SME development organisation Knowledge Base Africa (KBA) is launching a bootcamp for entrepreneurs in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 2 to 4 September.

The bootcamp will consist of 200 entrepreneurs who will be taught skills and given business toolkits to use with their startup. After which, 50 participants will be selected for a 12-month incubation programme hosted by KBA.

According to the CEO of KBA Agnes Chikukwa-Hove: “While the SME sector is crucial to Africa’s growth, currently contributing more than 45% to employment and 33% to GDP, a large proportion of new businesses fail. This is often due to funding challenges, but also – and sometimes more importantly – due to a lack of strategic business skills.”

The bootcamp will include access to growth phase capital and a Pan-African crowdfunding platform, deployment of a bespoke supervisory board for SMEs, and a targeted incubation algorithm and an advanced Trade Exchange Network (TradeX).

“We often find that small businesses think they need to secure loans in order to grow. What we say to them is sometimes funding is not the biggest challenge; sometimes it’s the ability to reposition your business, address your operations and marketing.”

“In fact, financing comes at a high cost and it can put a stranglehold on the business. In many cases, it may be better to grow organically and look at the tools, technologies and strategies you have around you to support this growth.”

The event has the backing of the Zimbabwean Youth Ministry and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development.

“In addition to securing support of Zimbabwean government ministries focused on youth empowerment and business development, we are also working with a global strategists Kjaer Global, specialising in trend mapping around the impact of disruptive technologies on business, as well as crowdfunding platform Thundafund, to ensure that our entrepreneurs benefit from access to world-class and modern approaches to building and running their businesses,” says Chikukwa-Hove.

Applications close on 22 August. Those wanting to apply can find out more information on the KBA website.

Source: By Graham van der Made: Staff Reporter
Publish: 27 July, 2016