Start-up closures and scalebacks leave trail of job losses in Africa

A record 20 start-ups closed down across Africa last year, and many more scaled back operations due to a general funding drought that impacted many countries on the continent, leaving a trail of job losses.

In Kenya, where start-up funding defied the global drought to post a significant increment, at least five firms which have each raised over $1 million in funding in the past, either shut down or scaled back, after failing to raise additional funding.

Across Africa, thousands of people are estimated to have lost their jobs in the wave of start-up closures and scale-backs last year, mostly in the top four start-up markets on the continent – Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.

Meanwhile, the era of foreign nationals dominating the African innovation scene, may be coming to a close as majority of start-ups that receive investor funding to solve problems on the continent are founded purely by Africans.