ENRICH in AfricaSoft landing programme currently underway to support African innovators to explore European markets
The Bees Soft-landing program, powered through the ENRICH in Africa project and delivered by project partner, Bond’innov, is designed for African entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses in Europe, by fully immersing themselves within the European entrepreneurial ecosystem.
After launching a high-scale call for application on April 23rd, over 80 applicants took part in a thorough 2-phase selection process with 10 laureates being finally selected to take part in this international journey. The high-potential start-ups are originally from Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Madagascar. They also represent a wide range of sectors such as HealthTech, FashionTech and FinTech.
The program started officially on September 20th and is set to last 3 months, until December 17th, 2021. The laureates kicked off with a 1-week intensive bootcamp, consisting of 11 workshops with experts on international development. Topics covered included Intercultural Management, Fundraising Methods, Media Interactions as well as a wide presentation of the Parisian and European entrepreneurial ecosystems.
The following weeks have been punctuated by 3 ecosystem tours at BPI France, the Paris Economic Development and Innovation Agency (Paris&Co) and Station F, the world’s largest start-up campus. Every start-up has benefitted from a diagnosis on their international development potential and was given a roadmap designed by the Bond'innov team. This roadmap is used as a reference point for each start-up during their weekly follow-up meetings with their referred mentor who monitor their progress. In addition to this, all laureates have access to Bond’innov office experts in various themes such as Intellectual Property Law, Marketing & Sales Development and Accounting & Taxation.
Networking is also a major part of international journey, which is why laureates have been invited to 3 major entrepreneurship events in Paris such as Bpifrance Inno Generation 2021 and speed-dating events organized by Station F and Paris&Co. On October 28th, they were invited to the Hacking de l’Hôtel de Ville de Paris gathering around 1000 startups, 100 investors, 40 media with 30 countries represented. They had a chance to network and pitch in front of major investors and public personalities such as the mayor of Paris or the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Last but not least, the Bees laureates were also able to get a taste of French gastronomy and culture thanks to outings organized in Paris, such as a visit to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, or an Escape Game on the historical theme of Paris!
In the first year of the project, ENRICH in Africa achieved:
- Over 40 accelerators and incubators across Europe and Africa engaged as members or in process of becoming a member,
- Over 260 European and African members signed up to our EuroQuity community, including start-ups, investors and incubators and accelerators,
- 107 start-ups supported through the various EiA activities, including our soft-landing programme, needs assessment survey, investor pitch events, accelerator programme (‘Accelerator Squared’) and community webinars.
3,6 Mio. Euro EU-Financing, Horizon 2020 (Grant Agreement Nr. 101004709) 01/2021 – 12/2024