The Social & Inclusive Business Camp (SIBC), a yearly acceleration programme designed to help the most promising high-impact African entrepreneurs scale up their businesses, is delighted to introduce its 40 inclusive African businesses in the 2021 cohort. They have been on a high-level training course with a dedicated mentoring programme that started in late August and will last just over three months.
Upon completion, they will have one week of intensive coaching and training during the final BootCamp from December 9 to 12, 2021, in Marseille to help them enhance their skills and apply the lessons of the online coaching phase in order to put the finishing touches to their business plans.
The programme will culminate in two inspiring days of networking and the final part of the course where they will have the opportunity to speed-meet international investors during the EMERGING Valley Summit on December 13 and 14.
The Social & Inclusive Business Camp has become a key programme for high-impact African entrepreneurs. A social entrepreneur, and more broadly a high-impact or “inclusive” entrepreneur, refers to anyone whose business has economic viability, strives to find answers to social and/or environmental issues and develops as many positive externalities as possible. For instance, this could be creating opportunities and including precarious populations (small producers, women in rural areas, young people, communities with little access to education, etc.) in the company’s value chain (employees, suppliers, distributors, etc.) as well as creating local and sustainable wealth, or a company who endeavours to respond to social or environmental problems linked to SDGs (fighting global warming, reducing poverty, access to education, etc.).
As such, the SIBC aims to accelerate social and inclusive innovation in Africa by helping talented companies scale up their operations and prepare for fundraising every year by teaching them the required skills through its innovative training course, and networking with other entrepreneurs, innovative ecosystems and potential investors. The SIBC also aims to create lasting links between the different stakeholders from the entrepreneurial ecosystem via a transversal mentoring programme with the help of entrepreneurs from previous years.
Since the AFD Campus first initiated the programme in 2017, the SIBC has trained 200 high-impact entrepreneurs on the African continent scale up, measure their social performance and prepare for fundraising. In 2020, the AFD placed its trust in a consortium of international partners – Investisseurs and Partenaires, the African Management Institute (AMI), ScaleChanger and StartupBRICS, founder of EMERGING Valley – to implement the programme. With a team of expert trainers and detailed knowledge of African entrepreneurship, the consortium embodies the SIBC’s values of helping entrepreneurs with their needs as much as possible.
An Innovative Capacity-Building Programme Suited To The Needs Entreprenurs During Their Growth And Fundraising Phases
Since late August, the 40 companies of the 2021 cohort have been on a programme which combines 3 innovative and participative teaching approaches to prepare the entrepreneurs for the coming stages of their future development:
● Three months of online learning, designed as peer-to-peer coaching to bring together live virtual classes, open-access resources and practical tools in 4 main areas: leadership development and team building; scaling up; investment readiness and measuring impact.
● A week-long bootcamp from December 9 to 14, 2021 where this year’s SIBC entrepreneurs will come together in Marseille to delve head first into the programme’s topics, meet investors and potential partners and pitch at the EMERGING Valley summit.
● A mentoring scheme: the entrepreneurs have all benefitted from the one-to-one support of a mentor from previous years who, like their mentees, is evolving in the sector of social and inclusive entrepreneurship in Africa and has experience with scaling up and/or raising funds in order to help them support their mentee throughout the programme.
The Social & Inclusive Business Camp Cohort 2021
35 African companies were selected from last spring’s call for applications. These businesses are run by entrepreneurs with inspiring backgrounds and either aim to tackle genuine societal issues such as agro-food, nutrition, sustainable development, energy, education, vocational training, healthcare, hygiene, housing, including women, or carry on ancestral know-how today. Three Kenyan companies selected among the 35 are ,ECOBO , Mukuru Clean Stoves, Usalama Technology Limited
The Added Value Of Networking In Young African SMEs’ Entrepreneurial Journey
On top of specific training on strengthening entrepreneurs’ skills and know-how, the SIBC has a strong community with a large network of stakeholders.
The programme’s networking is based on 3 central pillars:
A pan-African alumni community: The SIBC is committed to uniting this community by building bridges between participants from previous years with a yearly mentoring scheme whereby experienced alumni support up-and-coming members of the community throughout their business journey, as well as collective sessions that are open to the entire SIBC community. The programme helps entrepreneurs be more in touch with one another and develop areas of collaboration (strategic partnerships, access to new markets, contacts, etc.), beyond the support programme.
Inspiring meetings with entrepreneurs and experts all throughout the learning process: Peer exchange is at the heart of the support programme, and each year mobilises a large number of experts across the continent: investors, human resource specialists, management coaches and many leaders of growing companies.
The creation of funding opportunities during the Bootcamp and the EMERGING Valley summit: Within the programme, companies gain access to a panel of investors and partners to help them make a key first contact that may result in a partnership. During the 2020 edition, 40 investors and financial partners were present to meet the SIBC cohort during the speed meetingevent.