A recent report by McKinsey and Company’s Global Institute (2012) has commented that while the African continents growth has been impressive, many problems remain. Foremost is the labour challenge that African economies are set to experience in the forthcoming decades. In the next decade, Africa’s workforce will expand by one hundred and twenty million people; currently, however, only 28% of Africans are employed in stable wage paying jobs. The obvious question is, where will these future workforce entrants be employed? A possible solution to the employment dilemma that Africa will face in the forthcoming decades is entrepreneurship. This paper looks at the potential of large scale or portfolio entrepreneurship to be a key component in ensuring the creation of wage paying jobs.

Portfolio entrepreneurs are multiple business owners, having an ownership stake in a minimum two firms (Westhead et al 2003). Portfolio entrepreneurs have been shown to be an important driver of wealth creation and growth (Rosa 1998, Westhead and Wright 1998). Of more importance, their relevance to African economic growth, and the development of African economies has been shown to be crucial (Balunywa 2009, forthcoming studies that are not yet published).