“Social Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Development In Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons From Business Incubation In Cameroon, Burkina Faso And Ghana”


Business incubators provide the structural support that enables new businesses to grow and become financially independent, which in turn strengthens the private sector and propels an economy. In the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa has seen a proliferation of business incubators, and it is hoped that they will play a key role in attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially with regards to gender equality and the promotion of sustained and inclusive economic growth. Yet the effectiveness and impact of these business incubators remain poorly understood. Its role in accelerating the economic transformation of Africa is not well established. It is therefore important to evaluate the impact of these incubators in the African countries in which they operate, especially relative to specific SDGs. It is also essential to understand if these incubators comply with gender requirements, the socio-economic inclusion of women and youth, and how development finance institutions can strengthen the ecosystem.

More about the project

To map the business incubation practice in selected subSahara African countries, with a focus on:

  • The connection of incubation to the ecosystem for innovation and science: How conducive is the research environment in supporting innovators? How to strengthen these ecosystems in a way that is conducive to innovation and SDG? Who can do what in such ecosystems?
  • The relationship between business creation and SDGs 5, 8, and 9: what is done, what are the gaps, and what should be done?
  • Opportunities and challenges resulting from the national fiscal and regulatory framework to successfully scale up.
  • The process of scaling up with a particular interest in the factors of success and failure and analysis of the role of public policies: which are the most critical areas where innovation can make a difference?
  • Success of incubation-to-scale: generalizability of best practices observed in one country to another
By the end of this exploratory research project, we should have written and submitted:

  • A detailed methodological plan
  • 2 signed partnership agreements
  • An inception report
  • 3 launching reports
  • 3 monitoring and evaluation reports
  • 3 preliminary country reports
  • 3 policy briefs
  • 3 final country reports
  • 3 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals
  • A preliminary general report
  • A final general report
  • A final project evaluation report

This research will provide the following:

  • Building the connection between business incubation and the ecosystem for innovation and science in sub-Saharan Africa, with evidence on what works and what needs improvement/modifications in scaling up sustainably.
  • A critical assessment of the difficulties currently encountered by incubators in the field in delivering against the goals outlined.
  • The weaknesses of current practices and the impact of the local cultural environment.
  • The creation of an in-depth research project scalable across sub-Saharan African countries.
  • The way forward: entry points where development partners could have a significant impact

Official launching and inception workshop of the project Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

|| Dr. William H. ARREY

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This study will be carried out in this exploratory phase in 3 sub-Saharan African countries with specific economic dynamics. Selected countries are:

Duration: 24 Months

  • States
  • Companies
  • Investors
  • NGOs
  • Local authorities and schools
  • Citizens

Reportage/Coverage Vox Africa || Official launching and inception workshop of the project Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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