VC4A Launches Free Online Course For African Entrepreneurs

Posted on September 8th, 2017
Biz News

Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (8 September)

The VC4A Startup Academy is offering direct access to expertise proven to work for successful entrepreneurs and investors operating across Africa.

Founders can take their business to the next level by learning about the latest insights, download tools and listen to advice from 35 experts active in the emerging African startup ecosystem.

The VC4A Startup Academy, launched today and part of online community platform, is broken down into three learning courses, each focused on a different life-stage of a starting business.

The first course is called, ‘Start your business’, and introduces participants to main themes to consider during the founding stage of a startup. Course two is ‘Grow your business’, and covers what’s needed after a startup finds its feet and is ready to scale up. And course three, is ‘Finance your business’, introducing different funding concepts and tips on how to raise capital.

The theoretical content is presented by Andile Masuku (African Tech Roundup), and among the experts are the likes of Tomi Davies of the Lagos Angel Network, Rebecca Enonchong of the African Business Angel Network, Brett Commaille of AngelHub Ventures, Fatoumata Ba of Jumia, Emeka Afigbo of Facebook and Wim van der Beek of Goodwell Investments.

The content is available free of charge and can be accessed by members registered on After each module, participants can test their learning by taking a quiz and unlock a personalized certificate that can be downloaded, and to recognize the entrepreneur for successfully completing the course. Graduates from the VC4A Startup Academy gain access to the VC4A Mentorship Marketplace, select startup opportunities and fundraising tools.

Each learning module contains:

  • Theoretical breakdowns where concepts are introduced – relevant to the African context,
  • Video clips of leading business professionals, entrepreneurs and investors, sharing practical expert advice,
  • Transcripts of theory videos in English, French, Arabic and Somali,
  • Quizzes where you’ll be challenged to apply what you have learnt,
  • Useful downloadable templates and documents.
  • The VC4A Startup Academy has been developed as a fundamental pillar of the ‘Work in Progress!’ program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

SA Business Delegation Off To Russia

A 20-member South African business delegation departs Friday bound for Russia, where they will be showcasing their products and services at the 2017 World Food Moscow International Food Exhibition.

The exhibition takes place next week from Monday to Thursday, 11-14 September 2017.

“Participation of the South African companies in the exhibition is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) scheme with the aim of increasing exports of South African manufactured products to Russia,” said the dti in a communique issued on its behalf by Government Communications and Information System.

“The objective of the scheme is to nurture export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.”

Managing Director of Thandi Wines, Vernon Henn said his company was on a mission to explore opportunities in Russia and beyond since the exhibition attracts international clients from diverse markets.

“The World Food Moscow International Food Exhibition will present us with opportunities whereby we will be in a position to acquire distributors for our wines and form partnerships that will allow our company to obtain new business and infiltrate new markets,” said Henn.

Managing Director of the Mpumalanga-based JAB Dried Fruit Products Corne Barnard said: “We are ideally looking at having our products marketed to Russian retailers and wholesalers and are looking at exporting one container per week to the country and use this platform as a stepping stone towards our goal”.

Managing Director of Continental Biscuits Luis Murillo said: “Showcasing at this massive exhibition will serve as an indicator of how receptive the Russian market will be to our products. We have a wide range of products from sweet and savoury biscuit, assortments, sandwich creams, wafers and chocolate enrobed products and we trust that it is within this wide range we would find suitable products that will soon reach the Russian market”.

Dti Minister Dr. Rob Davies said the objective of the South African participation in the exhibition is to promote South Africa’s agro-processing industry in order to consolidate and establish market presence of South Africa in Russia. (via African News Agency)

Agriculture Will Be Africa’s Quiet Revolution – Report

The power of entrepreneurs and the free market is driving Africa’s economic growth from food production, as business wakes up to opportunities of a rapidly growing food market in Africa, that may be worth more than $1 trillion each year by 2030 to substitute imports with high value food made in Africa. This is the main conclusion from the latest Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR).

According to the report, agriculture will be Africa’s quiet revolution, with a focus on SMEs and smallholder farmers creating the high productivity jobs and sustainable economic growth that failed to materialise from mineral deposits and increased urbanisation. Despite 37 percent of the population now living in urban centres, most jobs have been created in lower paid, less productive services rather than in industry, with this service sector accounting for more than half of the continent’s GDP. Smart investments in the food system can change this picture dramatically if planned correctly.

Commenting on this year’s report findings, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) which commissioned the study said: “Africa has the latent natural resources, skills, human and land capacity to tip the balance of payments and move from importer to exporter by eating food made in Africa. This report shows us that agriculture involving an inclusive transformation that goes beyond the farm to agri-businesses will be Africa’s surest and fastest path to that new level of prosperity.”

To succeed, Africa’s agricultural revolution needs to be very different to those seen in the rest of world. It requires an inclusive approach that links millions of small farms to agribusinesses, creating extended food supply chains and employment opportunities for millions including those that will transition from farming. This is in contrast to the model often seen elsewhere in the world of moving to large scale commercial farming and food processing, which employs relatively few people and requires high levels of capital.

The report highlights the opportunity for Africa to feed the continent with food made in Africa that meets the growing demand of affluent, fast growing urban populations on the continent looking for high value processed and pre-cooked foods. Furthermore, it advocates that this opportunity should be met by many of the continent’s existing smallholder farmers. Currently part of this growing demand for Africa’s food is met by imports. These amount to $35bn p.a. and are expected to cost $110bn by 2025 unless Africa improves the productivity and global competiveness of its agribusiness and agriculture sectors.