As investors, we know that the opportunities in emerging markets like India, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa are astronomical. Just last year, Indian impact startups raised over $1 billion of investment capital, and that amount is expected to skyrocket globally to $300 billion by 2020. If we look at the private sector as a whole, global funders are pushing for even more capital to be invested in emerging markets––the World Bank is calling for over $1 trillion to bridge the financial funding gap between established and emerging markets.
Despite the global rise of funding available in emerging markets, we still see the majority of emerging markets underperforming: regions like South Asia are faced with high startup valuations and low exits; Latin America and Africa are urgently trying to activate entrepreneurial output in their ecosystems as seen in the graph below from The Startup Genome Project’s 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report. While funding is important, as a team of veteran entrepreneurs, we know that access to capital is often just the beginning of the story for an entrepreneur.
The Startup Genome Project, The 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report
In order to see more startups in emerging markets thrive, we need to revolutionize the way we train and support entrepreneurs to develop the skillsets needed to build successful businesses — and we need to support key players in the ecosystem, like incubators and accelerators, to do so.