This funding will be used to support the African organizations honored in the BAF 2022 cohort. Each organization is impact-oriented, African-led and -owned, and represents the healthcare, education, agriculture, renewable energy, and menstrual health sectors. Since 2018, ADN has recognized and catalyzed 53 African startups in 5 cohorts, recognizing the rising stars of African entrepreneurship as they build the continent’s future through nonprofit and for-profit businesses addressing the needs of their communities.
According to Almaz Negash, ADN’s Founder and Executive Director, “Builders of Africa’s Future began as an idea to support grassroots African entrepreneurs. This effort was spearheaded by ADN board member and former chairman Twum Djin who organized the first awards ceremony at the 2018 African Diaspora Investment Symposium. This special celebration of early-stage entrepreneurship has since grown into an enterprise accelerator, now in its fifth year and approaching its sixth.”
From April through June 2022, the Builders of Africa’s Future completed a rigorous virtual enterprise accelerator with the African Management Institute of Kenya. The training topics included investment readiness, growth opportunities, building talent, financial analysis, accounting, and business planning. Each entrepreneur was paired with a direct mentor and two mentor pool connections based on their stated areas of need.
The Builders of Africa’s Future program provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses at the annual African Diaspora Investment Symposium. In 2022, the Symposium was held virtually, which presented the perfect opportunity for global venture capitalist firms and angel, impact, and philanthropic investors to learn about innovations coming from some of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs. Past BAF entrepreneurs have leveraged this opportunity to attract additional funding from investors and recognition from international media outlets and organizations.
Ms. Negash adds, “We are so delighted to see the accelerator at this level where we have dedicated funders in the U.S. African Development Foundation and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in support of the training. We give special thanks to our funders and entrepreneurs.”
USADF is committed to supporting African-led and -owned ventures. According to Travis Adkins, President and CEO of USADF and member of ADN’s Executive Advisory Council, “At USADF, we are committed to deepening the connection between Africa and the African Diaspora in the United States. USADF first partnered with the Builders of Africa’s Future program in 2021 to provide catalytic funding to African enterprises with the potential to make significant social impact in their communities. We are proud to support ADN, one of the United States’ preeminent diaspora organizations in its fifth year of the Builders of Africa’s Future program.”
The 11 entrepreneurs who make up the fifth BAF cohort are: Justine Abuga, CEO and Founder, Ecobora (Kenya); George Akilimali, CEO and Co-Founder, Smartcore Enterprise Limited (Tanzania); Victor Boafo, Co-Founder, Entofarms (Ghana); Dr. Hanane Chaibainou, CEO and Co-Founder, Biotessia (Morocco); Caleb Edwards, Co-Founder and CEO, Wami Agro Limited (Ghana); Sr. Jane Frances Kabagaaju, In-Charge Clinical Officer, Nkuruba Health Centre (Uganda); Jamila Mayanja, CEO, Smart Girls Uganda (Uganda); Sr. Christabel Juunza Mwangani, Emerging Farmers Initiative (Zambia); Hyasintha Ntuyeko, CEO, Kasole Secrets (Tanzania); Dr. Ahimbisibwe Prosper, Co-Founder, mSCAN (Uganda); and Sr. Rose Thumitho, LSOSF, Co-Founder, Mother Kevin Providence Social Enterprise (Uganda).
Find out more about the 2022 BAF cohort here, and learn about how the African Diaspora Network supports economic and social development for Africa and friends of Africa by visiting https://africandiasporanetwork.org/
About the African Diaspora Network
Founded in 2010, African Diaspora Network (ADN) is a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit that promotes entrepreneurship and economic development on the African continent and in the communities where the African diaspora live. We bring together Africans on the continent, in the diaspora, and friends of Africa to actualize their full potential, activate their entrepreneurial spirit, and strategically mobilize financial and intellectual resources to ensure a brighter future for the African continent.
About the United States African Development Foundation
The U.S. African Development Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency established by Congress to invest directly in African grassroots enterprises and social entrepreneurs. USADF’s investments increase incomes, revenues, and jobs by promoting self-reliance and market-based solutions to poverty. USADF creates pathways to prosperity for marginalized populations and communities across Africa.