Entrepreneurship in Africa
The Private Equity and Entrepreneurship in Africa course at Columbia Business School examines how entrepreneurs and those who invest in them design, negotiate, and execute ventures that make use of resources and opportunities in the challenging environment of sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa context is compared and contrasted with that of other emerging markets and the developed world.
The course has two specific learning objectives which we frame as questions: First, what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur in Africa? Second, what does it take to run a successful venture capital or private equity fund in Africa?
Through case studies, lectures, and guest speakers, students learn about successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs and financiers. Watch some of the featured invited class speakers talk about their companies and opportunities in Africa.
Kofi Bucknor, Managing Partner, Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management
Kingdom Zephyr partners with established African businesses providing the growth capital and strategic, on-the-ground assistance needed to strengthen corporate governance, improve strategy, and enhance operations, allowing companies to grow into multi-country enterprises.
Mark Hartmann, Partner, Helios Capital African PE Fund
Helios Investment Partners is an Africa-focused private investment firm. Helios operates a family of funds and their related co-investment entities, aggregating more than $1 billion in capital commitments, pursuing a full range of investment types, including business formations, growth equity investments, structured investments in listed entities, and large scale leveraged acquisitions across Africa.
Ram Karuturi, Founder and Managing Director, Karaturi Global Ltd.
Operating in Ethiopia and Kenya, Karaturi Global Ltd. is the world's largest grower and exporter of roses.
James Mwangi, Managing Director & CEO Equity Bank Limited
Since 1984, Equity Bank has evolved from a Building Society, a Microfinance Institution to now the all inclusive Nairobi Stock Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange public listed Commercial Bank.
Ken Ofori-Atta, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, DataBank
Databank was founded in April 1990 to provide corporate and public finance advisory services to companies in Ghana. Their Mission is to provide innovative and responsive corporate finance, brokerage, fund management, and research services to local and foreign individuals, multinational companies, institutions, and portfolio investors for the ECOWAS sub-region.
Sev Vettivetpillai, CEO and CIO, Aureos Capital
Aureos is a new generation private equity firm, helping to build sustainable small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets.
The development of African case studies is an important part of Columbia’s African Initiative. A number of these cases have been developed through the Private Equity and Entrepreneurship class and are available to you free of charge.
Read the abstracts and download sample copies of the cases below. If you would like to request copies for distribution, please contact Columbia CaseWorks.