Only 9% of black-owned startups (and four percent of black African startups) generate a revenue of above R1-million – compared to 29% of their white counterparts. Three quarters (75%) of black startups generate under R100 000 (and 78% of black African startups). Most worrying is that 61% of black startups (60% of black African) have yet to generate an income – because they are still working on their concept or are in the seed stage – compared to 30% of white startups.
The impact of the lack of diversity and inclusion in the tech space is a global challenge, as South African entrepreneurs we need to tackle it head-on. The 2017 Ventureburn Tech Startup Survey powered by Telkom Futuremakers found that while the number of black (black African, coloured, Indian or Chinese South African) entrepreneurs running technology startups might be on the rise, most are struggling to make money or access finance. Worryingly, the survey reveals how black-owned tech startups (including those with both black and white founders) are struggling compared to their white counterparts.
We are on a mission to change this by ensuring we play a crucial role in plugging the leaky tech pipeline for black Female Founders. Over the past few years since launching the 88 Business Collective and rolling out our first two accelerator programmes, we have gained significant insight into the interventions needed to create a robust tech pipeline for the tech ecosystem. In collaboration with our strategic partners, we want to build on the successes and our achievements to date.
The Impact Assessment Report compiled and verified by PwC specifically for our accelerator programme quantifies the impact of the programme but also gives the Female Founder an overview of their overall performance month-on-month. The data analytics provided by the PwC Impact Assessment Tool is extremely important for us as it also guides us to implement data driven interventions.We cannot accelerate world-class businesses in isolation, we believe collaboration is the future and what corporates need is a way to connect their strengths and resources with external innovation in order to drive exponential growth and prevent themselves from becoming victims of digital darwinism.