AfDB Boost Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab


The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab ("the Lab") by the African Development Bank (AfDB) is part of the Boost Africa initiative that aims at creating quality jobs and enhancing innovation on the African continent by supporting start-ups. The Lab strengthens the local entrepreneurial ecosystems necessary for start-ups to grow and become successful.

Country/region Period Budget
Africa
Egypt
Ghana
South Africa
15.06.2019 - 31.03.2024
CHF 3'000'000
Background

The creation of quality jobs is crucial to absorb Africa's rapidly growing population. The number of African start-ups with innovative and successful business approaches has been increasing in recent years. However, they face considerable challenges in growing their businesses, such as the lack of financing and capacities. Experience to date has shown that success and failure of start-ups also critically depend on their entrepreneurial ecosystem. A strong ecosystem enables collaboration and thereby enhances knowledge sharing, investment opportunities and innovation among the various actors.

Objectives

Boost Africa aims to create quality jobs and enhance innovation on the African continent by supporting start-ups and early stage, innovative businesses.

Its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, managed by the African Development Bank, strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem needed for start-ups to grow. It improves the capacities of enterprise-supporting organizations (ESOs), such as incubators and accelerators and strengthens the collaboration of regional and local networks. It facilitates linkages between the various actors in an entrepreneurial ecosystem, for example between investors and incubators, accelerators and start-ups.

Medium-term outcomes

The Lab targets three main outcomes:

1) an increasing number of start-ups have access to and make use of quality services offered by enterprise-supporting organizations (ESOs)-

2) the entrepreneurial ecosystems are improved and foster linkages, innovation and knowledge sharing

3) more start-ups have access to financing

Results

Expected results:  

The Lab will provide capacity building to enterprise-supporting organizations (ESOs) through workshops and trainings. It will support mentoring services and platforms for start-ups.

The Lab will organize networking events and facilitate interactions between ESOs, investors and start-ups in order to strengthen the linkages within the ecosystem. It will connect academia and private sector worldwide with African ESOs and thereby enhance collaboration, knowledge exchange and innovation.

It will create an online knowledge and exchange platform which facilitates access to information and knowledge on entrepreneurship and ecosystems in Africa.

Furthermore, it will experiment with instruments to facilitate small-scale financing for start-ups.


Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
  • African Development Bank (Capital)


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   3'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   11'500'000
Project phases Phase 1 15.06.2019 - 31.03.2024   (Current phase)