Latest LDCs report stresses need for more entrepreneurship development

09Jan 2019
Mtapa Wilson
Dar es Salaam
Financial Times
Latest LDCs report stresses need for more entrepreneurship development

Entrepreneurship development in Tanzania needs to be an integral part of a wider set of the country’s strategies and policies for structural transformation and sustainable development.

The advice is contained in the Least Developed Countries (LDC) 2018 report which focuses on entrepreneurship for structural transformation.

Titled “Beyond Business as Usual’’ and prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the report points out that harnessing entrepreneurship for structural transformation requires policies to support and sustain the dynamic and innovative enterprises that are central to structural transformation, rather than to promote enterprise creation simply for its own sake.

“The government can also play a useful role as a co-provider - with the private sector - of a venture capital to entrepreneurs for research and development and innovative activities in designated areas, and by providing guarantees against risks in the early stages of innovative activity,” reads part of the report.

It adds that entrepreneurship education policies should be established and, among other things, include soft skills such as persistence, networking and self-confidence. Hard skills such as business planning, financial literacy and managerial should be included as well.

Says the report: “Entrepreneurship skills development could benefit from a shift in emphasis from education based solely on memorisation and learning towards education based on experiential learning, problem solving, team building, risk taking, critical thinking and student involvement in community activities.”

“This is because entrepreneurship development becomes a key avenue to private sector development and employment generation, especially among women and youth. However, the entrepreneurship potential in LDC’s translates only to a limited extent into innovative businesses capable of playing a catalytic role in structural transformation.”

“Young adults aged 18 to 24 accounts for an average of 28 per cent of early entrepreneurs and 17 per cent of established entrepreneurs in Lacs compared with 17 per cent and seven per cent respectively in other developing countries reflecting the youth bulge in Colds populations.”

“Colds also have particularly low levels of educational attainment among early entrepreneurs. Only 12 per cent have a post-secondary education compared with 36 per cent in other developing countries.”

On the issue of gender equality, the report demonstrates that gender distribution of registrations of limited liability companies is more unequal in Lacs than globally. The report attributes this to lack of information on the process and greater uncertainty about benefits rather than costs hinders continuation of an enterprise.

It explains that gender based research has shown the propensity of women to start a business may differ from that of men for cultural reasons resulting from discrimination.

Also the reports emphasises that special measures for women and youth in development policies for micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises should be aimed primarily at addressing the obstacles faced by women and young entrepreneurs in accessing the inputs and resources required for successful entrepreneurship.

“Constraints to women’s entrepreneurship may be a specific obstacle to rural transformation,” emphasizes part of the report.