ONE of the many terms Silicon Valley has bequeathed to the business world is “serial entrepreneur”, a label for those restless souls who start one business after another. Perhaps Africa can now contribute another expression: the “parallel entrepreneur”. More than in any other part of the developing world, the continent’s budding business folk create networks of several firms across a number of different sectors of the economy, according to research by IMANI, a think-tank based in Ghana.
The 189 successful entrepreneurs it surveyed in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya own, on average, six businesses each. One boasted more than 60. What explains this entrepreneurial hyperactivity?"