African Startups Given Free Access To COVID-19 SME Survival Programme

April 28, 2020
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The Invest in Africa (IIA) initiative is offering African startups free access to its emergency COVID-19 SME survival programme, which provides business support for struggling African businesses.

Established in 2012, the private sector-led IIA initiative operates locally in five countries across the continent, namely Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Zambia and Mauritania, acting as a catalyst for SME growth and competitiveness by providing training, improving access to finance and mitigating supply chain risks.

The initiative has now extended access to its free “COVID-19 SME Survival Toolkit” to all startups across the continent. The toolkit includes webinars, practical guides, solutions and recommendations to help African SMEs get through the many challenges the pandemic has created.   

“Because the vast majority of businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa are SMEs, they also provide nearly all employment opportunities, so ensuring their survival is critical to longer term economic growth prospects,” said William Pollen, IIA’s chief executive officer (CEO). 

“What we’re aiming to achieve through this programme is not only to enhance SMEs’ chances of surviving this crisis, but also to help them emerge stronger and more resilient.”

Invest in Africa works with an extensive network of partner organisations, including the UK Department for International Trade, in Africa to effectively support and accelerate SME business growth. The latest initiative launched by IIA as part of the COVID-19 programme is a series of virtual training sessions in partnership with these organisations, offering courses such as “The 100-Day COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan” in partnership with EY and “Formulating Solutions to Support Female-led SMEs” in partnership with IFC.

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