Startups incubators have been originally created mainly for 2 reasons. The first one is to offer and provide funding to the startups that somehow are attractive and interesting for the angel investors that are behind these incubators. The second one is to offer and provide business advisory to the new business initiatives in order to strengthen them and prepare them for the real world and market. In essence, incubators are the entities that help startups speed up or “accelerate” the growth of their business and this basically means one thing for society. It means investors and local government and leaders are willing to support and promote the growth of a country. In Africa, Startups Incubators are becoming stronger and more numerous every year for the past decade. From agriculture, to communications, healthcare, banking and education, new Incubators in Africa are not focused on any particular subject, but instead they are interested in the development of initiatives that promote the country’s economy, the social and cultural wellbeing in many aspects. Local and international investors are coming together, forming organizations that seek for new niches and markets that the startups can bring great value to. For the past couple of years several new incubators have been born and established in Africa and are already making a big difference in the African territory. Here are the top 8 new incubators that are making a difference in Africa for the past couple of years.
This incubator was created with the support of the Stellenbosch University in South Africa and one of its programs called Innovus. It has also partnered with the University of Cape Town and one of the things that it offers to the startups is a series of workshops that will help the entrepreneurs to develop the skills they need for the growth of their companies.
WAARI – West African Agri-Business Resource Incubator
WAARI is considered the very first incubator that is dedicated to agriculture business in West Africa. Founded by the Agricultural Research Forum in Africa, along with the Business and Research in Agricultural Innovation University in the province of Mali, Waari doesn’t only provide training and advisory but it also helps startups to initiate in research programs. This incubator is the proof of the importance agricultural business initiatives are having in West African countries.
The Passion Incubator
The Passion incubator was created with the important purpose of being the premier technology incubator in Africa. With their accelerator program they work on a short term goal which is to launch at least 5 startups in one year. This incubator does not provide any funding, but instead, it connects startups with their prospect investors. The Passion incubator is located in Yaba.
440NG was created as the result of a partnership between 2 different entities: L5Lab and 88 mph. The mission of 440NG is to invest in mobile and internet startups in Nigeria. They have a program called Deal Weekend which is a 24 hour event where the incubator evaluates the startups that attend the event and by the end of the weekend, they will know which startups will become of the 440NG startups that receive funding and regular feedback sessions with their new investors.
Think was created by Millicom, the huge telecommunications company. Think is located in Kigali, Rwanda. It is a tech incubator that wants to develop innovative and scalable business in which Millicom can take an equity stake. Think will provide seed financing, well-structured training plans and coaching programs for startups and entrepreneurs.
SWAPP – Sustainable West Africa palm oil programme
This is a program launched in Ghana, supported by the Dutch government in terms of funding and its main interest is to provide funding for new oil palm companies. It concentrates on helping develop farms and mills that work with the oil palm sector, aiming to increase their productivity and profitability.
The Rwanda Media Hub
The main purpose of this incubator is to support digital media and media production startups in East Africa. It is actually the first one with this purpose. It was founded in 2014 and it aims to fund local media entrepreneurs in Rwanda, providing them with shared offices spaces, coaching, training and seed funding.
Edupreneurs was originally launched in India with a great success and now, the incubator wants to do the same thing in Africa. Their goal is to support and promote education entrepreneurships in Africa through the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund.