Senegal has enacted new start-up laws to encourage and assist more women in the country to be more involved in entrepreneurship through the provision of tax breaks and other benefits to innovative businesses in fields from agriculture, mobile banking, etc.
This move was initiated sometimes in 2018 by a group of 60 key Senegalese entrepreneurs and after much work, the laws will take full effect later in the year.
Also read, Senegal Joins Tunisia In Passing The Startup Act
The laws have been engineered in such a way that it will fully embrace females and youth-run businesses in particular, as well as other start-up businesses that have a very solid foundation and need funds to scale.
This innovative Act has been lauded across the Africa continent as it is expected to help promote innovation and entrepreneurship among Women entrepreneurs.
These start-up laws will also encourage data collection and sharing among entrepreneurs to help them build and develop better business plans and also looking into tax policies, startup financing, and labelling.
Across the Africa continent, the business sphere has always been dominated by men and one factor that has contributed to the slow involvement of Shepreneurs in the startup’s ecosystem is the tax burden and complexity of the laws that frustrate many talented business-women thereby making them shy away from creating companies.
According to Seynabou Thiam, the founder of Kepaarel, (a cafe and co-working space geared toward mothers in Senegal’s capital Dakar), “They tell themselves: ‘It is too scary, I don’t understand the system, I can’t afford it,”
This assertion by Seynabou echoes the thoughts of women that are thinking of venturing in a tech startup in Africa.
Although, Senegal is behind Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, etc., in terms of tech adoption on the continent this move by the government to initiates the laws might see them become the leader among Francophone countries in Africa and sees themselves as a future tech and entrepreneurship hub for the continent.
According to a report released by the global investment firm Partech states that only 5 percent of the $1.2 billion in 2018 raised for tech start-ups in Africa was disbursed to French-speaking countries, with Senegal taking the highest cut.
“These laws will unleash the talent of young entrepreneurs to have a real social impact. “We want solutions that address poverty, Malnutrition, and financial inclusion,” said Thierno Sakho, project manager at Senegal’s $50 million state fund for start-ups.
This move is such a laudable and daring move by Senegal, will Nigeria take a cue from this and start to strategize goals and laws that will further deepen and strengthen the growth of tech startup in the country?
It’s just a matter of time before the world shifts its attention from Crude Oil that is, as at today, one of Nigeria’s biggest source of revenue and focuses on technologies that do not rely on fossil fuels.
The Nigeria government need to do more to assist entrepreneurs in the country and what better time to start than now.
Featured Image: afric.online
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