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FMO has partnered with Endeavor SA to expand their existing acceleration model in Africa which helps early-stage ventures with globally scalable solutions. Endeavor’s ‘Local Scale-Up’ program provides a highly tailored and structured mentoring process to enable start-ups to engage experts and investors in order to overcome growth challenges.
Through a cohort-based approach supported by FMO, Endeavor will focus on helping ventures within the agri-tech industry and particularly from Ghana, Morocco, and Tanzania. The participating entrepreneurs will be able to utilize the Endeavor network of industry experts, investors, and other critical resources to accelerate the growth of their early-stage agri-businesses.
The project will target the agri-tech sector to help the promising start-ups on the African continent become “investment-ready”. Indeed, while an increasing number of venture capitalists (VCs) and investors are focused on the agri-tech space in Africa, there is a lack of investable deals in the Series A/B stage for this sector. The FMO-supported and Endeavor-led accelerator project is intended to grow the pipeline, increase investment opportunities for the broader VC community, and align with other early-stage VC ecosystem builders. Agri-tech uses technological innovations in agriculture to increase yields, efficiency, and profitability: it is a critical sector to invest in for the African continent.
Endeavor was established in 1997 and now has 40 offices globally with 6 in Africa. Their 6 African offices are strategically positioned – in South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia – to enable Endeavor to serve all territories across the continent. Endeavor has an extensive global network of over 5000 mentors and 500 growth investors as well as 2200 entrepreneurs with a highly successful track record in accelerating start-ups’ growth in under-developed and emerging markets.
Endeavor’s vision focuses on finding entrepreneurs who are growing highly scalable start-ups with a give-back mindset. Endeavor entrepreneurs are all founders who are role models that are fully committed to paying it forward by helping up-and-coming entrepreneurs through one-one mentorship, participating in advisory boards, reinvesting their wealth – and creating a powerful multiplier effect to build a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in these markets.
FMO’s support will enable Endeavor to run an additional cohort of its “Local Scale Up” program across Africa. Through this project, more up-and-coming ventures will be able to leverage Endeavor’s extensive network to align with local, regional, global investors critical to reach scale.
Program recruitment will focus on start-ups from Tanzania, Morocco, and Ghana, as well as start-ups from other African markets in order to facilitate knowledge sharing across regions and establish more sector-specific partnerships. Emphasis on these three markets is also intended to help capture the interest of more investors in the increasing number of opportunities from these more challenging and often-overlooked VC ecosystems.
This project is funded through the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building component of the FMO Ventures Program Technical Assistance Facility, co-funded by the Dutch Government and European Union. This component seeks to foster the maturity of the venture capital sector in targeted emerging markets by improving services of incubators, accelerators and other entrepreneurial support organizations, as well as enabling more early-stage financing for ventures.
Marieke Roestenberg, FMO’s Ventures Program Manager, said: “Our collaboration with Endeavor will help more early-stage agri-tech start-ups tap into the wealth of knowledge and experts that the Endeavor network has to offer. We look forward to seeing how our collective efforts contribute to a thriving agri-tech sector in Africa and help increase the pipeline of investable agri-tech opportunities across the continent.”
Alison Collier, Endeavor SA Managing Director, said: "Partnering with FMO, one of the world's leading development finance institutions, to extend our Local Scale Up program and focus on accelerating the growth of early-stage African agri-techs is a wonderful initiative. We are excited at the significant positive economic impact this will have on the local entrepreneurial ecosystems."
Endeavour SA is a non-profit company focused on driving inclusive growth and job creation through its support of "high-growth entrepreneurs" - specifically in lesser developed markets leveraging its strong pro-bono global network of entrepreneurs, teams, mentors, and investors. For more information about Endeavor SA, please visit: https://endeavor.co.za
For more information on the initiative, journalists are welcome to contact:
Josh Asmah, Corporate Communications Officer | J.Asmah@fmo.nl | M +31 6 25 19 07 21