Ben White on Venture Capital and Private Equity in Africa group on Ning

Knowledge is power. Information and data are the tools needed to
navigate today’s increasingly complex and globally linked marketplace.
Unfortunately, too many of Africa’s best projects remain undiscovered –
its entrepreneurs relatively unconnected when compared to other parts
of the world.

At the same time, the social and economic contribution of SME projects
is too often underestimated by government bodies, banks, investors,
equity partners, and related institutions that could otherwise assist
in the development of local business. Given this context the African
entrepreneur is too often left to navigate alone.

In contrast to this reality, entrepreneurs are increasingly recognized
as an important key to economic development. An increasing body of
research argues that entrepreneurs, and their small to medium size
enterprises, hold great potential for the continent’s continued
advancement. Entrepreneurs are vital to building a healthy and stable
society. They help to create an important middle class and are an
invaluable source of jobs, tax revenue, foreign currency and a number
of tertiary benefits.

In working to address some of these issues ICTs can act as an
empowering agent. The objective of this project is to create and share
the knowledge needed to make use of these new tools. In this way, the
entrepreneur and the investor are in a better position to use ICTs as a
means of collecting, organizing and distributing data and information
needed to make valuable business decisions.