Chapter 2: Following the money: leapfrogging through and with entrepreneurial growth companies in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa
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This chapter uses investment data to visualize how entrepreneurial companies are growing in local economies, transforming Africa through technology leapfrogging in four countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. We adopt a broad definition of entrepreneurship that includes individuals who enact agentic behaviours as they pursue opportunities and solve problems in response to the contexts in which they operate. This equates to managers, startups and other company founders who are building companies in Africa, irrespective of the size of the company. Using investment data from Crunchbase, we construct a data set spanning the 2006 to 2020 period and provide visualizations of these economies based on new (or renewing) ventures in each of the four countries we highlight. This chapter therefore harnesses visualization tools to provide a data-rich and contextual illustration to show what leapfrogging means in each of the countries. We follow investments and trends in companies that are the future providers of services. Technological leapfrogging enables citizens of these countries to find modern ways of accessing services to live their lives. African companies are providing services that transform basic economic activities to improve efficiency and connectivity, including financial transactions, access to medical and food transaction and delivery tools, as well as growth of e-commerce.

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