The Futures of Financing African Small Businesses



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Africa’s small businesses are a driving force for growth, inclusivity and innovation across Africa. However, they lack access to financing which is called the credit-getting gap. This thesis identifies plausible futures for financing African small businesses to close this credit-getting gap to strengthen both economic and job growth across Africa. This thesis maps the weight of Africa’s history and narratives that act as barriers to access credit. It then continues to the push of Africa’s present players and digital innovations into the future; then shares the pull of a vision where Africa achieves its future as a world economic power. The research method is the University of Houston’s Framework Foresight method. The timeframe is 10 years, 2021-2030. The approach maps four future scenarios that should be considered by actors such as Bank of Africa who influences the futures of financing as both a strong legacy and most likely actor to write the future economic history of Africa. The key recommendations are presented in three options: 1. Study and See the futures to reduce the risk by observing rather than acting; 2. Sell and Leave the African financing markets because the disintermediation is imminent; or 3. Diplomatically Broker the Future of financing across Africa by bringing together the stakeholders to collaborate on stronger, future methods for financing African small businesses.



Africa, financing, MSME, access, foresight