Hivos and VC4Africa announce the 2012 Incubator Award

The Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos), a leading Dutch organisation with a worldwide presence, and Venture Capital for Africa (, the leading Africa focused business community for entrepreneurs and investors, are pleased to announce the 2012 Incubator Award. The finalist and winner will be announced at this year’s Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF2012).  The event is hosted by EMRC International and Rabobank.

John van Duursen, Senior Advisor for the Green Entrepreneurship at Hivos, explains, “SMEs in Africa need more visibility. The world needs to know they exist and we need to engage promising entrepreneurs in a discussion about what works and where they see challenges moving forward. A lot can be achieved in this space and this award is one small way we can contribute. We hope this is a spark that will increase investor interest.”

The 2012 Incubator Award

The 2012 Incubator Award is made possible by Hivos and VC4Africa. The winner will receive a cash prise of US$15,000.

All partipants in the program are eligible for venture profiles on the VC4Africa platform and are considered for the mentorship program and additional matchmaking support. It is VC4Africa’s mission to see as many of the entrepreneurs who participate in this competition get the support they need to grow their business and maximize their potential. Applicants to the competition will also receive exposure amongst VC4Africa registered investors.

Saskia Reus-Makkink, the Head of Investor Relations at VC4Africa, expands, “We recently closed a deal in Zambia that will see a South African investor support a Zambian rice farmer. This will see the creation of 5.000 jobs and bring 30.000 hectares under management. An award like this goes a long way in making promising entrepreneurs visible to our investor network.”

Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF2012)

This year’s AFIF Forum, entitled Financial inclusion through SMEs & Cooperatives, will highlight the financial tools, solutions and growing policy trends to ensure Africa’s economic growth for Africa’s small and medium enterprise sector (SMEs). In partnership with Rabobank, the Dutch international financial service provider, the Forum will be held from 17-19 June 2012 at the Rabobank headquarters in The Netherlands. Government representatives, experts, business leaders, entrepreneurs and civil society will be represented at the highest level and from all four corners of the world. Concrete measures will be proposed for Africa’s SMEs and cooperative sectors, with a particular focus on finance and sustainability.

Idit Miller, the Managing Director and Vice President of EMRC, explains, “There is no doubt that the Award is a major highlight at the EMRC Forum. It puts the spotlight on groundbreaking innovative projects and young entrepreneurs, which is so important for Africa. This year’s partnership with Hivos and VC4Africa is another exciting moment in the award’s history and a special moment for African entrepreneurs to shine on the international stage.”

Now Open for Applications

The Africa Finance & Investment Forum 2012 will feature the 2012 Incubator Award, an initiative launched in 2008 by EMRC, that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship. Finalists will present their business projects on the 18th of June 2012 and the winner will receive a cash prize of US$15 000 and media attention. Register your business for this competition!