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Start Smart targets Africa's SMEs

by Staff Reporter
04 Mar 2014 at 20:46hrs | Views
ACCRA - The data available on privately owned businesses in Africa suggests that close to 90% are classified as Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The staggering statistics come with equally enormous challenges.

The majority is unable to grow and achieve their full potential, largely due to limitations in access to the appropriate business and financial support structures. Start Smart, a provider of start-up support services, aims to close this growth gap through its innovative products and services.
Founded in 2011 as a "start-up for start-ups", Start Smart provides early and intermediate stage African businesses with the tools, training and insights necessary to drive high performance.

Following three years of testing their model and developing a better understanding of the market, Start Smart officially launched in January 2014.

"It's a really exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Africa. Entrepreneurship has always been a part of our DNA so it isn't necessarily something that hasn't been done before. What is happening though is a revolution of sorts; many more people are becoming entrepreneurs at a younger age and turning it into a career," said Start Smart's Founder and CEO, Juliana A. Taylor.

"We're exploring services, technology and products, and doing our best to create a vibrant and dynamic economy. With all of these opportunities, however, also come challenges- particularly access to funding."

With its pulse on Consulting with a focus on data, analytics, and strategy, training and bookkeeping using its cloud and SMS based financial management portal, the organisation aims to take root and expand the model in parts of the continent.

Said Taylor: "We've primarily worked in Ghana to date, but believe that our solutions have the power to transform the way entrepreneurs do business across the continent. Our vision is to become a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs across this great continent and in the process help us all reach our full potential."

In its three years of existence, Start Smart has gained strong foothold in the industry and a nod from stakeholders.

"Start Smart helped our company determine the best way to launch our brand in somewhat unfavorable circumstances. The advice we received was tailored specifically to meet our needs and took into account important factors, such as our cultural background and our company's mission," said Afua Rida, House of Cramer 

"Start Smart aims to make it easier for entrepreneurs not just to seek funding, but to also develop sustainable approaches to the growth of their businesses," added Taylor.

Source - Start Smart