The new initiative is aimed at strengthening the Senegalese entrepreneurial ecosystem by increasing its attractiveness and visibility on an international scale.
By Abdourahmane Diallo
In Africa, start-ups are lagging behind in terms of capturing available resources.
The black continent “only collects less than 3 percent of global fundraising.”
With this in mind, the French Embassy in Senegal and the General Delegation for Women and Youth’s Rapid Entrepreneurship (DER/FJ), in partnership with the French Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance) and the AFD Group (French Development Agency), have decided to set up a scheme.
The objective is “to develop a collaborative spirit that can contribute to the structuring of an entrepreneurial, resilient and inclusive ecosystem” able to meet the challenge of mobilizing financial resources, says a statement released Monday.
“This project seeks to support Senegal in its desire to become the hub of innovation and digital economy of French-speaking Africa, to support the visibility of this ecosystem and its close connection to its international environment, especially financial, a necessary condition to anchor its attractiveness, and allow a long-term sustainability of its dynamism,” it says.
The project’s sponsors will focus on four main areas.
First, they will federate the Senegalese tech ecosystem and increase its visibility among African and European investment communities to facilitate its access to financing and new business opportunities.
Secondly, to increase the chances of successful fundraising for Senegalese start-ups, particularly those run by women, by structuring their business model.
The support offered by Senegalese incubators and gas pedals for financing applications will also be structured. Similarly, the development of skills and the visibility of networks of investors in Senegal, [...], to increase their capacity and level of investment in young Senegalese start-ups, will be consolidated.
Finally, the project plans to support financing and co-investment for the development and scaling of start-ups through the establishment of dedicated funding.
At the end of the project’s duration, the document adds, the innovation ecosystem of Senegal will have technology hubs, incubators with enhanced skills to continue their mission of supporting the development of start-ups in the country.
This ecosystem will benefit from the presence of structured networks of local investors with increased investment capacities.
As a result, there will be more investment and fundraising opportunities for young innovative companies.