It takes an ecosystem: How networks can boost Africa’s incubators

Articles, News
Also available in: Français Dynamic entrepreneurs supported by the North-South incubator Bond’Innov. Photo Credit: Bond’Innov Across francophone Africa, incubators are emerging rapidly to support a new generation of young entrepreneurs. Despite their huge potential, however, incubators are just one of many players in a typical entrepreneurial ecosystem.  So it is increasingly important that incubators — in addition to allocating the necessary resources, services and funding to worthy start-ups — provide them with a platform to share and transfer knowledge across the ecosystem, not only with each other but also with the investors, research centers and industry experts upon which their businesses will ultimately depend. As with Impact Hub Bamako, incubators can be part of broader international franchises, while others are anchored by academic, public or private bodies (or some hybrid…
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The Significance of the Freetown Pitch Night

Articles
The significance of the Freetown Pitch Night becomes clear when we consider It is a critical element in an ecosystem that supports a new breed of entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone, Potential for GDP growth and job creation, and Attract Investors. First let me give an overview of the Pitch Night and its background. What is Pitch Night? Pitch Night is a night, which provides budding entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone the opportunity to pitch their post revenue business. At pitch night entrepreneurs provide a holistic view of their business to a vibrant Sierra Leonean entrepreneur community allowing them to market their business, solicit feedback, advice and potential partnerships. PitchNight_paper
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mLabs do more than simply create tech start-ups

Articles, News
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of excitement around the potential impact of digital technologies to solve challenges and create jobs in the developing world. Those championing this strategy for growth and development have turned to young entrepreneurs with wildly imaginative ideas that just might work — if only they had a little business training. Since 2011, infoDev has been piloting entrepreneurship support programs across the globe and has helped establish a network of mLabs to support digital entrepreneurs. A 2014 assessment report, Do mLabs make a difference? found that these specialized incubators had helped develop nearly a hundred start-ups and created over 280 jobs. Our team returned to the mLabs to conduct a follow-up assessment and uncovered some interesting findings about their impact. Participants networking…
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MIT to Award $1 Million to Inclusive Innovators

MIT to Award $1 Million to Inclusive Innovators

Articles, GEN
The second annual MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) will award more than $1 million to "heroes of the digital economy" − organizations that are using technology to reinvent the future of work and create a more equitable economy. For-profit and non-profit organizations of any size, age, type, and nationality are encouraged to apply. GEN is partnering with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) to expand the reach of the Challenge to its global network. More 
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Lack of an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Sierra Leone

Articles
The question is why in 2017, we lack all the elements of an ecosystem that support entrepreneurship. An entrepreneurship ecosystem "refers to the elements – individuals, organizations or institutions – outside the individual entrepreneur that are conducive to, or inhibitive of, the choice of a person to become an entrepreneur, or the probabilities of his or her success following launch. (wiki) To answer this question, one needs to define two forms of entrepreneurship; rent seeking entrepreneurship and value creating entrepreneurship. In particular, rent seeking provides a good explanation as to why we lack a basic ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship in Sierra Leone. (more…)
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