Village Capital launches an Accelerator for Accelerators program in the MENA region

Over the past few years, a large number of initiatives promoting entrepreneurship have emerged in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), two focus regions of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The number of Entrepreneur Support Organisations (ESOs) operating in the region has more than doubled in the past two years, an indication of a vibrant and growing startup ecosystem. Related to this, Village Capital has launched an Accelerator for Accelerators-program in the MENA region gelanceerd with the support of DGGF.     

Employees of Village Capital in a meeting.
Image: ©Village Capital

Fragmentation of the early-stage entrepreneurial ecosystem

Yet, like in many emerging markets, the MENA startup ecosystem is fragmented and facing the challenge of duplicative support services whose impacts are difficult to quantify. ESOs need support to sustainably progress the entrepreneurs they seek to support, address impact gaps and demonstrate the robustness of their strategies, operations and quality services.

While local ESOs are critical to building an investable pipeline for the emerging venture capital industry, only a few programs currently lead to investment outcomes. This gap highlights a need to support these ESOs to better serve and drive capital to youth-led, high-growth potential ventures, and foster stronger networks in the region. The growth of early-stage businesses has been shown to increase job creation and contribute to the region's development.       

Driving capital to meaningful solutions

Village Capital (VilCap) has been supporting impact-driven seed-stage startups and running accelerators for locally led ESOs, enabling them to raise funding and run programs that effectively supports entrepreneurs. DGGF’s SC&BD support will allow to select locally-led ESOs and give them the support they need to better serve and drive capital to youth-led high growth potential ventures, and build networks across the region, specifically with early-stage investors. This will further the growth of local early-stage businesses that will create jobs, notably for the youth.

VilCap & DGGF

DGGF has worked with Village Capital before to strengthen the skills of ESO mid-level managers. With this program, the organisations (in partnership with the African Management Institute (AMI)) strengthened the technical and soft skills of 42 mid-level officers from 23 ESOs across 19 African countries.