Guest blog by Mobile Monday Lusaka
At this event, we want to look at the mobile startup ecosystem as it exists in Lusaka. To start, we’ll watch part of the Startupland Documentary series and listen to a presentation from Innovation Prize for Africa. Hopefully, this will set a good tone for the rest of the event and fuel conversation.
A recent report by InfoDev on Enhancing Access to Finance for Technology Entrepreneurs in Southern Africa (Zambia and Mozambique), highlights the following:
“Zambia demonstrates a more vibrant orientation toward high-growth entrepreneurship, particularly in the technology subsectors prioritized in this assignment. Close “tech community” ties with Kenya and South Africa appear to help influence young entrepreneurs to pursue technology through their own ventures. In general, the team observed more “buzz” around technology as a business venture. The technology community is vibrant, and it is composed of business associations, community organizations, tech hubs, and thematic networks that are all engaged in promoting technology, creating awareness on entrepreneurship, and networking activities with successful entrepreneurs, businesses, and industry experts. These activities mark the beginnings of community building. The entities also facilitate technical and business capacity through trainings and “hackathons,” and they have the potential to band together and lobby for policy changes”. Read more
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What is the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) and what is it hoping to achieve? How do applicants submit their innovations for the IPA? What are the IPA 2015 priority areas? If you would like to know the answers to these questions and to find out more about the IPA Competition, join us as we meet with the Director at Innovation Prize for Africa, Pauline Mujawamariya on Monday 8th of September at BongoHive. To attend this event, please register here.
About Innovation Prize for Africa:
Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) provides $150,000 to winners who develop solutions to African challenges. With 2000 innovators from 48 countries entering in its first three years; IPA 2015 takes investment in unleashing and supporting sustainable African led innovation past half a million USD. The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is calling on all African innovators to submit their entries for the fourth edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) competition. The IPA is presented annually, enabling and encouraging African pioneers to develop creative ideas and techniques to overcome some of the challenges faced by the continent and support sustainable development. The award targets technological breakthroughs in the following areas: manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agribusiness, environment, energy and water and ICTs.
Learn more and apply.
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infoDev has released the Enhancing Access to Finance for Technology Entrepreneurs in Southern Africa report.
This report examines the financing gaps for early stage and growth that high-growth technology entrepreneurs are facing in the information and communication technology (ICT), climate technology, and innovative agribusiness sectors in Zambia and Mozambique, with a more regional review of Namibia and Botswana as possible. It analyses the unmet needs of these entrepreneurs—perceived demand and latent demand—as well as the existing sources of supply of private capital for seed and early-stage investment, and defines the adequacy to meet these needs. The report also explores the challenges that angel investors have experienced in the past when attempting to finance early- and growth-stage start-ups in the region and, if and where appropriate, make recommendations relating to infoDev‘s possible interventions.
1. Explores the most pressing unmet needs of entrepreneurs, including capital requirements;
2. Analyses sufficiency of current sources of [early-stage] capital;
3. Presents challenges potential angel investors would experience in the countries of study; and
4. Presents options for infoDev to intervene.
infoDev has a vision and mandate to address obstacles to entrepreneurship globally, including access to finance. It has undertaken some pilot and more advanced work attempting to match angel investors with entrepreneurs, but it seeks to understand specifically the financing gaps that exist in Southern Africa.
The report can be downloaded here.
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