We are an accelerator program designed to speed the growth of high-potential African ventures and entrepreneurs who can deliver scaled impact through job creation and ultimately economic progress and social transformation.
GrowthAfrica was founded in Nairobi in 2002, but has since expanded into Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Malawi and Ghana. It initially delivered business- and market-consulting services and facilitated B2B partnerships between East African and Nordic companies. The organization then started providing loans to small businesses in 2007, before setting up its accelerator program in 2012. The aim of the program is to support entrepreneurs in ventures that create jobs and income-generating opportunities. “The program is developed in Africa and contextualized for African entrepreneurs, businesses and markets to ensure impactful and anchored growth,” says Ian Lorenzen, executive director and partner.
The accelerator program consists of a six-month cohort-based component, followed by “growth sprints” that develop solutions to any identified challenges to growth. It provides entrepreneurs with a strategic and tactical look at all components of their business, identifying both challenges and opportunities to facilitate growth. Participants are connected with mentors, networks and other resources to help them succeed. “During the program, the ventures’ investment readiness is being developed, and then dialogue with investors is facilitated,” Ian says. “There is a special emphasis on developing the personal and organizational leadership of the entrepreneurs as part of equipping them to grow their organizations and businesses.”
To date, over four hundred entrepreneurs have participated in GrowthAfrica’s programs, and it has supported almost 250 businesses. It is developing further products and services to support earlier-stage entrepreneurs. The accelerator program is sector-agnostic but focuses on postrevenue ventures that have been operational for a minimum of two years and are innovative, scalable and ambitious enough to impact society and create jobs. So far, the biggest industry sectors to receive support from GrowthAfrica across the various countries it operates in are agribusiness, greentech and ICT.
- Think big.
You need entrepreneurial drive and vision to grow the business and its impact.
- Have potential to scale.
By virtue of its market, offering or business model, your company must be able to grow.
- Show enthusiasm for external support.
You should be looking for mentors, advisors and investors, and see their input and resources as valuable.
- Have an impact.
Your business must be able to directly and indirectly create jobs and income-generating opportunities.
- Be innovative.
Your offering must have an innovative edge in the product/service, business model or financing.
Application can be sent via
Photo by Growth Africa / Gitahi Ng ́ang ́a