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Microsoft 4Afrika Partners Tony Elumelu Foundation

Microsoft 4Afrika has signed a partnership with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to provide tools, resources and mentorship to entrepreneurs enrolled in the foundation’s entrepreneurship programme. In a press release by Microsoft, the two organisations will help entrepreneurs to use ICT to further their businesses, enrich their services and reach new customers.

“Microsoft 4Afrika and the Tony Elumelu Foundation share a common goal to accelerate economic and social development by promoting entrepreneurship…”, says Akin Banuso, General Manager, Microsoft Africa. Echoing sentiment shared by experts and people the world over, he continued saying, “As we enter into an era of digital transformation, it’s vital that we help all entrepreneurs develop relevant technology skills and integrate ICT into their businesses. Technology can help SMEs reach customers outside their local markets, generate powerful business insights and improve their customer retention. We have found that SMEs who adopt this kind of modern IT have seen 15% faster revenue growth than those not using it.

In what has become an annual event since its inception in 2015, the Tony Elumelu Foundation provides 1000 entrepreneurs with training, mentorship, access to seed capital and membership into the TEF Africa-wide Network through its entrepreneurship programme. With a partner like Microsoft now on board, the entrepreneurs will now have access to an essential ICT dimension, strengthening their capacity and ensuring that they remain relevant and competitive.

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During the The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos in October, Microsoft will be training the entrepreneurs in the usage of its platform and services.  In addition, Microsoft will also identify high potential entrepreneurs from the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme and integrate them into its Innovation Grant Programme, a programme which since 2013, has provided financial support to over 55 local startups, who have since generated $5.1 million in reciprocal investments.


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HR Tech Startup, CodeLn, to Represent Ghana in Regional Stage of the Seedstars World Competition 2020

The 94 local winners of the Seedstars World Competition (SSW) 2020 have been announced  and HR Tech startup CodeLn is set to represent Ghana in the next round of the competition. From the Africa region, 25 startups are set to compete for a spot at the Global Finale, where the grand prize is $500K in funding. For more information about the competition, visit the Seedstars website

“During this unusual year for everyone, I am proud to say that we managed to identify the most promising startups in 94 emerging markets. The online format of the competition allowed us to dream and go bigger as we reached a larger audience and invited more startups from all the cities of each country to apply. Now, we can’t wait for our local winners to represent their countries in the webisodes of the regional stage of the competition. I’d like to invite everyone to follow their journey and root for their favorite startup from the different corners of the world,” shares Eugenia Shevchenko, Lead of the Seedstars World Competition 2020.

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Seedstars, the Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, annually holds the Seedstars World Competition to continuously scout for the most promising startups around the Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions. This year, 94 ecosystems were included in the online open call for applications. From there, 1,200 startups participated in the Online Seedstars Academy, a training program for entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth and receive mentorship from industry experts around the world.

The next phase of the competition takes the local winners to the regional stage. From the regionals, 10 startups will receive USD 50K in growth program investment as well as the chance to compete at the Grand Finale for a shot at the Global Winner prize of USD 500K in equity investment. 

For the Africa region, there are 25 startups moving on to the next stage. This year, the SSW20 local winner of Ghana is HR Tech CodeLn, a startup which helps companies swiftly hire verified African Programmers. As a local winner, CodeLn is set to compete alongside the other local winners in the Africa region. And only one will emerge as the regional winner moving on to the Grand Finale.

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Seedstars Africa Regional Manager Lorraine Davis shares, “It has been inspiring seeing entrepreneurs from across the region soldier on through the pandemic and continue to work hard on their solutions. We have met incredible entrepreneurs and are excited to see them competing at the regional stage for a chance to be at the Seedstars Grande Finale in 2021. We wish all the local winners the best of luck for the regional stage competition.”

The regional stage of the competition will include a 1 month long Investment Readiness Program, modernized and personalized program helping startups get investment ready. It will consist of: action-driven webinars on key business metrics; online office hours, where startups can discuss challenges they are facing; domain groups and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions; investor meetings for potential funding opportunities; and peer-to-peer learning and networking sessions.

Online episodes for the regional stage of the competition will be aired at the end of January 2021. Viewers will get to see each local winner pitch in front of the juries and learn more about each of the teams’ startup stories. At the end of each episode, the regional winners moving on to the Global Finale in March 2021 will be announced.
To follow the competition, you may visit the Seedstars World Competition 2020 page here: https://seedsta.rs/2HrNglF

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