Fostering entrepreneurship for innovation in African Banks’ subsidiaries

DOI: 10.1080/23322373.2019.1649558
Author(s): Christian WolfPolicy Experimentation & Evaluation Platform, Portugal, Dana T. RedfordPolicy Experimentation & Evaluation Platform, Portugal


How to keep the spirit and dynamics of an entrepreneurial venture alive as it evolves into a large institution? A small number of African-owned banks have risen from early entrepreneurial beginnings to large scale operations with subsidiaries in international markets. This study explores how they further the spirit of entrepreneurship through fostering the intrapreneurial process, which is critical for producing the innovation that keeps established banks relevant in the emerging context of fintech. Based on qualitative research at the Nairobi-based Equity Bank, this paper explores how entrepreneurial structures can be fostered across large-scale international subsidiary networks. The findings suggest that strategic reinvention, subsidiary autonomy, new staff development, storytelling, exchange of good practice, and experimentation can all help sustain entrepreneurial spirit.

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