Village Capital (Vilcap) and African Management Institute, with support from the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), have launched NextGen Ecosystem Builders Africa 2020 to support the growth of talent in accelerators and incubators in Africa.
Vilcap and African Management Institute, say the management development program, open for applications here includes training on both technical skills and soft skills for participating mid-level team members within entrepreneur support organisations in Africa.
Africa’s startup ecosystems have experienced incredible growth in recent years, driven in part by the rise of entrepreneur support organisations (ESOs) which encompass coworking spaces, accelerators, incubators, business advisory firms, markerspaces/fablabs and tech hubs. The number of active Tech Hubs has tripled from 200 in 2015 to more than 600 in 2019.
These organisations are critical to the success of Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurship sector, providing entrepreneurs with business training, access to markets, networks and mentors, financial and social capital, and in-kind support. They are key to unlocking the pipeline of early-stage innovation in Africa, and driving investment and job creation across the continent.
However, these ESOs face their own barriers to sustainability and growth. As highlighted in Village Capital’s 2019 report Unlocking Pipeline, these barriers include talent attraction and retention, the ability to absorb increasing amounts of capital from donors, impact measurement, efficiency and productivity of internal operations, and time/budget to develop, test and enhance products and services.
All of these challenges can be overcome through the vision and execution of a strong team, especially the mid-level managers who lead programs or departments and are responsible for the successful implementation of services/programs for entrepreneurs. These mid-level team members with the strategic guidance of strong leadership are the key to delivering exceptional outcomes at the organisational level.
Currently, overstretched budgets and intense program schedules leave very little time to provide these critical team members with skill enhancement and professional development to overcome these barriers and deliver better outcomes to the entrepreneurs and enterprises they serve.
Village Capital and African Management Institute, with support from the Dutch Good Growth Fund, have launched a management training program for the next generation of talent within entrepreneur support organisations in Africa.