Driving private sector growth by empowering young African entrepreneurs
African economies are among the fastest growing in the world, and overall, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) GDP was estimated to grow at over 3% over the next few years. However, and in spite of over a decade of robust growth, SSA has had largely “jobless growth” over the last years, and youth unemployment remains a large concern. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the foundation of African economies.
These companies will be the main contributors to economic growth, employment creation, and increasing tax revenues. Yet many of the fastest growing innovative companies are still relatively small and young. Venture Capital funds play a vital role in this intersection of early-stage enterprises and growth-stage enterprises and are often crucial in facilitating the growth paths of companies.
For many young people in Africa, setting up or joining an early stage business is the only way out of poverty. However, relatively few young entrepreneurs are able to significantly scale their companies.
The Boost Africa Technical Assistance Facility provides capacity building and disseminates best practices for investment readiness of intermediaries, especially first-time local fund managers, and provides business and technical training of investee companies. By directly strengthening the human capacities, performance, networks and visibility of the Boost portfolio, the program also supports the establishment of a robust venture network across sub-Sahara Africa to support the growth and sustainability of SMEs, and enhancing employment opportunities for youth and women.
What the project has achieved so far / intends to achieve:
Since its start, the Boost Africa Technical Assistance Facility has:
- Worked in 5 fund managers and 10 of their investee companies in over 60 assignments.
- Offered support in a wide range of areas, from financial and risk management to women’s empowerment.
- Developed and implemented peer-to-peer learning programme for 40 African fund managers representing 15 major venture capital funds at Oxford Saïd Business School.
By the end of the programme, Boost Africa Technical Assistance facility will have increased job creation, not only directly in the portfolio enterprises, but also in the wider value chain