How did it all start?
- In late 2014, candidate teams interested in opening Impact Hubs in Africa prepared their applications with the input of their local entrepreneurial community: They had to find an existing Impact Hub to serve as their sponsor, reflect on their successes and challenges, provide an initial market analysis, and produce a two-minute video introducing their team.
- Congratulations! After a lengthy assessment process, seven teams were chosen for the program:
- Ghana: The Ghanain team is the founding team of an existing space called Hub Accra. Hub Accra strongly desires to be part of the Impact Hub network. The team has a quite diverse skill set, and as they are an up and running space, they are very familiar with the obstacles and challenges of running such a project.
Mali: They are a dynamic group with a diverse experience and skills set and with vast experience in the field. The team has many contacts to government, corporates, and investors potentially willing to invest.
Rwanda: There is currently a co-working space operating in Kigali called The Office. This space had a single founder who is interested in transitioning it into an Impact Hub. They have a great network and experience in the entrepreneurial field.
- Zimbabwe: This all-female team is particularly keen on women’s entrepreneurship and youth. They are a dynamic, fun and passionate team.
- Sudan: The seven members of the team are incredibly passionate. The team has a diverse skills set and experience in the sector. Khartoum currently has a small entrepreneurial community, so they have to be very innovative with their business model.
- Uganda: They are an all-Ugandan team, mostly focused on social enterprise among youth. They are passionate and enthusiastic about building an Impact Hub in Kampala.
- Zambia: The team is made up of two Zambians and one expat, and all have significant experience in the areas and companies relevant for Impact Hub. They have strong contacts with investors and have already solidified part of their initial capital.
After the selection – how did the journey continue?
- Africa Seed Program Induction Meeting, January 27-30, 2015, Kampala, Uganda
- Kampala hosted the first Impact Hub Induction Training in Africa. This special meeting was organized in cooperation with the seven teams who were about to embark on a unique journey.
- Over the course of one week, they worked with each other as well as with experienced founders of existing Impact Hubs. Together, they dealt with a variety of often challenging contexts by developing sustainable business models for new local Impact Hubs.
- Waleed Babiker from the Impact Hub candidate team Khartoum: "What I loved about the kick-off meeting was that it brought the African teams together and created a platform where we can network with other teams and partners of the Africa Seed Program. It gave us the opportunity to cross-check our ideas on content and sustainability."
- Aretha Mare from Impact Hub candidate team Harare too mentioned the networking possibilities as a key driver for social change: "It’s all about the people. In Africa we care a lot about who we work with, build comfort, to make sure we have the same shared values and shared dreams. The biggest lever of impact is the people."
- Lesley Williams from Joburg summarized: "The Impact Hub network opens doors to connect social entrepreneurs and cultures. It crosses borders without needing government or institutions to make it practical for us to collaborate."