Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with many young entrepreneurs starting businesses and creating jobs across the continent. However, these entrepreneurs frequently face roadblocks to securing the capital that would allow them to grow and increase the positive impact on their communities.
In October, more than 250 venture capitalists, government leaders, and entrepreneurs gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa for Africa Investor Week (AIW), organized by Emmanuel Luthuli, 2017 Fellow from South Africa and CEO and Co-Founder of LanteOTC, a crowd-funding investment platform. Over three days of networking and discussions, AIW conference attendees discussed investment trends in Africa, the challenges of identifying investment-ready enterprises, and the private sector’s role in cultivating young entrepreneurs on the continent.
“I recall the day I landed home from the Fellowship in 2017, glowing with ideas, only to receive stone cold resistance from investors,” recalled Luthuli. “Africa Investor Week aims to bring together entrepreneurs seeking capital and investors eager to invest in startups to explore challenges and solutions.” As a part of AIW, the Mandela Washington Fellowship held its inaugural Amplify Community Expertise (ACE) Event for Fellow Alumni. One of the newest Alumni initiatives, ACE Events allow Fellow Alumni and external experts the opportunity to network and engage on strategic topics in tandem with regional and global conferences.