A new study dubbed ‘2017 Venture Finance in Africa’conducted by Venture Capital of Africa (VCA4) while attempting to better understand why some African startups outdo others, had discovered among other factors that unique traits of the founders of the company result into a relatively good level of commercial performance. Although many factors go into building a company, a strong team of founders is a very imperative part for the key driver of venture success in Africa. Many investors consider this as the main thing they look for, but now the data also shows that the right team of founders makes the difference, and is the single most unique characteristic across the companies making commercial progress.
By analyzing two data samples of 100 ventures comprising of ‘emerging’ and ‘established’ ventures, the research team found correlations that help understand the venture’s ability to be successful.
Gender balance was a key factor as founding teams of successful ventures were more likely to include male and female founders. It is noteworthy that 46% of these ventures included a female founder in their team. Exclusively female teams run 9% of the startups.
Among the countries with 20 or more ventures participating in the survey, Uganda and Kenya have the highest female participation. For Uganda, 57% of the ventures include a female founder where for Kenya the number is only slightly lower at 55%. South Africa has the lowest female participation rate at 33%. Nevertheless, these percentages of female founders far outpace averages recorded in more established startup hubs like New York or San Francisco.
Similar findings were discovered in previous report called “Women at the Wheel” conducted by Dow Jones, claiming that venture-backed companies that include females as senior executives are more likely to succeed than companies where only males are in charge.