London — African Diasporan MBA students from leading Western business schools have affirmed their conviction in Africa's potential for fostering small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

70 percent will work in Africa after graduation, according to a new survey by Jacana Partners, the pan-African private equity firm that invests in SMEs to deliver social and financial returns. Of that 70 percent, half plan to become entrepreneurs and start their own company, as opposed to working for an existing business.

89 percent of all African respondents selected the growing consumer story as presenting the greatest opportunity in Africa, above both natural resources and advancing technologies. As a result, more than a third selected consumer goods and financial services as sectors that offer the most attractive opportunity for starting a new business.

Simon Merchant, Chief Executive Officer at Jacana, commented: "These survey findings provide a welcome indication that the majority of talented young Africans from among the MBA Diaspora will be returning to Africa post-graduation - and more importantly, they will be starting their own businesses. Small businesses are the key engines of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation in Africa and management talent is a critical component for SME success. By combining strong management teams with increasing access to value-add private equity capital, we can harness the potential of the returning MBA Diaspora to build successful businesses, create jobs and support long-term economic growth."

African respondents to the survey originated from 19 different African countries, spanning the North, Sub-Saharan regions and South Africa.

Half of the respondents that indicated that they would be starting their own African businesses were female.

Commenting further on the survey findings, Sara Leedom, Co-Chair of the Africa Oxford Business Network at Oxford Saïd Business School said: "When Jacana approached us to research the appetite for working in Africa post-graduation among our Africa Business Network students, we were delighted to be able to lend a voice. I am not at all surprised by the results - the majority of our members view Africa as offering a compelling career opportunity for business graduates, particularly at a time when the environment for growing businesses is slow in the West.

The Continent provides a wealth of opportunity and we are increasingly seeing interest from a broad range of non-African nationalities in joining our Africa Business Network, attracted to that potential."

Background

Jacana conducted a survey of the Africa club membership among the top ten American and European business schools throughout November 2012, with respondents hailing from London Business School, Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, INSEAD, Brandeis International Business School, Wharton Business School, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, MIT Sloan, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Darden Business School and Cambridge Judge.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 Jacana Partners. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

African Business Students to Head Home

Seventy percent of Africans studying for Master of Business Administration degrees in Europe and America plan to return home, 35 percent of them to begin their own businesses.

A survey of students from 19 African countries who are studying at leading Western business schools has shown most intend to return home, many to start their own businesses. Half ... Read more »