What we offer

We have been active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa for over a decade,
we remain passionate and excited about working with the continent's next big successes

  • Business planning & development

    Get the tools and skills needed to analyse your business, its reality and the obstacles to growth you are faced with; and the tools and resources to overcome them.

    More: Plan to succeed
  • Peer and industry network

    Connect with peers and people in your value chain; network with industry experts. We invite you to join one of the strongest resource network in Africa.

    More: Join the fellowship
  • Mentoring

    Tap in to a vast pool of experience and expertise. Learn from and spare with the continent’s top business executives, entrepreneurs and investment professionals.

    More: Success breeds success
  • Investor access

    Connecting with the right investor at the right time is crucial for success, as is learning how to communicate effectively with investors. We help you with both.

    More: Meet the money
  • Financial modelling

    Translating your business model into a financial model increases your likelihood of making wise strategic choices; and your chances of financial success.

    More: Working the numbers
  • Leadership coaching

    Developing and running great companies requires great leadership. We inspire and give you practical tools and resources for leading your business to success.

    More: Lead the way to success

Results delivered

You are the centre of our attention and focus.
The success of the entrepreneurs we work with
is the best showcase of what we do and are
achieving with and for our ventures.

We deliver business growth that turns
entrepreneurial ventures into successful,
profitable companies. The aim is to create jobs
and economic progress.

125+
Ventures assisted Accelerated, equipped and supported on their growth journey
$42m
Money raised Funding raised in investments and grants to our startups
24k
Jobs created Direct and formal jobs created. Derived jobs are 5 times more

Delivering your acceleration

Your venture's needs are at the center of our programmes. We develop learning
which addresses your business reality. We equip you and your team with the
resources and leadership to grow your venture to success

  • Your growth team

    Meet the people ready to assist you and fuel your venture's growth. We bring you energy, passion and years of entrepreneurial experience.

    Meet your team
  • Learning design

    We craft impacting experiences. They are tailored to turn ventures into successful companies that make a difference in Africa.

    Our craftmanship
  • Enhancing leadership

    Successful companies need leadership - and its no different for startups. We work with you to build your personal and team skills.

    Leading the way

How we make it work

A clear process and methodology. It guides you from recruitment to
selection through to investor pitch and post programme support

Recruitment & outreach
Selection
Boot camp
Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4
Month 5
Month 6
Forum
Ongoing support

Recruitment & outreach

We throw as wide a net as possible, and make sure we reach even the most remote ends of the target countries to encourage suitable entrepreneurs to consider applying for the programme.

We partner with a broad array of players in the ecosystem to achieve this, but more importantly we try as much as possible to meet the entrepreneurs where they are and frequently contact entrepreneurs directly to encourage them.

We also host a number of information sessions and have office hours for entrepreneurs get their questions about the programme answered. The online application is kept as simple as possible; but we still need quality information to base our next steps on. The deadlines are hard deadlines; we do not compensate or postpone.

Selection & due diligence

With 150-300 applications for every intake, the process of selecting just 12 is naturally a hard one. Our process is staged into four steps:

  1. Screening of eligibility: does the applicant meet the minimum criteria
  2. Qualitative assessment of application: minimum two judges assess the applications qualitatively and rank them; the best 1/3 proceed to the next step
  3. Semi finals: through tests, additional questionnaires and in-person interview you get a chance to further explain your business, motivation and expectations
  4. Final selection camp: a total of 50 finalists are invited for a selection camp; a one-day camp that test your abilities as an entrepreneur, leader, communicator and fellow. It involves interviews, group exercises and interaction with industry stakeholders

Before the cohort of 12 is officially announced we conduct a simple due diligence of your business and verification of the basic claims you have made during the process; this includes visit to your premises and interviews with customers, employees and suppliers or resellers.

Kick off

Boot camp

The 6 months of intensive business building kicks off with a 5-day boot camp, taking you through the motions of forming, norming and storming to set the stage for 6 months of accelerated performing.

During the boot camp the basics of understanding and appreciating the very foundation of your business is in focus: Why do you and your team do what you do? For what purpose does your company exist? What are you trying to achieve through your product or service vis-à-vis your customers and users? These discussions are then linked to a broader leadership discussion and the stage is set for the ongoing leadership coaching component, which continues throughout the programme.

Besides big picture discussions, the diagnostics work on your business will start. Jointly we will establish a baseline and start setting development objectives for the programme. You will be assigned a Growth Catalyst, and paired with a mentor.

Segment #1

Customer engagement

Starting with a three-day workshop this segment builds on the diagnostics from boot camp and dives deeper into understanding who your customers are, their reality, how they reap the benefits from your product or service, and how more broadly their journey to becoming a customer might look like.

