Accelerating the Growth of Socially Responsible Enterprises

In partnership with Prospero and Village Capital, we are excited to launch the call for applications for the first cohort of Thrive Investment Readiness Accelerator for growth-oriented businesses
We’re seeking a selection of 10 startups operating from within Lusaka, Zambia that are tackling the largest challenges in one or more of the following critical sectors:
  • Education (Edtech);
  • Tourism;
  • Financial inclusion (FinTech);
  • Clean energy;
  • Agriculture; and
  • Mining Services.
The programme includes a series of workshops – these are typically four-day engagements – that provide our entrepreneurs with training to develop their business models, financials, pitches, sales pipelines, and other aspects. Entrepreneurs will also have one-on-one time with mentors, industry experts, investors, top local business leaders, and potential customers.
Selected startups are required to have two team members (incl. one C-level team member) attend all three virtual workshops on ZOOM.
At the end of the programme, ventures will be selected by BongoHive and the Advisory Board to pitch their businesses to potential investors in order to receive investment.


Key Benefits:
  • Training and mentorship to help you scale operations and get investment ready.
  • Participants to this programme grow 20% of their revenues and hire 3 more people on average within the year of programming.
  • Get access to a lifetime, affordable and risk-tolerant capital to fund your business growth.


Selection Criteria:
  • Desire and ability to continue growing in and outside of Zambia.
  • Can demonstrate strong market traction.
  • Are investment ready: governance, registration, finances must be in order.

Application Process

Application deadline

11th December 2020

Programme Length

3 Months

  • Workshop 1: 19 – 23 January 2021
  • Workshop 2: 18 – 22 February 2021
  • Workshop 3: 20 – 24 March 2021

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who qualifies for the Thrive programme?
  • Have a finished product or established service and have some revenue traction.
  • Have young operations and probably aren’t making any profit yet; they’re investing all of their cash to grow.
  • Want to rapidly grow and expand to new markets across Zambia, or internationally.
  • Have a strong team of 3 or more staff to allow it to grow quickly.
Who can attend the programme?
  • The programme involves making strategic and operational decisions that impact the entire business. Therefore, it is required that a senior member of your team attend (CEO, CFO, etc.), and make himself or herself available for all workshops for the duration of the programme.
The workshops will take place on the following dates:
  • Workshop 1  19 Jan 2021  to  23 Jan 2021
  • Workshop 2  18 Feb 2021  to  22 Feb 2021
  • Workshop 3 20 Mar 2021  to  24 Mar 2021
Where will the programme take place?
  • Online – Zoom, in Lusaka Zambia.
Are there any fees/costs involved?
  • There are no fees involved.
What do participants get upon completion of the programme?
  • Better placed to get investment from potential investors.
  • An opportunity to pitch your business to potential investors.

Advisory board:

Chisha Kumisuku
Co-Founder at Jibu (P) Zambia

Chisha is currently a Co-Founder in Jibu Zambia a social enterprise in the water sector which is providing solutions to access to safe drinking water and youth entrepreneurship.
She has worked as a Consultant in the financial education space under her company Wealth by Design and Personal Success Planners and won the Bank of Zambia Financial Literacy Awards in 2017 and 2018.
Chisha is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (FCCA), and a Fellow of the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants (FZICA). She obtained seven years of business advisory experience with KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Lombe Lumbwe
Investment Manager at AgDevCo

Lombe is an investment professional with 7-years’ experience investing debt, mezzanine and equity instruments in agriculture enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.  Lombe has had the pleasure in investing in a range of business and infrastructure projects at different stages of the business life cycle e.g. bulk water infrastructure, greenfield entities and established commercial businesses.

Lombe is part of AgDevCos southern region team managing and making investments in Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. He holds a Masters in Financial Economics from the University of Leicester and is passionate about entrepreneurship. Lombe views the establishment of local industries as the clearest path to economic development.

