Africa FinTech Foundry, an initiative of Access Bank, has begun its accelerator programme with a commitment of N10m in cash to the top three finalists.
The initiative is set to empower emerging start-ups with mentorship programmes, advisory, the bank stated on Thursday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a recent event, the Head of AFF, Daniel Awe, said the foundry was committed to empowering start-ups with resources and ensuring they were equipped to scale their businesses.
“If a start-up has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers, the acceleration is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to build the future of the country.
“In the next 10 years, we see these guys coming here becoming a unicorn worth over $100m, and a season is coming when we would see these start-ups becoming the next drivers of our economy,” Awe said.
Explaining how funding would be made available for the start-ups, he added, “Funding is based on ideas and what would be required to move the idea forward. We have a commitment of about N10m. After they come into the accelerator programme, there are a top three, but the other ones are going to be exposed to investors.
“This initiative would have a direct impact on the economy because it is targeted at the medium-scale businesses, and these are the businesses that can change economies in terms of reducing employment rate and socio-economic levels.”
The Head of Retail Product Insight and Capabilities at Access Bank, Rob Giles, also spoke at the event. “We are looking for companies with ideas that can solve real world problems, and we are different from venture capital firms because we offer an environment where start-ups can be supported, nurtured, advised and get access to people who are further ahead on their journey, like mentors.
“We have seen three companies that can go all the way and our job is to make sure they stay the course and structure their foundations from the very beginning that would allow them to scale.”
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