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The New Economy Accelerator (NEA), a Cape Town-based initiative that aims to accelerate high-impact enterprises, has announced plans to launch an online peer-to-peer learning platform to assist entrepreneurs running social enterprises.
The platform is expected to launch in March.
The accelerator is run by the African Transition To A New Economy forum (ATTANE) and also works with companies in East Africa and the rest of southern Africa.
The accelerator’s convener Mao Amis (pictured above) said the platform is a result of “key learnings” the accelerator has had from its two most recent cohorts in 2016 and 2017.
“Over the last three years, we have learnt that one of the most invaluable services incubators can provide is the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning,” Amis said in an email.
He said instead of turning to peer-to-peer learning, many incubation and accelerator programmes prefer instead to rely on coaching and mentoring — often by facilitators who have never run a business themselves.
“We observed that there was a greater need for the programme participants to stay in communication with us and among themselves,” he said.
NEA’s peer-to-peer learning platform will be a space where African entrepreneurs can collaborate and share lessons
He said the accelerator is currently developing terms of reference and an “on-boarding strategy” which will put in place a set of criteria which will determine who can join the platform. The project has been underway for the past six months.
Interested entrepreneurs will be able to access the platform free of charge.
The accelerator’s convener believes the organisation has a “very good understanding of how to do business in Africa”.
“We want to share that experience with South African entrepreneurs, but also link them up directly with other entrepreneurs in the continent,” he said.
He hopes that the platform will provide a space for entrepreneurs from across Africa to collaborate and share lessons.
The accelerator is currently working with 20 enterprises from its last two cohorts in 2016 and 2017. Last year in October, NEA showcased some of these businesses in Kuruman.
Featured image: New Economy Accelerator convenor Mao Amis (Supplied)