The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has been ranked as the third (3rd) most productive school in educating entrepreneurs in an online publication by Forbes titled: “If You Want To Start A Tech-Company In Africa, Go To College.”
UNILAG was ranked alongside the University of Cape Town, South Africa, which took 1st place; Makerere University, Uganda, which came 2nd; University of Nairobi, Kenya, which came 4th and Stellenbosch University, South Africa, which took 5th place.
The article further described the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the University of Nairobi as the “startup powerhouses of Nigeria and Kenya.”
The article, which was written by Meghan McCormick, CEO & Co-founder of OZÉ and contributor on FORBESWOMEN, analysed the importance of education in entrepreneurship in Africa. This was deduced from a research report titled, “Gender & Demographics in Africa’s Green & Digital Transformation”, by Briter Bridges, a data-driven research company.
The report processed survey data from 2,701 co/founders & c-level executives from 1,904 startups operating across Africa. While all of the companies operated in Africa, 17.7% of the companies in the sample had headquarters outside of the continent.
One of the things that the report looked at was education; where and what the entrepreneurs studied and the highest level of education achieved. Before moving forward with sharing the data, it’s important to note that the report specifically looked at entrepreneurs involved in Africa’s digital transformation. There are over 100 million entrepreneurs in the formal and informal economy across the continent. If the study were to also include these entrepreneurs in non-tech businesses, the data would break down very differently.
These findings are for the tech industry and in this study of tech entrepreneurs, having at least a bachelor’s degree was significant. In the sample, only 1% of participants had no degree, a license, or a certificate. Around 40% had a bachelor’s degree, 21% had obtained a master’s degree, and an additional 9% had an MBA. 3% of the sample held a PhD.
One of the most interesting findings of the report was that while men were disproportionately represented among founders, the profile of male and female founders are very similar in terms of education.
The founders in the sample, achieved their degrees around the world; 41.6% of founders in the sample studied outside of Africa. This can be explained both by African students choosing to study outside of Africa as well as non-African founders studying in their home country. There was little disparity between the genders on the dimension of where the founder studied; 44.6% of females studied outside of Africa as did 41% of males. Business was the most common degree earned outside of Africa at 64.3% of the sample. The top represented schools will come as no surprise. In the United States, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford topped the list. The United Kingdom was the most popular destination in Europe with London School of Economics, The University of Oxford, and The University of Cambridge all making the top 10 list.
The report stated that, “even when the technical skills are acquired, however, other factors such as specific location of study can drive advantages in one direction or the other.”
Forbes is an American business magazine that publishes online and in print.