Africa is emerging as a talent hub for innovative entrepreneurs trying to solve existing problems with new solutions. While in the past its young people had little help, several incubators and programs have been built to support these creative minds. Here’s a look at five of the top incubators on the continent.
Tony Elumelu Foundation
Born out of the ambition of Africa’s most influential entrepreneur, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has a bold vision of solving the continent’s problems through sound capitalism. This is accomplished through training camps and world-class mentorships, and at least $5,000 of seed capital to help trainees grow their ideas to businesses, SMEs, corporations and even multinationals. Over 7000 African entrepreneurs have benefited from the initiative which admits new entrants every year. The foundation has pledged to invest $100 million over the course of ten years. Country chapters and events help graduates continue to share ideas.
Talented software entrepreneurs have the chance to undergo a one-year training program that improves their skills in tech, business and communications from an experienced global team. After their training in Accra, Ghana, they can pitch their ideas to receive seed funding from the incubator. Mest Africa leverages its vast network of partners and investors to help its graduates.
Over a million entrepreneurs across Africa connect through AfriLabs, a network of 158 hubs in 45 countries. Through meetups, training programs and consultancy this network of networks encourages collaboration, growth and the building of technology that is uniquely African. AfriLabs also has strong partnerships with tech giants out of the continent.
With a presence in eight French-speaking African countries, Jokko Labs encourages entrepreneurs in its 12 hubs to exploit resources around them as they build solutions for the future. Jokko Labs operates out of its base in Senegal, with its founder Karim Sy planning an expansion into Anglophone African countries. This move will be massive for the continent, acting as a bridge between Francophone and Anglophone Africa where language often hampers collaboration. Jokko has mentored over 600 startups.
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