Some of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face in Africa is access to funds and training. This is situation was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking at Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, for instance, a recent report published by Endeavor and Stears titled Protecting Nigeria’s Entrepreneurial Future, showed that 70% of Nigerian startups are facing funding challenges due to the pandemic.

The World Economic Forum ascribes the slow pace of entrepreneurship in Africa to a variety of challenges, including the lack of skilled labour, citing the World Bank‘s note on the value of skilled labour to the growth of a business and the ability to gainfully adopt new technologies.

Seedstars in a move to support entrepreneurs across the continent, have partnered with Financial Times to launch the inaugural FTxSDG Challenge geared at providing funding and mentorship for vibrant African startups and entrepreneurs.

The FTxSDG Challenge will bring together early-stage startups and entrepreneur from emerging markets, with a focus on the UN SDGs, the facets of gender equality, environmental care, quality education, creation of jobs and economic growth, reduced inequalities, and better healthcare.

A total of 150 people will be engaged to address real-world business problems and showcase creative solutions. The event includes a one-month subscription to Seedstars’ Investment Readiness Sessions, as well as a five-day event with workshops, masterclasses, presentations, mentorship, and networking delivered by FT and Seedstars professionals.

Winning startups will gain access to the Seedstars Investments Fund, where they can receive up to US$500,000 in capital.

“Seedstars is very excited to launch the FTxSDG Challenge. Since 2013, our team has been organising the Seedstars World competition created to support and invest in impact-driven entrepreneurs from emerging markets. Working with Financial Times, we’re confident that this mission can be amplified together in the FTxSDG Challenge,” said Alisee De Tonnac, chief executive officer (CEO) of Seedstars.

You apply for this opportunity here here. Applications close on the 1st  of November.

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