Afric’Innov supports the professionalization of incubators in Africa

Boubacar Diallo

Following the organization of the Days of Social Entrepreneurship (JES), from 7 to 9 June in Ouagadougou, by La Fabrique, we propose a series of two articles on this meeting of social innovation. In this one, we propose to you to discover another major partner of the event, Afric’Innov, a program of development of the ecosystems of innovation in Africa.

Funded by AFD and led by a consortium of African incubators and international organizations, Afric’Innov supports the development of innovation ecosystems in Africa by working on the professionalization of incubators.
Its creation results from the observation that the incubator type structures that accompany the development of innovative companies in Africa are not very professionalized and often lack the appropriate means to develop. Afric’Innov intends to support these structures through capacity building and networking.

Today, in the pilot phase, the program offers support services to Supporting Structures for Innovative Entrepreneurship (SAEI) and is testing in some countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal and Guinea), new mechanisms for seed funding.

To do this, he works on 4 aspects:

  • The development of digital tools

To support entrepreneurs, the use of appropriate tools is essential. With this in mind, Afric’Innov offers SaaS software, with all the functionalities needed to monitor incubated businesses. This application will be accessible via an platform as early as October 2019. Furthermore, the platform aims to be a true professional network of support structures in Africa. It will also have a resource center dedicated to innovative entrepreneurship in Africa.

  • Training of the teams in charge of the accompaniment

Afric’innov develops targeted training modules in order to upgrade the operational and strategic staff of the support structures through face-to-face training sessions and / or via training content available online.

  • The establishment of an innovative mechanism for seed funding

The Afric’innov Fund is a loan-free scheme intended to finance the start-up of entrepreneurs accompanied by certain SAEI members of the network.

  • The labeling mechanism of the SAEI

The Afric’Innov label will recognize and value the SAEI who do serious work in supporting project leaders in Africa.

Afric’Innov is now 20 impacted countries and 60 support structures that benefit from at least one of the four components of the program.

A true player in the innovation dynamic and the support of entrepreneurship support structures in Africa, the Afric’innov program is being built collaboratively with a consortium of African incubators, of which La Fabrique is an active member.

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