Ecosystem Snapshots for Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa Identify Community of Support for Entrepreneurs and Reveal Areas for Growth

November 13, 2018

The UK’s Department for International Development and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs release four new Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshots

Stephanie Buck

 Washington, DC, November 13, 2018 The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) recently launched four Ecosystem Snapshots for Sub-Saharan Africa—Gauteng, South Africa; Ibadan, NigeriaPort Harcourt, Nigeria; and Rwanda. Ecosystem Snapshots are published point-in-time overviews of an entrepreneurial ecosystem; the visual display of this web of support for small and growing businesses is available online:

Visitors to the site can learn about the financial and non-financial services that organizations provide for entrepreneurs within a specific region. In addition, the platform provides an analysis about the constraints and opportunities facing a particular region or location, allowing users to customize their own “snapshot” based on their selected criteria.

Below are highlights from four Ecosystem Snapshots from Sub-Saharan Africa:

Gauteng, South Africa: This snapshot identified 255 organizations with programs supporting entrepreneurs. Of these, 215 programs provide non-financial support, and 90 programs provide financial support, while seven programs offer other services to entrepreneurs in Gauteng. Over 50 percent of survey respondents reported that their “top impact objective” is to focus on employment generation, while 56 percent stated that their “top stakeholder focus” is on women entrepreneurs.

Ibadan, Nigeria: This snapshot identified nearly 100 organizations supporting entrepreneurs—57 programs provide non-financial support, 36 are financial service providers, and one organization provides other ecosystem support. The top impact objective for 48 percent of survey respondents is capacity building. Seventy-one of respondents stated that their top stakeholder focus is on youth entrepreneurs.

Port Harcourt, Nigeria: This snapshot identified 109 organizations with programs supporting entrepreneurs. Of these, 77 organizations are non-financial support providers, 31 are financial service providers, and there is one ecosystem support provider. Similar to Ibadan, survey respondents in Port Harcourt identified their top impact objective as capacity building (73 percent) and their top stakeholder focus as youth entrepreneurship (86 percent).

Rwanda:  This snapshot identified 103 organizations with programs to support entrepreneurs in Rwanda. Of these, 60 provide non-financial support, 37 are financial support providers, and six are other ecosystem support providers. Sixty-six of survey respondents reported that their top impact objective is access to financial services. More than half of respondents (61 percent) stated that their stakeholder focus is rural communities.

To learn more about these findings and how they influence an entrepreneur’s ability to access talent, capital, and markets as well as to understand how the broader socio-economic landscape impacts ecosystems within each of these respective regions, please join ANDE for a webinar on November 15 at 9 a.m. EST:

This is the second installment of completed snapshot locations, joining Ghana and Ethiopia. Research is conducted through a survey and by local teams, who engage local stakeholders at the beginning and end of the data-gathering process, and also incorporate feedback from survey participants outside of the ANDE network..

This project is supported by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) Impact Programme.


The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of more than 280 organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs will create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits. Ultimately, we believe that SGBs can help lift countries out of poverty. For more information, go to

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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