The objective of the workshop is to become absolutely aware of the assumptions we are making about our customers, so that we in the subsequent weeks can test and validate this assumptions.

Thus, the weeks after the workshop, you and your team with support from your Growth Catalyst and mentor will have as many deep interaction with potential customers, from as varies backgrounds and segments as possible to gain a substantive understanding of them.

Segment #2

Product innovation

The objective of three-day product innovation workshop is, based on your new found knowledge of your customers, to challenge yourself to rethink your product or service and all aspects of it – the 6 other Ps of marketing: Place, Price, Promotion, People, Process & Physical evidence.

The objective of the workshop is to phrase a number of design challenges in regards to your product and its value proposition, and though you will start answering these challenges during the workshop, the real work happens back in your business.

The weeks following the product innovation workshop will be extremely intense, forcing you and your team to redevelop and redesign your offering – maybe even from scratch – and test your new product, or new product attributes with focus groups of your customers to validate assumptions made implicitly by the design challenges.

Segment #3

Value chain: Supply chain & production

The two next segments is where your skills as an entrepreneur is really put to the test. We will imagine the perfect delivery mechanism for your business; from unprocessed raw materials to a happy and loyal customer. From there we will slowly build out the changes and improvements needing to take place to move your business closer to perfection.

The supply chain and manufacturing segment will focus on building the product in a consistent and efficient manner. For services this will look at all the systems, resources and processes needed to be in place to subsequently deliver the service.

After the three-day workshop concentration will be on implementing the first changes to the supply chain and manufacturing processes, respecting that these changes may only be completed over a longer period.

Segment #4

Value chain: Distribution & sales

Building on the prior weeks, the distribution and sales segment will look closer at the process of getting the physical products in the hands of the customer and ensuring they reap full benefit of it and become happy and loyal customers. For services we look at the process of engaging with the customer and delivering the service in the most effective way.

During the workshop emphasis is put on how to increase sales in a substantial and sustainable way. How can you reach more customers without increasing your acquisition cost? How do you build and retain a motivated sales team with interests aligned to the company’s. Design challenges in this regard are phrased and subsequently sought answered, and improvements to all distribution and sales processes implemented.

The workshop will also look at the consequences of scale for your value chain – how will significant and rapid growth affect your value chain model, how do you build in the necessary flexibility from start.

Segment #5

Building the foundation for scale

The ability to build an organisation that can delivery consistently and effectively; and do so at a constantly growing scale is tantamount to genius. Together we will attempt this genius, and look at the effects of your growing business with an organisational/talent (HR) lens; a systems, process & procedure lens; a performance measuring lens; and a financial modelling lens.

We will dwell a lot on scenario building to stress test your overall business model and specific choices in regards to the management-side of your business. We will build design challenges in regards to perspectives above, for you and your team to test after the workshop.

Segment #6 (final)

Keeping the trajectory & preparing for investment

The last three-day workshop is focused on sending you off in style. We will revisit the previous workshops and tie all of the learning together; do a comprehensive diagnostic to allow you to gain clarity on the successes achieved during the six months, as well as on what still needs to be done.

We will start building out your communication strategy in respect to investors, potential funders and strategic partners; and invite sage advice from investors to guide you on the same. We will focus time on understanding the investors’ reality and language and prepare you well for the interactions and negotiations you will be having with investors and other funders, including donors and banks.

Although this workshop marks the official end of the programme, Growth Catalysts and mentors will assist you perfect your investor deck and presentation in readiness for interaction with investors.

Programme end

GAzelle forum

GrowthAfrica’s GAzelle forum is designed to allow potential investors and strategic partners interact with recent and past cohorts; and is focused on being a conversation starter rather than a shark-tank-like pitch fest; no cheques will be written out on this day, but strong relationships will be forged.

The GAzelle forum is also an opportunity for the wider GrowthAfrica fraternity to get together and share insights and feedback on how the ecosystem can improve, and how GrowthAfrica may assume more responsibility and advance its way for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

We will also use this opportunity to celebrate our stakeholders contribution, with prizes like Mentor of the Year, Sage of the Year, Seed Investment of the Year, Partnership of the Year and naturally Entrepreneur of the Year.

Post programme support

You are now an alumni of one of the most prestigious accelerators in the world, but the journey has only started. We continue to work with you either to ensure that elusive investment or strategic partnership, or through our Grow-How events where alumni (and a few lucky outsiders) are treated to inspirational and insightful sessions, providing concrete solutions or suggestions on how to boost your trajectory further.

Once a year we offer a dozen or so alumni who have been out of our programme for more than 12 months a chance to uplift their business further at the week-long Re-Ignition Camp.

