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Future of Work Africa 2021 Accelerator Programme open for early-stage startups

Village Capital, a hybrid organization identified as a non-profit and venture capital firm has announced the opening of applications for the Future of Work Africa 2021 Accelerator Programme. 

The programme will select 20-30 startups that address unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Applications for the Future of Work Africa 2021 Accelerator Programme close on 22 January 2021

The accelerator will provide the selected startups the opportunity to scale their business and the chance to secure $20 000 in grant funding from IFC.

In an official press release, Adedana Ashebir, Village Capital’s Regional Manager for Africa explains that the accelerator programme will increase the opportunity for startups to build.

“Nearly half of all young people in Sub-Saharan Africa experience long-term unemployment. The scale of the problem already required urgent action and innovation – the Covid-19 pandemic makes this more urgent. I’m excited to work with entrepreneurs from around the region who are preparing the labour force for the future of work, allowing them to access better employment opportunities and help them build careers in which they can thrive.”

Village Capital aims to invest in socially-conscious startups interested in clean energy, health care, food, agriculture, etc. 

Village Capital, founded in 2009 has reportedly supported over 1 000 early-stage entrepreneurs through investment-readiness programmes.

Village Capital receives support for the programme from a member of the World Bank Group, The International Finance Corporation (IFC). 

The programme

The selected 20-30 startups will participate in one of two cohorts that will be taking place in May and June of 2021. The cohorts will prioritise improving investment-readiness and startups will have the opportunity to earn $20 000 in grant funding that can be used to scale their business. 

The selected startups will have the opportunity to engage with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to build their networks and scale their impact.

Startups can apply for the programme online

After completing the application, startups will be invited to join Village Capital’s online network titled, Abaca. The online network connects startups with investors and resources and assists entrepreneurs with understanding when they are ready for investment. 


Applicants must address youth unemployment through: 

  • Innovative solutions such as upskilling programs
  • Credentialing programs
  • New innovative ideas that address apprenticeship or employment matching
  • Financial health for informal workers
  • Edtech for informal workers

Read more: Eight African startups selected for Facebook Commerce Accelerator
Read more: Gauteng Accelerator Programme finalists announced

Featured Image: Sora Shimazaki via Pexels

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