The fund is open to young people between over 16 years and below 30 years and running early stage ventures. The young entrepreneurs can apply for the fund by submitting a short pitch about their business ideas.
The pitches will be revived by an independent judging panel of experts which will review all entries and select a total of 30 young entrepreneurs – 10 from each country – to participate in the six-month accelerator programme.
Tooting young entrepreneur, Raymond Pelekamoyo has co-launched a new fund to help fellow young entrepreneurs in Africa to contribute to and support Africa’s growth.
Raymond is the entrepreneur-in-residence at Tooting-based Business Launchpad, which provides free business counselling and workshops to local young entrepreneurs aged 16-30.
Raymond’s venture, Nthondo Footprints, will initially focus on supporting young entrepreneurs working in the fields of agriculture, technology, and tourism in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, with a view to expanding to other parts of Africa including Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, and Rwanda by mid to late 2020.
Young people aged between 16-30 whose business ideas are at an early stage are eligible to apply for the fund by submitting a short business proposal outlining the scope of their business idea and what it aims to achieve. An independent judging panel will review all entries and select a total of 30 young entrepreneurs – 10 from each country – to participate in the six-month accelerator programme.
Successful entrepreneurs will benefit from access to a fully functioning office space, monthly skills workshops, as well as one-to-one mentorship. In addition, three candidates selected by the judging panel will also receive capital to develop, launch, and scale their early-stage business ideas.
Raymond commented: “Together with my project partners, we are excited to be bringing this first-of-its-kind fund which aims to significantly tap into Africa’s growth potential. As young African entrepreneurs ourselves, we are acutely aware of the lack of investment in early-stage businesses within Africa and the challenges this can pose for young entrepreneurs in getting
their business ideas off the ground. This fund aims to disrupt the status quo by providing the right platform and opportunities for young African entrepreneurs to flourish.”
Nthondo Footprints has been active in Africa since 2016 through its Incubator Network – a community of over 3000 entrepreneurs based in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The organisation’s mission is to connect, collaborate, and support young entrepreneurs in Africa by offering them the best possible opportunities to truly grow their ideas.
With four hubs already in operation across sub-Saharan Africa, Nthondo Footprints will leverage its existing presence to simultaneously launch its accelerator programmes in Zambia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe on July 17, 2019. Nthondo Footprints prides itself on being largely run by Africans for Africans.
Zambian-born Raymond is currently the co-founder of Impact Hub Lusaka, a space established to support innovation and entrepreneurship. He attended Leeds Beckett University where he was awarded Business Of The Year and Enterprising Individual Of The Year accolades.
Raymond’s fellow Nthondo Footprints partners are:
– Chifwala Slydon Lungu – also Zambian-born and a co-founder of InDiaspora Ltd, a technology start-up focused on intelligent systems that enhance people’s lives.
– Zambian national, Tarun Jedburgh – an established entrepreneur with business investments in South Africa whose focus is on advancing corporate social responsibility in Africa, specifically how to better drive companies towards a more sustainable future. He also helped to set up the first crypto society in Oxford.
– Principal partner Aran Clayton – an experienced and seasoned business development executive who assists companies with raising money and creating global partnerships within his network.