Leaders from 15 African Tech Hubs Selected for Programme to Spur Early-Stage Deal Flow

Innovation-Village-Kampala-Uganda-1-1200x627

We have been selected to participate in the VilCap Communities Africa program led by Village Capital in partnership with UK Department for International Development (DFID) Impact Programme. Our organization, EtriLabs, was one of 15 ESOs that are supporting early stage impact enterprises addressing countrywide or regional problems, such as financial inclusion, agriculture, healthcare and environmental sustainability.


VilCap Communities Africa will teach investment-readiness techniques to incubators, accelerators and seed funds in sub-Saharan Africa

(Nairobi, Kenya, 23 August 2018) – Leaders of 15 incubators, accelerators and seed funds were selected to participate in VilCap Communities Africa, an innovative programme led by Village Capital to accelerate the flow of capital to early-stage companies in sub-Saharan Africa. The programme is supported by the Impact Programme which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The 15 finalists will take part in forums this fall led by Village Capital in Lagos and Nairobi, capped off by a major convening in Cape Town in November, where they will learn and share the latest best practices, including Village Capital’s proprietary curriculum and peer-selected investment process.

Village Capital has run more than fifty investment-readiness programmes across the globe, including eight in sub-Saharan Africa that have directly supported more than 80 entrepreneurs and facilitated 16 seed-stage investments. VilCap Communities Africa will build on this experience to equip entrepreneur ecosystem leaders with the tools, resources and connections they need to catalyze impact investment.

“Passion and vision are important, but entrepreneurs also need to have a plan to deploy capital efficiently to generate a return on investment,” said Allie Burns, Managing Director at Village Capital. “At Village Capital we specialize in helping entrepreneurs think like investors, and we’re excited to share what we’ve learned over the past eight years with this elite group of leaders in Africa.”

“The number of incubators and accelerators in Africa has grown exponentially, but the number of successful startups on the continent has not grown at the same rate,” said Rachel Crawford, Innovation Manager for Emerging Markets at Village Capital. “It’s still hard to raise capital and scale a business in too many parts of the continent, and we know that entrepreneurial ecosystem leaders are the key to bridging that gap.”

The 15 finalists were chosen from more than 200 incubators, accelerators and funds that applied. They operate in 20 African countries, including Ethiopia, Benin, Tanzania, Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire. The group brings together a mixture of types of organisations, some from more mature ecosystems such as Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and some from very nascent ecosystems such as Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

For more information on VilCap Communities Africa, contact Brenda Wangari at [email protected].

About Village Capital

Village Capital builds bridges for entrepreneurs who are creating an inclusive and sustainable world. Our programs connect high potential, early-stage entrepreneurs with the people, institutions, and capital they need to succeed. Since 2009, Village Capital has supported more than 1,000 entrepreneurs in 50 cities and 30 countries, and partnered with affiliated investment funds, including VilCap Investments, that have invested seed capital in more than 90 program graduates.

About DFID Impact Programme

The Impact Programme was launched in December 2012 and seeks to support impact investments into businesses reaching the underserved as consumers, suppliers, distributors or employees, in some of the world’s poorest and most fragile states, and innovative business models. The Impact Programme’s market-building activities seek to reduce the constraints in the impact investing value chain and make the practice of impact investing as effective, as efficient and as attractive as possible to investors, intermediaries and enterprises