Turning a passion into a business is the ultimate dream for every entrepreneur. While some established entrepreneurs might argue that one can succeed without a mentor, mentorship program for entrepreneurs is crucial since it provides the start-up foundation needed to guide entrepreneurs in their initial growth stages. Several mentorship initiatives believe in Africa and are scaling up to offer mentorship opportunities to African entrepreneurs.
MicroMentor is an international social platform based in Portland, Oregon, USA. It enables goal-oriented entrepreneurs and experienced volunteer business mentors to create powerful connections, solve problems, and build successful businesses together at no cost. It extends its activities to Africa.
How MicroMentor Works
Create a Profile
If you want to be a part of MicroMentor, start by setting up a profile as either an entrepreneur or mentor. If you are an African entrepreneur, tell about yourself and your business. Include your vision, your passion, and what you need help with. Completing your profile gives you a better chance of connecting with the best mentor.
Explore MicroMentor’s Mentor/ Entrepreneur Profiles
Mentors and entrepreneurs create profiles and share who they are and how they can help on the platform. Entrepreneurs search for mentors with the experience they are looking for and learn how particular mentors like to work with entrepreneurs. MicroMentor will also recommend mentors that are a good fit for you.
Reach Out and Connect
Upon finding suitable mentors, send them a message, and introduce yourself. Tell them who you are and what your needs are. They will read your message, take a look at your profile, and let you know if they are available to help.
Begin Your Relationship and Start to Grow
Once a mentor is available, plan your mentoring relationship around the help you need and your availability. On MicroMentor, the average mentoring pair meets one hour per week over 3 months.
GrowthAfrica is a leading African impact startup accelerator and business and market consulting company founded in 2002. Its headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya, and has offices in Ethiopia, Malawi, Ghana, Zambia, and Uganda. GrowthAfrica aims at growing African entrepreneurs and businesses into exceptional impact enterprises through acceleration activities, strategic advice, and access to investments.
What GrowthAfrica Offers
GrowthAfrica is the business runway to success for African entrepreneurs seeking a platform for their business take-off. Its growth accelerator programme offers the following;
- Mentorship programme. GrowthAfrica attracts exciting upcoming enterprises and ambitious entrepreneurs. As a result, successful entrepreneurs and seasoned investment professionals volunteer their time, experience, and expertise to guide entrepreneurs in their business development.
- Business planning and development. At GrowthAfrica, entrepreneurs get the tools and skills needed to analyze their businesses to facilitate growth.
- Financial modeling. Translating business models into financial models increases the chances of making strategic choices and financial success. GrowthAfrica also provides access to business finances to entrepreneurs.
- Business networking. GrowthAfrica connects startups with resources and other established companies they need to grow. Most times, bonds are created, and strategic business partnerships are put in place.
- Leadership coaching. It is essential that entrepreneurs are equipped with leadership skills. GrowthAfrica offers leadership coaching, where it continuously builds the entrepreneurs’ ability to lead their startups to success. A good leader should be able to make conscious impactful decisions.
If you are ready to grow your business, you can apply for the programme.
Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A)
Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A) is a mentorship initiative founded in 2007 at the Annual Congress of the African Venture Capital Association in Dakar, Senegal. It connects startup entrepreneurs with the knowledge, support programs, investors, and mentors they need to succeed. Upon registration of their ventures, entrepreneurs have access to the VC4A Startup Academy, mentorship opportunities, VC4A programmes, and the ability to raise capital at no cost.
How VC4A Fundraising Works
Registering your venture profile on VC4A gives you the ability to raise capital. First, you will need to prepare your venture and register your intention. You will then engage potential investors to help you raise capital. When this is done, close the deal.
VC4A Startup Academy and How It Works
The startup academy is an online resource for entrepreneurs to access the latest industry insights, start-up tools, and learn from experts. VC4A Startup Academy offers a set of courses:
- Start your business. This is the first course that takes you through your business’s initial stage.
- Grow your business. It comes when your startup is ready to scale up.
- Finance your business: This is course three, where you will learn how to attract startup funding.
- Your legal business. This is the final course where you will learn about the legal implications of setting up your business and funding your activities. You will get a personalized VC4A Startup Academy certificate at the end of the four courses.
Make-IT in Africa
Make-IT in Africa is a technology entrepreneurship initiative that supports the growth of an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs in the digital sector. In close collaboration with corporate and financing partners and social enterprises, the Make-IT initiative facilitates better access to finance, markets, and skills. Make-IT in Africa offers the following programmes.
Make-IT Mentoring Programme
Mentorship is essential for business success. Make-IT in Africa provides mentor boot camps for business mentors and mentees. In joint sessions, mentors and mentees learn about startup financing, strategic planning, and capital raising activities. They also learn different possibilities to get connected with investors.
The Make-IT Accelerator
The Make-IT Accelerator offers technology startups from West and East Africa a nine-month programme to strengthen their growth, cooperation, and investment readiness. The program provides access to large international corporations and investors who want to share their industry expertise, learn from experienced entrepreneurs, and enter into mutually beneficial partnerships. The accelerator program offers the following to African startups;
- Free access to mentoring for business and technical expertise.
- Regional networking events with mentors, corporate partners, and investors.
- A 3×3 months of interactive, blended training for growth and investment readiness.
- It covers travel expenses for accelerator and exposure events.
Entrepreneurs’ Guides to Investment
Make-IT publishes guides to investment that explain funding instruments, investor types, and the different stages of raising capital. Each investor guide contains a detailed investor directory giving information on more than 60 investors and financing partners.
Digital Innovation Made in Africa
Make-IT in Africa, together with partners such as World Summit Awards, showcases selected innovations and entrepreneurs with a high potential for social impact. The selected innovations represent numerous new developments that convey a different image of Africa. You can join the Make-IT trendscouting team and help to present African tech solutions to the world.
StartUpAfrica aims at creating opportunities for youth entrepreneurs by offering mentorship programs and funding opportunities. It empowers unemployed and underemployed African youth to build and sustain businesses, create jobs, and add value to the economy.
What StartUpAfrica Offers
- Access to loans and startup funds through traditional banks, FinTechs, and investors.
- Access to employer recruitment bridging the skills gap and incubation startups.
- It offers the ability to participate in local, national, regional, Pan-African, and international business pitch competitions.
- Mentor training via a technology platform, with keen monitoring and evaluation.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) champions entrepreneurship across Africa. Tony O. Elumelu established it in 2010. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is a $100 million business incubation and accelerator program aimed at supporting Africa’s entrepreneurs. The foundation offers a mentorship program where mentors and entrepreneurs will first need to sign up for the programme. Upon acceptance for mentorship, access to the mentorship and learning platform is given. Requests from mentees and administrative matching do matching of mentors with mentees. A mentor can be matched with up to four mentees. Get involved and make an impact.
Mentoring is essential for every business’s success, and finding the right mentor can prove invaluable for your startup’s long-term success.