What Universities in Africa Can do to Support Online Startups

11 Mar

One major problem in Africa is the lack of employment; many people go to school with the belief that it’s all they need to succeed in life only to get out of school and stay at home for years looking for the right job. This can be improved, and the best way is for Nigerian universities to encourage startups.

One major problem some students studying in some African universities have is the lack of a entrepreneurial mindset(actualising enterprenual mindset). Universities can help change that by encouraging them to start businesses while still in school. Once they have that mindset, universities can do the following to continue to support online startups.

1. Make it Easy for Investors and the Government to Support Startups

A major problem African startups face is the lack of funds, which eventually leads to lack of motivation and later, failure. Universities could help by making it easy to get in touch with the government and investors or by directly getting in touch with investorys with information about these startups. It is often very difficult for individual startups (especially young ones) to get noticed but with the help of a university or college a lot can be done.

2. Showcase Startups

A great way to encourage and support startups is by giving them publicity. Universities can do that by featuring some of the best startups, or by having a directory that lists startups owned by the students. The latter is a better option because it will make it easy for individuals, companies, investors and any other person to easily find startups. Featuring startups also gives their founders an ego boost, which make them feel they are not alone, and other students will also be willing to start their own startups.

3. Run Contests in Which The Best Startup Ideas are Given Cash Prizes

Recognizing and appreciating someone is a great way to encourage and tell the person to keep on moving. Universities can encourage startups by running contests and giveaways in which founders with the best startup ideas are given a gift prize. The burden shouldn’t be on the university only – they can also get a lot of sponsors involved in order to make the prizes more impressive.

4. Encourage Meetings Where Various Startup Founders Can Discuss and Help Each Other

Another way universities can give encouragement is by organizing events where the founders of various startups can get in touch with each other. When that grows and becomes more recognized, established business people, CEOs and other influential people will gather at these meetings where they will be able to impart knowledge and give advice to young startup founders. This will also bring about networking opportunities thereby making it easier for startup founders to get established.

5. Educating Startup Founders

Universities should also organize training programs for young founders in which they can be educated about how to build a striving startup, how to get funds for their startups, how to write their business plan and other important things every startup founder must know. They shouldn’t just leave these founders to ride their own boat.

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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


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