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African entrepreneurs logo This paper examines the role of modern African entrepreneurs and addresses some key issues of strategy and policy as seen through the eyes of the entrepreneurs rather than through the eyes of governments. Some broad conclusions can be drawn from the findings : 1) entrepreneurship is alive and well in Africa. It flourishes best where supportive policy regimes have allowed free markets to operate; 2) large numbers of African entrepreneurs employ wage labor and run enterprises on modern lines; 3) growth of individual enterprises from small to medium and large scale operations (in terms of both production and employment) is quite feasible; 4) many countries that have encouraged private enterprise and competitive markets have witnessed a rapid expansion in wage employment and rising per capita incomes; 5) foreign investment has not blocked entrepreneurship, rather many entrepreneurs acquired their basic technical and managerial skills working for foreign-owned companies; 6) market networks serve as vital mechanisms for diffusion of information and expertise among members; 7) modern African entrepreneurs are no different from entrepreneurs elsewhere in the world with their roles and characteristics corresponding closely to those depicted by classical and mainstream economists; and 8) further development of African private enterprise is being retarded by inadequate access to bank credit. The paper ' s annex lists twenty-five profiles of entrepreneurs in Africa.

Publisher: World Bank

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