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Africa rising: entrepreneurship now in vogue with students [Study]

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. These days, every second person you meet doesn’t want to go find themselves in a temple in India or the snowy mountains of Nepal. No they want to start a company or partner with a startup to “grow their knowledge base”.

Mich Atagana
Mich started out life wanting to be a theoretical physicist but soon realized that mathematics was required. So, she promptly let go of that dream. She then... More

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A recent study from The Association of Business Executives (ABE) agrees. According the report, 72% of students in Africa would rather be self-employed.

The Association of Business Executives is a UK-based qualifications body that provides a range of business management qualifications to more than 50 000 students worldwide every year. The survey, which polled more than 12 000 students with its network of which 51.4% were males and 48.6% females.

It’s quite interesting to note the gender differences in the survey with 74% of men preferring self-employment as opposed to 69% of women. Similarly, more younger students (73%) would rather be self-employed. The number shrinks to 69% for students aged 30 years and older.

“Nineteen in every twenty students (95%) see themselves setting up their own business. This figure was consistent between both male and female and young and old,” says the report.

There is also a strong trend with wanting to be someone’s boss. Ninety-three percent of the students would prefer to be the boss rather be bossed around, who wouldn’t.

It seems Bill Gates comes out tops when it comes to entrepreneurs students want to emulate. According to the study 37% of those surveyed admired the Microsoft founder as opposed to 19% who admired Steve Jobs and the 15% most wanted to be like Virgin empire billionaire Richard Branson.

The largest number of responses for the study was came from Malawi followed by (in order) Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius, Botswana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia with other trickling in from other ABE students around the continent.

“The average age of respondents was 29 years old and the largest single age group to respond was 23 years old. Half the respondents were under 28 years old and three-quarters were under 34 years old. The range was from 15 to 59 years old,” says ABE.

Check out the full report here.

HatTip: VC4Africa