Entrepreneurship

Timing isn’t quite right for SaaS startups in Africa

Source: Alrami.info

Source: Alrami.info

Let me tell you how I failed to build a scalable SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) startup in Africa.

Remember the hockey-stick growth chart? This is what an entrepreneur signs up for and what investors want to see.

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But let’s face it, hockey-sticks are not part of the reality in Africa… not yet. So why are software-as-a-service startups not taking off? Three reasons:

  1. 1. Businesses are competing for the investor dollar, not for superior tech
  2. 2. Economies of scale can only work at scale
  3. 3. Scaling across the continent is harder than it sounds

Read more here

How social entrepreneurs can strike partnerships with big companies

It can take a lot of effort to get a partnership off the ground. Image: REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

It can take a lot of effort to get a partnership off the ground. Image: REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

While the opportunity is clear, the bad news for growing social enterprises is that closing a technology partnership is time-consuming and risky.

Some social enterprises may be able to endure the long time horizons, but for many early-stage ventures, investing in a partnership with a larger, better-resourced player, with extensive due diligence and decision-making processes, may be a deal-breaker. These delays can be a death knell for early ventures that do not have the time or capital.

At the same time, not all partnerships are valuable. Startups need to carefully understand the potential of a collaboration by analyzing mutual benefits and determining which processes and priorities will dominate the relationship. Our partner, Accion Venture Lab, offers additional strategies for “Enterprise Sales for Fintech Products and Services.”

A quick guide for social enterprises to land successful partnerships, read more.