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In the Field: New Perspectives on Francophone West Africa Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

In an effort to better understand the constraints faced by missing middle entrepreneurs operating in countries that are part of the DGGF mandate, the SCBD #ClosingTheGap research series gathered together entrepreneurs, financial institutions and business development service providers to discuss new perspectives on francophone West African entrepreneurial ecosystems. The first workshop was hosted in Dakar, Senegal, in September 2016. During the first half of 2017, local stakeholders met in Guinea, Benin Togo and Mali.

Besides each country’s unique characteristics, a few common findings emerged from this region. In environments where governments have demonstrated a willingness to develop the local private sector, it is exciting to see that entrepreneurial attitudes are becoming more and more encouraged. The recent evolution in the offer of quality business development services and private equity financing present a wealth of opportunities to close the existing gaps and support the emergence of more conducive ecosystems for local entrepreneurs, in particular younger people.

The next local stakeholder workshops are foreseen to take place in the course of July in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. A report covering each country and a regional overview will be published over the summer.

There are three ways for you to learn more about the outcomes of each workshop and to access the reports (once published):