Incubators, accelerators and seed funds in sub-Saharan Africa are encouraged to apply by July 6 for VilCap Communities Africa, a programme to equip entrepreneur ecosystem leaders across sub-Saharan Africa with the tools, resources and connections they need to catalyze impact investment.
The programme’s organizers will select 15 applicants to take part in forums this summer and fall in Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town, where they will share learnings and best practices. The programme is being run by global venture capital firm Village Capital and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Impact Programme. A video about the programme has been viewed more than 3,000 times.
“You shouldn’t look only to Silicon Valley or London to find working models for how to support entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Rachel Crawford, Innovation Manager – Emerging Markets. “There are exciting things happening here in Africa, and a lot of wisdom developing about what works specific to this context. But there’s a lot of room to grow. We want to bring together leaders from different parts of sub-Saharan Africa to share what’s working and build a community of best practices.”
VilCap Communities Africa is an iteration of VilCap Communities, a 26-city pilot programme to license Village Capital’s award-winning curriculum and investment model to accelerators, incubators and investors around the globe. This programme’s focus will be informed by Village Capital’s follow-up report, How Ecosystem Builders Can Best Help Entrepreneurs Succeed, based on interviews with more than 100 ecosystem leaders.
“We’ve always been focused on best practices and research, and have partnered on research reports with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and the groundbreaking Global Accelerator Learning Initiative. For our pilot, we really wanted to find out: what works in entrepreneur acceleration – and what doesn’t? We’re looking forward to sharing that knowledge with others.”
The forums will share best practices on supporting entrepreneurs:
How to attract funding for your program
How to stimulate investment capital in your ecosystem
How to recruit and select high potential ventures
How to help prepare entrepreneurs to become ready for investment
How to improve certain aspects of your ecosystem that need development, such as corporate partnerships, mentor networks, angel networks and access to venture capital
The forums will be held at the following dates and locations:
VilCap Communities Africa, Cohort One : 24-28 September 2018
VilCap Communities Africa, Cohort Two : 22-26 October 2018
VilCap Communities Africa, Closing Forum : 12-14 November 2018
Village Capital has directly trained more than 80 entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa over the course of eight investment-readiness programmes. These programs have facilitated 14 seed-stage investments by Village Capital’s seed fund, VilCap Investments.
Village Capital programs have featured entrepreneurs from Uganda, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, DR Congo, Niger, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Mozambique, and Morocco.