Benin launches tourism startup challenge


Benin has launched a startup challenge aimed at helping innovators conceive, incubate and launch on a larger scale their ideas to improve Benin’s travel destinations.

The challenge is organised by the World Bank, Benin’s National Agency for Promotion of Heritage and Tourism Development and Sèmè City.

The objective is to ask entrepreneurs to think about new solutions to advance and exceed the expectations of tourists, and to disrupt a promising economic sector in Africa. The call for concepts is open to all projects and companies pursuing an inclusive and sustainable tourism.

As part of the Challenge Fund, participants will have to demonstrate the viability and impact of their concept, to bring innovative solutions to key issues linked to the attractiveness of tourism in Benin.

Selected projects will receive funding worth up to US$500,000, as well as access to the experts and resources of Sèmè City’s incubators.

“Africa offers a fertile land for a new form of frugal, agile and resilient innovation, which allows the emergence of pioneering entrepreneurs and of a truly inclusive circular economy. This is what we call “Innovation Made in Africa”. However, we must support our entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to developing skills and access to funding. With the Challenge Fund, we want to overcome these barriers and allow innovators to test their projects in situ, on one of the seven tourism sites being developed in Benin,” said Claude Borna, director of the Sèmè City Development Agency.

Project leaders and companies interested can register their interest for the Challenge Fund here. Applications are open until January 20.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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