Twenty tech startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have arrived in London to take part in the first edition of the Go Global Africa programme, which aims to help them take their businesses to the next level.
The two-week Go Global Africa programme is part of a United Kingdom (UK) government effort to create mutually beneficial partnerships with Africa and develop new tech to solve local and global issues and pave the way for future trade
It is part of the UK-Africa Innovation Partnerships announced by Prime Minister Theresa May in August 2018, and will support startups to improve their business skills and capability, build links with the UK’s thriving tech sector, and work with UK expertise to take their firms to the next level.
The cohort, which was selected from more than 400 applicants, includes six from Kenya – Afya-Plan, Myfugo, Cherehani Africa, FlexPay, CropCrowd and Elikham – and seven from Nigeria – Innovation Corner, Thrive Agric, eTrash2Cash, PiggyVest, HelpMum, Social Lender and Helium Health.
Another seven of the startups are from South Africa, namely Envisionit E-Escrow, GLU Global, MaxiCash, Nobuntu, Pineapple, Technovera and Health Solutions Africa.
They will receive coaching from pitching experts Enterprise Academy, a public speaking masterclass, and advice on scaling up from PwC’s dedicated startup team and the Natwest Fintech Accelerator. The Bethnal Green Ventures accelerator will provide the startups with insights on how to launch and scale tech for good ventures, and Carlos Espinal from Seedcamp will provide guidance on fundraising.
Following the programme the startups will receive ongoing support from the UK’s International Tech Hub Network, which now spans three continents and has seven hubs. They will act as Go Global champions and share the skills they have learned to mentor other firms in their countries.
“It is fantastic to welcome these talented entrepreneurs to the UK. Africa is a vibrant and dynamic continent, with huge potential for growth, and the firms chosen for the first Go Global Africa programme see tech as a force for good in society,” said UK digital minister Margot James.
“I’ve no doubt they have the talent to play a transformative role in their country’s growth while also building connections for UK startups in new markets and highlighting Britain as the place to develop new technology.”