African online business platform Afribiz has announced the launch of its accelerator programme, which is set for initial rollout in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, and Kenya in the third quarter of this year.
Afribiz said the accelerator will be a network of “lifecycle” accelerators that support entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs across the African continent.
The announcement of the upcoming programmes comes shortly after the Afribiz Foundation began work with the first online cohort for its Venture Acceleration Bootcamp last month.
“We are very excited about this programme because we have waited a long while to build a robust, comprehensive model that fills in some of the critical gaps in entrepreneurial ecosystems in Africa,” said Lauri Elliott, executive director of the Afribiz Foundation.
“There are a lot of great incubators and accelerators already but they are more or less targeted in a very defined niche, we want to take an ecosystem approach and see how we can leverage ecosystems to support ventures from idea, to seed, to startup, to growth.”
The programmes that will be made available through Afribiz Accelerators initially include two programmes – Venture Acceleration Bootcamp and Venture Cultivation Launchpad. The bootcamp targets entrepreneurs from the idea to seed stage, while the Cultivation Launchpad targets the seed to growth stages of ventures.
Afribiz said its accelerator also has a strong inclusive component, extending its reach and services throughout each country through certified facilitators and coaches who carve out their own territory.
“Through our facilitators we will be able to empower communities in both urban and rural areas with entrepreneurial training, but also help them identify economic opportunities and help them find the right partners and resources to realize these opportunities,” said Elliott.
To assist with the launch of the Venture Acceleration Bootcamp, Afribiz is offering a free webinar series, Ramping Up to Venturing: Developing a Lean, Sustainable Business Model”, a 10.5-hour on-demand webinar designed to assist those with ideas, particularly entrepreneurs and startups.