Africa is not short of business ideas with the potential to transform the continent into a global economic powerhouse. One of the objections to that fit has always been local start-ups lacking access to capital- essentially, in form of grants, loans, and investment portfolio to scale-up their growth.
Uganda was, in 2015, named the world’s most entrepreneurial country by the B2B Marketplace Approved Index. However, that milestone was overshadowed by official findings that show more than 50 per cent of the country’s start-ups do not see their first anniversary.
With Africa hitting past the 1.3 billion population mark, Africa Start-up League (ASL) has launched a challenge they hope “will unlock the potential for start-ups to meet this market demand.”
Top ASL officials have further disclosed that “the competition will commence February 8, 2023 and is open to young entrepreneurs across the continent with the grand prize of $1m (about Shs3.7billion).”
“The continent-wide contest is open for innovators, entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises, and early-stage start-ups to access finance and the much-needed expertise required for growth,” ASL added in a statement on December 12.
An all-Africa panel of judges that includes venture capitalists and financiers has been selected to choose the winners based on the innovation and social impact of the start-up projects submitted.
Additionally, Web3Africa news community members will vote on the best start-ups in a competition through which the top 100 entrepreneurs will walk away with prizes worth Shs37million ($10,000).
ASL is a unique start-up studio platform that “connects entrepreneurs with strategists, creatives, engineers, and capital to build and launch exponential organizations focused on improving livelihoods in Africa.”
According to Web3Africa co-founder Aly Ramji, the initiative aims to create a matchmaking platform, allowing start-ups to acquire the initial seed-funding, mentoring and training to scale their businesses up.
“Rather than being left to fend for themselves, Africa’s tech start-ups will benefit from networking with founders, tech hubs, universities and government bodies to identify business opportunities, overcome skill shortages and access to cheap credit to scale up,” Ramji told this reporter regarding their partnership with ASL.
Our dream, Ramji added, is to create an enabling environment for young African entrepreneurs to participate in this unique competition and build an inter-connected start-up ecosystem in Africa.
“At the same time, one of the key goals is for African innovators to see the opportunities ahead of them and to compete in a challenge that can produce solutions for pressing needs in their communities,” he observed.
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