After building South Africa based Sakhumnotho Group Holdings into a thriving, diversified investment firm, CEO Sipho Mseleku began to look at the challenges facing Africa's entrepreneurs. Realising that Africa's chances of economic success are limited by an education system that fails to develop an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset in Africa's youth, Mr Mseleku and Sakhumnotho Group have put entrepreneurial education at the heart of their mission.
Through the Global School of Entrepreneurship and Global Business Roundtable, Sakhumnnotho Group has set about creating the environment required for SMEs to develop across the continent.
In this interview, Mr Mseleku shares his views with AfricaLive on the importance of morals and ethics in business and puts forward an ambitious vision for uplifting Africa through the power of entrepreneurship, impact investing, and empowering the youth of the continent.
We live and work in a historically underserved environment. Many projects fail here because there is very little risk capital available to start-ups.
Namibian start-ups have historically tried to get off the ground using loan capital. This model of funding sets them up for failure. When start-ups have loans to pay back, they feel under pressure to succeed immediately. This loan pressure messes up the start-ups cash flows and leads to failure.
Success to me would be having moved the needle on some of the more challenging social issues. This will be having created jobs for people and enabled them to self-actualise. My experiences working for a Canadian capital fund exposed me to what is possible if only underserved communities get capital funding.
"“The role of the stock exchanges is to be the mirror into the countries. We are also supposed to be platforms that provide accurate exchange of information. This simply comes down to fostering good corporate governance and filtering this down to our citizens through education. If I look at Rwanda today it is a country that has grown to have an efficient government, is well organized. I would even say the government approach to business is almost perfect. The capital markets and public sector need to strive for the same and it starts with fostering good corporate governance and creating fundamentally sound businesses that will protect business and investors."
Access to capital on the African continent remains more challenging and more expensive than elsewhere on the planet. The continent has a perception as a high-risk environment, and global capital remains cowardly and risk-averse.
However, does this perception of risk match the present-day realities of doing business in Africa's more advanced markets? And what can be done to make African investment attractive to global capital?