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Building Scalable Startups for Africa's Prosperity
- A Workshop on Tech-Enabled Innovation

The tech startup sector in Africa has experienced significant growth in recent years, with many African entrepreneurs building innovative solutions to address local challenges. According to the Economist, as of 2022, the region is the only one not experiencing a slowdown in VC funding. In 2021, five out of the seven unicorns in the region were established, and 604 African tech startups raised a total of $5.2 billion. Although this is less than 1% of the $600 billion global VC funding, it signifies changing attitudes and an increased investment appetite in Africa, a continent home to 1.4 billion people.

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Africa's startup sector is becoming mainstream, solving challenges ranging from food production to education, healthcare, financial inclusion, and creativity. It is seen as a sensitive intervention point for the continent's economic advancement. However, it faces several challenges, such as lack of government support, stifling regulatory hurdles, limited complementary infrastructure like transportation and internet access, talent shortage, limited access to technology, and insufficient funding to unlock these opportunities.

Despite these challenges, many young people are still poised to find innovative solutions to overcome the hurdles. Organizations like Founders Factory are working to support these co-founders by providing access to funding, mentorship, and other resources that can help them succeed. Founders Factory Africa is a startup accelerator and incubator program launched in 2018 as a joint venture between Founders Factory, a UK-based startup accelerator, and Standard Bank, a leading African financial institution. It supports startups in the fintech, healthtech, agritech, and edtech sectors, which are sensitive intervention points to address local challenges and drive economic growth.

Through its programs and ventures, Founders Factory Africa is creating a new generation of African entrepreneurs building solutions to address local challenges. The workshop is designed to explore the work of building scalable startups in Africa that can solve pertinent problems and contribute to the continent's prosperity through the lens of Founders Factory, led by Thabiso Foto, its CFO. The workshop will feature insightful discussions with experts, including approaches to building startups, challenges faced, and opportunities that lie ahead. Suitable for academics, innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders, this workshop will also explore the potential future for this sector and its role in Africa's sustainable development.

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