A select few will be invited to join the ScaleUp programme, which will offer an additional 18 months of structured support to ensure responsible and effective absorption of seed funds, building of a solid foundation for scale and a proof of concept which will allow a multimillion dollar funding round.

Our ventures & entrepreneurs

Meet the entrepreneurs and ventures we have worked with. Get to know
the resourceful network of alumnis that you could join.

The GrowthAfrica team provided hands-on support and worked with us through our business and strategy whilst connecting us with investors when the time was right and our business was ready.

Cathrine Mahugu Co-founder, Soko

GrowthAfrica is a friend and supporter of entrepreneurs and startups.They are passionate about making a difference and seeing the businesses they work with grow and succeed.

Henry M. Ambwere Founder & CEO, MolaPlus

Through our engagement we have gained a thorough understanding of our business model as well as the context within it operated. I commend the team for their strong committed effort and passion

Stefano Carcoforo Founder & Managing Director, iProcure

GrowthAfrica has created an environment
that promotes continuous learning for
entrepreneurs and is a great partner and
mentor to our business in areas such as
fund raising and sourcing for talent

Ernest Makhotsi Founder, Wayo

GrowthAfrica helped us redefine our
value proposition and this has greatly
improved our interaction with our
customers and consequently our sales.
We were equipped with the tools necessary
to keep track of our business progress
from there make the right business decisions

Robert Kariuki Founder, Essentia Kanan

GrowthAfrica made our transition into
understanding investor requirements
painless and enjoyable. They guided us on
how to sculpt our business and scale it
in the green disruptive innovations space
with a clear lens on how to make it
profitable

Tony Nyagah Co-Founder & MD, Strauss Energy

Investors we work with

Access to relevant investors is often key to your growth. Meet our
broad network of investors looking for your startup.

"At Voxtra we work with numerous partners to ensure a quality pipeline of new investees, but GrowthAfrica stands out both in terms of volume and quality for us. The vetting, training and diligence process makes a world of a difference for our success."

Kenneth-Aabo-Investment-Manager-Voxtra1_150x150_acf_cropped

Anders Aabo Investment Manager, Voxtra

"Having invested in ventures from GrowthAfrica's cohorts it is safe to say that these businesses set themselves apart by being more ready and better prepared for the process than others. This cuts cost and effort on our end and makes GrowthAfrica a valuable partner."

Niraj-Varia-Investment-Director-Novastar-Ventures1_150x150_acf_cropped

Niraj Varia Investment Director, Novastar Ventures

"Few organisations have as aligned missions as Acumen and GrowthAfrica, and that makes our partnership a breeze and valuable. We are proud to work with GrowthAfrica on taking entrepreneurial leadership in Africa to the next level."

Duncan Onyango, Director - East Africa, Acumen Fund

Duncan Onyango Director - East Africa, Acumen Fund

"We appreciate the diversity of the GrowthAfrica entrepreneurs as it bring a much needed variety of sectors and business models to the VC4A platform and ecosystem; their startups also raises the bar and the quality of businesses on our platform."

Ben White - VC4A

Ben White Founder, VC4A

Upcoming events

Join our activities and become part of our network and community.

Picture our activities and entrepreneurs!

Seeing is believing. Have a look at our photos to get a feel of what we do, how we do it and
what we have to offer you and your team.

Latest

Our partners

Eager supporters of African startups and entrepreneurs. They support
you and us in our effort to create jobs and opportunities for Africa

"Few organisations have as aligned missions as Acumen and GrowthAfrica, and that makes our partnership a breeze and valuable. We are proud to work with GrowthAfrica on taking entrepreneurial leadership in Africa to the next level."

Duncan Onyango, Director - East Africa, Acumen Fund

Duncan Onyango Director - East Africa, Acumen Fund

“From our 2013 programme support we have first-hand experienced the quality of startups that GrowthAfrica recruits and the business growth they deliver. With our new strategy we today see GrowthAfrica as a strong partner to access investment ready businesses.”

KristianSloth

Kristian Sloth Petersen Managing Director

"We appreciate the diversity of the GrowthAfrica entrepreneurs as it bring a much needed variety of sectors and business models to the VC4A platform and ecosystem; their startups also raises the bar and the quality of businesses on our platform."

Ben White - VC4A

Ben White Founder, VC4A

Apply for our programmes

Sunday, 12 Mar 2017
Running: 19.06.2017 - 24.11.2017 - Kenya

Acceleration Programme 2017, Kenya

Sunday, 12 Mar 2017
Running: 26.06.2017 - 01.12.2017 - Uganda

Acceleration Programme 2017, Uganda

Wednesday, 31 Aug 2016
Running: 08.11.2016 - 26.04.2017 - Ethiopia

Acceleration Programme 2016, Ethiopia – Cohort 1

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