Incubators, innovation hubs and other structures dedicated to support entrepreneurship are flourishing today across Africa. They are precious and necessary growth drivers, and greatly reinforce innovators’ chances to acheive success in creating sustainable and job-creating businesses.
These structures are generally young, have different levels of professionalism, are often isolated, and lack the approriate ressources to grow. Access to financing is still a major difficulty for both incubators and startups, and an obstacle to innovation. Banks and private investors are hardly ever willing to fund the first steps of an entrepreneurial journey, whereas public policies are frequently ill-adapted to these innovators' day-to-day reality.
Faced with this observation, the French Development Agency (AFD) and a consortium of African incubators and French structures involved in innovation created Afric'innov, which aims at strengthening and professionalizing entrepreneurship support structures in francophone Africa.
During three years, this program will test direct services to incubators and new seed funding mechanisms. Afric'innov addresses all the support structures for innovative entrepreneurship in Africa or working with Africa.
The program is managed by a steering comitee which ensures the good processing of operations. It is the decisions taking organ of the program. It gathers twice a year, to validate strategic orientations and different actions taken in the context of the program.
Main funder of the program (1.7 million euros), the French Development Agency (AFD) is a public institution at the heart of the French cooperation policy. It has been fighting against poverty and promoting development of southern countries for the last seventy years. It also supports economic and social dynamism overseas.
Financial and technical partner of the program regarding the training sessions and labelling system, the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF) brings to life active solidarity between states and the governments that compose them. As a worldwide citizen, the OIF is aware of the common destiny, opportunities and universal values that come from sharing the French language.
Orange is a French telecommunications company. The firm supports and accompanies the digital transformation of the world. With the ambition of being the operator of the internet age that acts for economic, social and environmental progress, the group is building a CSR and Sustainable Development commitment to corporate citizenship around three major issues: trust, progress and environment.
The association ``AfricaFrance for a shared growth`` was decided at the Elysée summit on the 6th and 7th of December 2013, gathering the French and African Heads of State. It aims at strengthening relations on a partnership basis between companies in France and in Africa, for sustainable and inclusive growth.
The Institute of Research for Development (IRD) is a French research organism, original and unique in the European sector of research for development. Its activities of research, education, and innovation aim at contributing to the social, economic and cultural development of southern countries.