Archipelagos Entrepreneurial Program for SMEs and Entrepreneurs In Africa 2024

Archipelagos is a multi-year international cooperation program developed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the Italian Financial Institution for International Development Cooperation, with the support of the European Commission that aims at supporting the growth of African SMEs and facilitating their access to capital markets.

Through this call for application, up to 1000+ SMEs will be selected across the African continent to join a dedicated capacity-building program designed to strengthen their capabilities and increase their readiness for capital markets.

At the end of this Program, the most promising SMEs will receive specialized support for raising funds in the capital markets through innovative debt instruments, supported by a guarantee facility from the European Commission.

Archipelagos Entrepreneurial Program

Application DeadlineJune 30, 2024
Funding TypePartially Funded
GenderMen and Women

Benefits of Archipelagos Entrepreneurial Program

Capacity-building program

The Program is structured around 3 core areas – training, mentoring, and networking – and is delivered through a hybrid model, combining both asynchronous and synchronous components to offer a comprehensive and interactive learning experience.

Through the Archipelagos digital platform, SMEs will have access to a vast learning catalogue of online courses, with differentiated learning paths according to the specific needs and stage of development. On top of the asynchronous component, webinars will contribute to make the learning journey even more stimulating, engaging, and interactive.

In addition to training, SMEs participating in the Program will also receive dedicated support and will have access to a community of SMEs and investors providing them the opportunity to make valuable business connections, also at international level.

Inspired by the Team Europe Initiative of Investing in Young Business in Africa (TEI IYBA), also young university graduates / young entrepreneurs will have access to the capacity building platform to enhance their business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills.

Access to capital markets

At the end of the capacity building Program, the SMEs that demonstrate the readiness and potential to raise funds in the capital markets will be provided with tailored support and guided through the fundraising process.

Selected SMEs will in fact receive dedicated mentorship and coaching to best prepare for the interaction with potential investors (e.g., support in preparing a compelling investment pitch).

Finally, they will be supported in the structuring of innovative debt instruments and secure funding at favorable terms thanks to the first-loss financial guarantee facility from the European Commission that will enable attracting other investors.

Requirements for Archipelagos Entrepreneurial Program

To participate in this Program, SMEs should meet 5 pre-requisites:

  • Be Africa-based (incorporated or with main operations in Africa)
  • Have an annual turnover up to USD 50 million, with a minimum threshold of USD 1 million to be eligible for the financial guarantee
  • Be in operation since at least 2 years
  • Be a for-profit corporate (or other type of for-profit legal person)
  • Not be subject to any sanction or restrictions

Selection Process

Selection Process

The selection process is carried out through a public call for application, which is open from the 7th of November 2023 to the 30th of June 2024 to all interested SMEs and young university graduates / young entrepreneurs.

A dedicated team will thoroughly evaluate submitted applications on a rolling basis and carefully screen the SMEs according to the established criteria. Selected applicants will be contacted within 3 weeks from the submission of the application to begin the onboarding process, ensuring all participants are fully prepared to take advantage of the Program’s resources and support.

Application Deadline

June 30, 2024

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Archipelagos on to apply

For more details,visit  Archipelagos website

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