The Archipelagos program, an international cooperation initiative led by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti in collaboration with the European Commission, aims to support over 1000 SMEs across Africa. This program invites applications from SMEs looking to enhance their capabilities and readiness for capital markets.
Selected SMEs will participate in a tailored learning journey facilitated through the Archipelagos digital platform. This platform offers a comprehensive suite of training, mentoring, and networking opportunities designed to equip SMEs with valuable skills and resources.
Upon completion of the program, the most promising SMEs will receive specialized assistance in raising capital through innovative debt instruments. This support includes access to a guarantee facility provided by the European Commission, enabling SMEs to navigate and access capital markets effectively.
Aligned with the Team Europe Initiative for Investing in Young Business in Africa (TEI IYBA), the program extends its capacity-building efforts to young university graduates and entrepreneurs. These aspiring individuals will gain access to the program, empowering them to strengthen their business acumen and expand their knowledge base.
the Archipelagos program, developed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the European Commission, typically aims to support SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) across the African continent. It offers capacity-building initiatives through a digital platform, providing training, mentoring, networking opportunities, and sometimes assistance in accessing capital markets.
The program often focuses on enhancing the capabilities of SMEs, potentially aiding them in readiness for financial markets and offering support for accessing innovative funding mechanisms. Additionally, programs aligned with the Team Europe Initiative for Investing in Young Business in Africa (TEI IYBA) may include provisions for young graduates or entrepreneurs, aiming to bolster their skills, knowledge, and entrepreneurial abilities.
Eligibility Requirements For The Archipelagos Capacity Building Programme for Entrepreneurs and Graduates
To participate in this program, SMEs should meet 5 pre-requisites:
- Be Africa-based (incorporated or with main operations in Africa)
- Have an annual turnover up to USD 50 million, with a minimum threshold of USD 1 million to be eligible for the financial guarantee
- Be in operation since at least 2 years
- Be a for-profit corporate (or other type of for-profit legal person)
- Not be subject to any sanction or restriction
The Archipelagos is looking for participants willing to:
- Develop new skills and capabilities by acquiring knowledge and expertise to grow their business and boost competitiveness
- Look for guidance and support from experienced professionals to navigate new challenges and to receive actionable advice to achieve their goals
- Connect with other businesses and establish valuable connections that can help them grow and succeed, by sharing experiences, knowledge, and best practices
- Explore potential collaborations and partnerships that can support them in achieving their business objectives
- Pursue the chance to access debt capital to finance their growth, by connecting with a range of potential investors and differentiating their sources of funding
Each of the selected SMEs will receive access to the platform for up to 3 key figures within the organization (e.g., founder, finance manager, strategy manager).
In addition to SMEs, the capacity building platform is also open to young university graduates / young entrepreneurs that want to boost their academic journey and prepare to enter into the business world as well as those who look for strengthening their entrepreneurial skills.
When shortlisting the SMEs the following criteria will be considered:
- Size of the business in terms of revenues and number of employees
- Performance in terms of growth and profitability
- Sector of reference and geographical footprint
- Impact generated in terms of Diversity, Social safeguards and ESG
- Fit with the Program objectives and type of support needed
Young university graduates / young entrepreneurs can directly apply to request access to the capacity building platform without undergoing the full selection process.
Method of Application
Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and will be open until 30 June 2024
For more information about the Archipelagos Program visit https://archipelagos-learning.abzt.de/
For any question or enquiry please contact [email protected]
Application Deadline: 30 June 2024.
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