By Derrick Sinjela , Saeed Simon Banda and Henry Chunza
FOLLOWING the success of the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, which secured $16 million (USD) of funding for six (6) emerging businesses last year, the programme has been expanded to eight more countries across Africa.
Many more small businesses in Africa’s technology sector now have the chance to benefit from the 2023 programme, which provides the skills and opportunities needed to attract transformative business funding.
At the beginning of the program five Zambian SME’s, who were selected for the program, presented their ideas to a panel of judges and three, Lupiya, Mighty Finance Solutions Limited and PremierCredit, made it to the South Africa Leg of the program. MultiChoice Zambia Managing Director Mrs. Leah Kooma commented on the business’ commitment to growing Africa through initiatives such as these. She further added that the business was aligned with the government’s mandate to grow the Zambian economy by empowering SME’s and as a partner for growth, she said this was MultiChoice’s way of contributing to the achievement of this agenda.
“We’re really excited that we have three Zambian companies which have qualified to this stage of the Accelerator Program. As a business our aim remains to enrich the lives of Zambians and contributing to the governments agenda to grow the economy by empowering SME’s is just one way that we are responding and supporting this government and Zambia as a whole,” said Ms. Kooma, in a Friday, 24th February 2023 Media Release circulated by MultiChoice Zambia Head, Corporate Communications, Chilufya Mwelwa Mumba.
The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, which kicked off during Global Entrepreneurship Week, is aimed at established start-ups and small enterprises in specific technology sectors – healthtech, Agritech, fintech, edutech, the circular economy and the creative industries.
Having started in South Africa in 2021, the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator is expanding to Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Angola and Ethiopia. Zambia will be hosting this second leg of the program where the SME’s from nine (9) countries will be engaged in a bootcamp session to learn how to shape their story for international investors, and to get “pitch ready” before their big presentations. After which the SME’s will be awarded for their participation in the program at an award gala event which will be graced by the Republican President Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme is an initiative of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, in collaboration with Dubai-based business incubator Companies Creating Change (C3), which gives entrepreneurs access to the tools, skills and financial support to grow their business.
The first phase of the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme saw public and private-sector partners in each country nominating businesses or entrepreneurs for the programme. From there, 29 of the start-ups embarked on an intensive virtual training course. The initiative is aimed at established businesses that are already operating and looking to scale up by attracting further investment.
The virtual training course has taken several weeks, teaching start-up owners media skills, how best to market their businesses to investors, how to create attractive business plans, and to know what investors are looking for.
As a company deep rooted in Africa and Zambia specifically, MultiChoice will strive to ensure that we continue investing in innovative ways of enriching lives and growing Africa’s economies – Mrs Kooma.