Mentor-Driven Capital fireside chat: Demonstrating impact in Africa

VC4A has been an implementing partner of Work in Progress! Alliance (WiP) an initiative of Oxfam, Butterfly Works and VC4A – funded by The Netherlands Government – for the past 8 years. One of the activities of VC4A was the Mentor-Driven Capital program, a capacity building training that aims to equip professionals and experienced business owners with the knowledge and skills to become effective mentors to up and coming business owners. This program was implemented in Egypt, Nigeria and Somaliland.

As the Work in Progress project now comes to a close, VC4A alongside Oxfam held a networking dinner at the 2023 AfriLabs Annual Gathering held recently in Kigali, Rwanda. The purpose of the dinner was to showcase the implementing partners of the Mentor Driven Capital program and share the testimonials from each hub about how the program has impacted their startup communities.

A fireside chat was moderated by the Mentorship and Academy Lead at VC4A, Barbara Onyejose with esteemed panelists from partner organizations within the WiP project; Muna Ahmed, Country and Programs Lead at Innovate Ventures, Somaliland, Damilola Akinloye, Programs Lead at She Leads Africa and Ahmed Bastawy, MD/Founder at Icealex.

Ahmed Bastawy comments “After the mentor driven capital training, mentors are matched with mentees to put what they have learnt into practice and some mentors end up liking the mentees so much that they invest in them…

He adds further that “…This is able to happen because they have built a relationship based on trust. The training helped the mentors grow and form deeper relationships with their mentees.”

Picture of three women and one man seated for a panel discussion

From L-R, Barbara Onyejose – VC4A, Ahmed Bastawy – IceAlex, Damilola Akinloye – She Leads Africa and Muna Ahmed – Innovate Ventures at the Mentor-Driven Capital Program fireside chat (Afrilabs Annual Gathering 2023)

In a statement at the panel, Muna Ahmed adds “Before we started this program, we did not have a mentor network at all but through the calls for application for the Mentor Driven Capital program we were able to build a pool of mentors and train them…”

Muna shares excitedly “…We are proudly one of the first hubs in Hargeisa that runs a mentorship program. We have also been able to create a pool of female mentors to support our women focused accelerator program.”

“One way the program really impacted our program operations was that it helped us with mentor-mentee matching. Our matching has become more strategic. We have also been able to ensure that the mentorship process is more structured and goal driven.” – Damilola Akinloye

Listening to the stories and testimonials, VC4A is extremely proud of what our partners have been able to achieve through the MDC program. We look forward to seeing the continuous growth of their mentor networks and startup communities in the future.

Mentor-Driven Capital is available as a free course for aspiring and experienced business mentors on the VC4A Startup Academy. Taking the course also gives you access to the Mentor Guide.

Are you interested in becoming a VC4A Mentor? Join over 400 mentors helping to grow and scale innovative ventures across Africa, LatAm & beyond on the VC4A Mentorship Marketplace. Sign up now.