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Global business e-registration portal hopes to boost startup growth in Africa

This is pretty awesome. Time and time again we have written about how business registration and red tape are some of the key obstacles to businesses development across the globe, especially in many parts of Africa. This might start to change, however.

A new simplified online registration system, called the Global Enterprise Registration, has been introduced in an effort to boost business growth in Africa and other emerging markets.

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The initiative was launched at the World Investment Forum 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) this week.

Registering a business is too often a long and cumbersome process that involves multiple government agencies. The time, money and complexity of the process considered as being one of many obstacles government can quell. In a blog post GEW notes that more than 50% of the population in the developing countries – and many more around the world – work in the informal sector.

Kurt Tong, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs of the United States of America says that the portal will encourage more countries to implement more efficient online registration processes:

This portal will spur a race to simplicity among governments to make the business registration process as easy as possible. It provides a list of economies that have taken steps towards simplifying business registration. More importantly, it’s a one-stop-shop to help entrepreneurs start businesses legally anywhere in the world.

The platform hopes to allow easy access to online systems and facilitates the exchange of experience and best practices among governments. Entrepreneurs can provide feedback on where the registration processes need improvement.

As noted on the website, the portal is suited both to operations involving only one administration and to simultaneous operations at multiple administrations (such as registering a company at the tax office, with the municipal council, with social security, at the labour department and at the business registry). It acts as a single electronic window.

“New firm formation is the primary driver of long-term economic growth – as well as innovation and wealth creation in all types of economies,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week. “As entrepreneurial ecosystems develop around the world, it will be those that simplify the process for entrepreneurs to start and scale their enterprises that are the most successful.”

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