Initiative to provide more integrated support for start-up development in North Africa
EBRD Star Venture and IFC Startup Catalyst programs to have greater impact
First pilot project deployed in a North African country
THE European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, are joining forces in an initiative to strengthen their support for start-ups and accelerators in North Africa.
The initiative aims to provide a higher level of integrated support for start-up development and the start-up ecosystem in the North African countries where both institutions invest. Capitalizing on the specialized programs of both institutions – the EBRD Star Venture Program and the IFC startup catalyst – the aim of the new initiative is to create synergies and strengthen the development impact of the two programs by addressing the challenges that exist in the startup space and making North African start-ups more sustainable and sustainable. commercially successful.
As part of this initiative, a pilot project will be deployed in a North African country and then extended to the entire region.
Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, Operations Director of the EBRD Client Services Group, said at the launch: “We are very pleased to see the recommendations from the Alliance for Africa event in Cairo, aimed at further supporting start-ups. ups in Africa, come to fruition. In partnership with IFC, we will take an integrated approach to increase our contribution and address head-on the challenges that early-stage technology start-ups face in scaling their operations and helping them realize their potential and contribute to economic growth . and more jobs.
Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa, said: “Entrepreneurs and the start-ups they create are essential pillars of economic development and job creation. IFC’s partnership with the EBRD through Alliance for Entrepreneurship in Africa will help North Africa’s innovative businesses across various sectors access the financing and support they need to grow and succeed. IFC is firmly committed to working with its partners to support private sector development in North Africa.
Launched in 2018, the BERD Star Venture program supports high-potential start-ups (HPSU). HPSUs are selected directly through open calls, local accelerators and ecosystem stakeholders and receive business advice and capacity building support to strengthen start-up ecosystems. To date, the Star Venture program has supported more than 600 startups, including more than 180 HPSUs and 25 accelerators, across 22 countries.
The IFC Startup Catalyst was launched in 2016. It is a platform that invests in incubators, accelerators and seed funds, supporting innovative early-stage start-ups in emerging markets through through mentoring, networking and funding. As of December 2022, IFC’s Startup Catalyst has supported 19 accelerators and seed funds that have invested in more than 1,180 start-ups in 24 countries.