Village Capital and IFC have opened applications for the Future of Work Africa accelerator programme, which will offer 20-30 startups help in building and scaling solutions addressing unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Since 2009, Village Capital has supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through its investment readiness programme, while the VilCap Investments fund has invested in more than 110 programme graduates.
Its latest programme, launched in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is Future of Work Africa, an accelerator for startups that are working to address high levels of unemployment across the continent.
Between 20 and 30 startups will be selected to participate in one of two cohorts in May and June of next year focused on improving investor-readiness, with each one having the chance to earn US$20,000 in grant funding from IFC to help scale their businesses.
“Nearly half of all young people in Sub-Saharan Africa experience long-term unemployment,” said Adedana Ashebir, Village Capital’s regional manager for Africa.
“The scale of the problem already required urgent action and innovation – the COVID-19 pandemic makes this more urgent. I’m excited to work with entrepreneurs from around the region who are preparing the labour force for the future of work, allowing them to access better employment opportunities and help them build careers in which they can thrive.”
Each selected company will have the opportunity to work closely with industry experts, investors and ecosystem partners to develop the networks they need to scale their impact, while all startups that apply to the programme will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s global online network that helps entrepreneurs become self-aware and articulate how ready they are for investment.