IFC/MICC Calls for Innovative African-Based Start-Ups to Apply for New Initiative
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
African Start-Up firms have been invited to apply for the Next 100 African Start-ups initiative via the website - http://next100africanstartups.com
The initiative jointly organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) a member of the World Bank Group and Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) is design to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem across Africa.
The Next 100 African Start-ups initiative will select up to 100 promising entrepreneurs based in Africa and connect them with business leaders, international investors, financial institutions, and policymakers at the Africa 2018 Forum in December in Sharm El-Sheikh, held under the patronage of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.
According to the statement the initiative is part of IFC’s broader efforts to boost entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Africa by helping start-ups access financing, receive advice, and break into new markets.
It quoted Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr as saying “This initiative is a reflection of our faith in the bright young minds of our continent, and our commitment to ensure that entrepreneurs are equipped with the tools they need, including finance, advice, and networks, that would enable them to innovate and grow.”
“Through nurturing the entrepreneurship ecosystem, we believe we can unlock the potential of African youth to become more globally competitive, and to more actively contribute to the development of their communities.” he added.
The statement noted that Egypt is one of several regional hubs for entrepreneurs, tapping the immense potential for innovation and growth the region has to offer. To boost the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, MIIC launched Fekretak Sherketak in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in 2017 a comprehensive platform offering key tools including funding, mentorship, and training to entrepreneurs.
To further support the ecosystem, MIIC also established leading venture firms and accelerators such as Egypt Ventures, Falak Start-ups and EFG-EV Fintech, through joint investments with the private sector and international financial institutions.
“Supporting entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to drive innovation and create jobs in Africa. That’s what this forum will help do,” said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa.
Over the last two years, IFC has provided close to $65 million in funding to technology companies and start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa, while working alongside leading accelerators and venture funds like Wamda, Flat6Labs, and Algebra Ventures.