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IFC said in a statement last Thursday (26 September) that it had made the investment in the accelerator and early-stage seed fund to support tech entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs in particular.
The corporation added that the investment will also boost Tunisia’s nascent venture capital (VC) ecosystem.
Half of IFC’s investment in Flat6Labs Tunisia’s Anava Seed Fund is provided by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative
Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) — a partnership among governments, multilateral development banks and other public and private stakeholders — has provided half of the investment.
An initiative of the World Bank, We-Fi supports women entrepreneurs in developing countries by building their capacity, scaling up access to financial products and services and providing links with domestic and global markets.
Flat6Labs increasing seed fund to $10-million
Flat6Labs Tunisia also announced that it will increase its seed fund size to $10-million to support up to 100 technology companies and to help address the lack of early-seed stage capital in Tunisia
Flat6Labs Tunisia is a partnership between the region’s largest acceleration programme and early-stage investment platform Flat6Labs and BIAT, the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund, Meninx Holding and Le15.
The accelerator’s CEO Ramez El-Serafy, commenting in the same statement, said the partnership with the IFC will enable it to continue providing entrepreneurs with a better support programme and encourage more candidates, especially women, to apply and thrive through it.
As part of the We-Fi programe, the IFC will also work with Flat6Labs Tunisia to support women entrepreneurs and help overcome the challenges they face through a gender-led strategy to foster greater inclusion and create more opportunities.
The investment in Flat6Labs Tunisia is part of IFC’s $30-million Startup Catalyst initiative, which backs accelerators and seed funds in emerging markets to catalyse the VC ecosystem and spur entrepreneurial activity.
The Flat6Labs Tunisia investment follows two other investments through the Startup Catalyst programme in the MENA region, namely Flat6Labs Cairo, Flat6Labs’ flagship accelerator programme and Ibtikar Capital, an early stage fund in Palestine.
Featured image: IFCMENA via Twitter