The Make-IT Africa programme is looking for up to 30 digital startups that have a social impact to run through a nine months acceleration programme in pilot countries Kenya and Nigeria. The initiative aims to improve their business models, get startups to partner with multinationals and make them ‘investor-ready’ by preparing selected entrepreneurs for successful conversations with suitable investors.
To create a programme that was filling the real gaps, GIZ and the German research institute Endeva have consulted more than 100 stakeholders especially in Kenya and Nigeria. Make-IT will therefore have a strong focus on enabling startup companies to do business with large international companies (and the international companies to do business with African startups) and to find investors that really address the needs of the startups. There will be also exposure trips to relevant fairs and events in Africa and Europe.
The Make-IT Accelerator includes three structured phases for selected entrepreneurs:
1. Inspire – Achieve the Capacity for Growth (Jan – Mar 2018): cohort-based training and capacity development for growth, including individualised needs assessments and scaling plans and regular meetings with experienced acceleration managers to help you develop and grow your business.
2. Connect – From Cooperation Readiness to Cooperation (Apr – Jun 2018): B2B cooperation readiness training, individual support, preferred access to B2B matchmaking events with major international corporates and access to the Make-IT mentor pool as needed.
3. Develop – From Investment Readiness to Investment (Jun – Aug 2018): support from finance and investment experts, who will help you achieve investment readiness, prepare you with the skills to negotiate investment deals and provide pitch training for a final Demo Day in Lagos or Nairobi.
An important part of the programme is also to empower the ecosystem: there will be international awareness campaigns, trainings of trainers for providers of acceleration programmes or capacity building for multinational-companies. All results like guidebooks or training manuals will be available online free of charge.
To implement Make-IT, some powerful partners have joined forces and will all contribute their networks, experience and resources: The Make-IT Alliance is a network curated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) which includes multinational companies like Siemens, IBM or SAP, social entrepreneurs and associations like the German Chambers for Commerce. The German International Cooperation (GIZ) is commissioned to implement the piloting programme “Make-IT in Africa” over a two-year period in Kenya and Nigeria and the programmes will be implemented by experienced hubs like CCHub in Nigera and Gearbox in Kenya.