This HBR article which features Sycamore takes a bold stance on the factors that determine the triumph or downfall of entrepreneurial ventures, specifically within Africa’s fintech industry, and what they can teach to their Western counterparts. It dares to question the prevailing belief that success hinges solely on acquiring financial resources, particularly through venture capital. Instead, it passionately emphasizes the vital significance of change readiness. Change readiness refers to a company’s ability to fearlessly initiate and adeptly respond to change, thereby gaining an edge, minimizing risks, and sustaining performance.
The insights gleaned from a comprehensive study involving over 200 esteemed senior-level executives in Africa’s fintech landscape challenge the status quo. Astonishingly, African startups outshine their Western counterparts in longevity, despite raising less capital. Their secret lies in contrasting priorities and strategies. Instead of obsessing over venture capital, African entrepreneurs prioritize market acceptance and direct their energy towards crafting customer-centric marketing materials.
Three inspiring case studies—Payhippo, Sycamore, and Bankly—embody this transformative approach. The article also highlights the advantage of Africa’s communal societies in forging strategic alliances for resource acquisition. It passionately implores entrepreneurs to prioritize storytelling that resonates with customers, engage stakeholder communities, and celebrate meaningful milestones. This clarion call challenges the notion that financial resources alone guarantee triumph, emphasizing the critical importance of change readiness, customer-centricity, and community engagement in Africa’s vibrant fintech industry.
The full article is put together by Gloria Enyinnaya & Olamitunji Dakare. Read the full article here: https://hbr.org/2023/05/what-african-fintech-startups-can-teach-silicon-valley-about-longevity