On World Entrepreneurship Day, it is essential to recognize entrepreneurship’s role in our societies. They fuel the creativity and innovation that is needed to meet new challenges and transform our societies.
Yet, it is also important to highlight the challenges that entrepreneurs worldwide still face. Entrepreneurs, especially SMEs and MSMEs in the agri-food sector, face daunting challenges. In some countries, there are no policy incentives that support entrepreneurship. In countries where they do exist, they remain uncoordinated.
Within the entrepreneurship ecosystem, not only are the attitudes of entrepreneurs and the ability to mobilize resources crucial, but the availability of infrastructure is of utmost importance as it impacts the cost of doing business.
The cost of capital remains unreasonably high, particularly for new entrants. Interestingly, entrepreneurs in many parts of the world must pay an interest rate of up 35%, which raises serious issues about how new entrepreneurs can thrive. The policy environment of government, including taxes, registration processes etc., are often not fair, as well.
Stereotypes, especially of youth and women, linger in various parts of the world as they struggle to navigate the world of business creation. Youth and women face herculean socio-cultural challenges, including access to capital, productive resources, and recognition. The associated risk (fear of failure) of starting a new business remains challenging for many young people and women venturing into new businesses too.
MEDA’s belief in the power of entrepreneurship plays a critical role in addressing market failures and barriers for economically marginalized people. MEDA facilitates inclusive business growth that stimulates the private sector to create decent work opportunities for people who experience poverty.
As we celebrate this day, young people and women should form partnerships that will enable them to pull resources together and share risks. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to adopt new technologies to enhance market penetration to create lasting solutions. Successful entrepreneurship does not occur in a vacuum, and government policies can help to create new business opportunities.
MEDA is committed to promoting and advancing the next generation of innovative and talented businesspeople. Our pitch competition at this year’s Annual Convention will showcase some of the best ideas and innovations young entrepreneurs are making in the agri-food market space. Join us at MEDA’s Annual Convention to discover the great ideas that young entrepreneurs are bringing to market.