In Africa generally, government-owned organisations as well as private companies organise programs or establish academies to scale the growth of medium and small scale entrepreneurs, including fashion entrepreneurs. A good example is the Cascador 2020 program which is an initiative with the mission of helping mid-stage entrepreneurs, from all industries, grow their business.
The African Union Development Agency in collaboration with the Ecobank Group recently announced the launch of an academy for Medium and Small Scale Entrepreneurs to support and grow their businesses. And like Ade Ayeyemi, the CEO of Ecobank Group stated,
“The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across Africa with serious challenges and uncertainties for our MSMEs. The MSME Academy comes at an appropriate time to provide the right level of support to this vulnerable and important business segment in Africa.”
About The African Union Development Agency
The African Union Development Agency was established to coordinate and execute priority regional and continental development projects to promote regional integration. They established the MSME Academy to build the capabilities of MSMEs in Africa by providing easy access to practical training and resources required to build and grow a business.
The African Union Development Agency, AUDA also launched the MSME Academy to offer free access to market intelligence, experienced mentors from different fields, including the fashion industry, as well as assistance to access funding opportunities.
Asides from the benefits mentioned above, the MSME Academy would also provide the registered entrepreneurs with resources on how to build a digital presence for their businesses, whether it is a fashion business or a retailing business, how to adapt business operations in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many more.
And how would this be achieved?
Informational webinars tailored for entrepreneurs all over Africa would be delivered by invited speakers, as well as a series of virtual instructor-led training and mentorship sessions for the entrepreneurs.
The programme would also be structured in 3 segments, which are the Academy, Marketplace and Financing Support Program.
With the Academy, entrepreneurs would be able to engage in incubators and accelerators with a host of other business individuals to build capacity. The Marketplace would give entrepreneurs the ability to access e-commerce, procurement and alternative financing opportunities across the continent.
The Finance Support Program is designed to bring together financial institutions, guarantee funds, and other institutions to reduce the cost of risk for lenders to deliver capital to these entrepreneurs.
In registering to be a part of this academy, personal details, as well as the details of the start-up or company, need to be provided, such as name, email address, country of origin and many more.
The sector in which the company operates, such as the fashion sector or beauty sector would have to be indicated as well. Since this academy opportunity is open to various countries in Africa, interested participants would have to indicate their preferred language.
The African Union Development Agency has the drive to take entrepreneurs, including fashion entrepreneurs, to their business success. To register for the MSME Academy, click here.