Lumbiwe Limbikani

Education, Technology and Teacher Development Consultant

Lulu Lumbiwe Limbikani an experienced EdTech and development specialist, who works on education and technology solutions that promote access to quality education and  foster inquiry-based, lifelong learning. She has worked in a number of countries across Sub-Saharan Africa to move teachers away from rote (‘chalk and talk’) learning to more interactive based methodologies in rural and urban poorly resourced schools.  Her work in the EdTech space includes; developing early childhood development content for Zambia and supporting similar work in Malawi with the Roger Federer Foundation, implementing the use of digital education resources for teachers in Nkayi, Zimbabwe, curating and deploying virtual learning environments for secondary schools in Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia with Camara Education and various projects in Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast with INGOs, private organisations and Ministries of Education.  Lulu is the Executive Director at Cumacatu, an organisation she co-founded to support and advocate for children’s right to an education and the empowerment of youth, women and girls through access to education, mentorship and financial literacy in Zambia.

Jito Kayumba
Patner at Kukula Capital

Mr. Jito Kayumba is a partner at Kukula Capital, Zambia’s pioneering Private Equity and Venture Capital firm. The company’s impact investments have generated over 1,200 jobs and have developed the market for alternative capital in Zambia. Mr Kayumba has led investments in numerous Zambian SMEs and actively participates in their strategy and development.

 As a seasoned investment professional, Mr. Kayumba is called upon by numerous global fora to provide insight on development financing and investment in Africa. He is also an advocate for innovative early childhood education and serves as Chairman of iSchool Zambia, an early childhood e-learning company. He also sits on the boards of Airtel Zambia, Zambian Breweries, Betternow Finance, among other Corporations in the UK, Kenya and South Africa.

As a certified Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he holds a degree in Political Science, specializing in Policy, Economics and Governance from Canada’s Concordia University and a Master’s in Business Administration from ALU School of Business. 

Sven Haefner

Founding Partner at 30Thirty Capital

Sven Haefner is an investor, entrepreneur, business builder and structured finance expert with 25 years of experience in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Zambia.

30Thirty Capital is a Lusaka based financial advisory and investment firm. Its focus is on impactful high growth companies. As a founding partner, Sven is actively interacting with investment, impact, finance, donor and SME communities. The advisory business is sector agnostic, the investment focus is on the agri value chain, technology and renewable energy. 

His Zambian expertise includes corporate finance, advisory services (strategy, debt restructuring, capital introduction and capital raising with a proven track record. 

Sven has a strong local and international network. He has previously held several senior positions in investment banking in Hong Kong, London and Switzerland.

Sven is based with his family in Zambia. 

Rodney Carew

Principal at Open Capital Advisors

Rodney is a Principal at Open Capital Advisors, a management consulting and financial advisory firm that drives growth, enables investment, and builds markets across Africa. Rodney has previously led engagements for a range of businesses, investors, and development partners in East, West, and Southern Africa. This work has spanned numerous sectors, including healthcare, education, financial services, and agriculture. Rodney currently leads Open Capital’s Southern Africa work, covering the region from Lusaka. Under Rodney’s leadership, Open Capital has supported Zambian SMEs to raise nearly USD 40M since 2017.

Prior to Open Capital, Rodney worked for Wipro Limited, a global IT, consulting, and outsourcing firm supporting large corporates in the US. Rodney holds a B.A. in Political Science & International Studies from Northwestern University and an MSc in Management from Wake Forest University.

John Fay
Chief Executive Officer at Financial Services International

John Fay is an entrepreneur with over 15 years’ experience designing and implementing market-led development projects in Southern Africa. He is the co-founder and managing director of SVA Services International Ltd, an outsourcing services and consulting company based in Lusaka, Zambia. Previously, he was the co-founder and Managing Director of VITALITE Zambia, Ltd., a community distribution and service social enterprise focused on making renewable energy products available and affordable in rural Zambia and Malawi. Prior to founding VITALITE, he worked for Cardno Emerging Markets and investment bank FBR. John holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, an MBA from Cornell University, and a BA from Duke University.

In partnership with: