Three Ways To Sustain Innovation In African Startups

Juwon Lawal Razaq
3 min readMay 20, 2021

The conversation surrounding innovation in business is usually geared in a positive direction, given its numerous benefits. For example, it improves productivity and efficiency such that growth is almost always guaranteed even during turbulence or uncertain times. Therefore, it is an advantage for a startup to create an environment that fosters innovation. Africa is gaining the spotlight when it comes to creating opportunities for startups as the continent offers unexplored potential with its embrace of technology.

The continent houses some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, indicating that African startups that implement systems to utilize the benefits of innovation are likely to be ahead of their peers in the industry. However, to continue reaping those benefits, sustainability is critical. And while the future looks bright for startups on the continent, there is still some work to be done. Many startups in Africa fall off the innovation train due to a lack of meticulous and strategic planning — even though the environment is inviting.

Needed Resources

Startups need resources, primarily financial, to execute and maintain innovation, and impact investments are particularly useful in that regard. They are considered the sustainable bridge between strategy, learning, innovation, and change. These investments not only yield financial returns but also make a commendable impact on the environment within which the startup operates. African startups can therefore secure the funds they need and make an impact that builds a positive reputation within their community. This means they will have to set goals that seek to solve issues, such as unemployment and education, to attract such investments. The general assumption is that for startups, corporate social responsibility may be a secondary commitment that comes after ideas take off. However, based on its ability to attract investments, it is not overreaching to incorporate it during the early stages of operation.

Risk And Failure

Risk and failure are synonymous with running a business, especially in its infancy. Innovation in itself is a risk, so it is beneficial to consider it a necessary part of growth. This mindset will make it easier to take initiatives towards productivity and…

Juwon Lawal Razaq

Founder of Africent Group ( Member, Forbes Business Council , Member Commonwealth Entrepreneur’s Club.