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The African Fashion Futures Incubator has introduced its first cohort of 14 fashion designers that will be joining its programme to receive training and grant funding. The incubator is set to equip new, up-and-coming fashion start-ups with the necessary skills and resources to create a brand founded on ethical principles in regard to people, place, and profit.
Organisers say the incubator provides a space to challenge ideas and business concepts as well as give access to mentors and resources for the participating fashion designers. It will also cover topics on business models, market positioning, and comparative advantage, as well as sustainability and impact.
The incubator aims to encourage peer learning and cultural exchange among its participants as well as to future-proof them and instil excellent operational and business foundations to ensure growth. The programme also seeks to produce sustainable and financially viable enterprises. while honing the business capabilities of fashion designers, says Onyinye Fafi Obi, project director of the African Fashion Foundation (AFF).
The African Fashion Futures Incubator was created by the Impact Fund For African Creatives in partnership with the African Fashion Foundation in Ghana and includes Seedstars as the implementing partner of the programme.
“Since its inception, the African Fashion Foundation platform has driven professional and educational opportunities in partnership with established players to support the success of the African creative economy. This collaborative programme has been designed to help emerging designers in their infancy succeed by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring, training and investment opportunities,” says Obi.
AFF is a not-for-profit organisation that empowers fashion designers and creative professionals from Africa and its diaspora to succeed in the global fashion industry, among other contemporaries.
Leveraging their extensive experience in providing professional and educational developmental opportunities, AFF has been identified as the aggregator and incubator for fashion designers and brands for the Impact Fund For African Creatives (IFFAC).
IFFAC will be investing in private small and medium-sized enterprises specializing in the creative, fashion, and lifestyle businesses and industries in Africa. The Fund aims to address a lack of capital and management skills in young brands.
The participating designers are:
- Omafume Niemogha of Pepper Row (Nigeria)
- Travis Obeng-Casper of AJABENG (Ghana)
- Cynthia Otiyo-Abila of Cynthia Abila Studios (Nigeria)
- Jason Jermaine Asiedu of Jermaine Bleu (Ghana)
- Orire Aleshinloye of Oríré (Nigeria)
- Kusi Kubi of PALM WINE IceCREAM (Ghana)
- Ebuka Omaliko of Maliko (Nigeria)
- Kelvin Vincent of Anku Studio (Ghana)
- Abiola Adeniran-Olusola of Abiola Olusola (Nigeria)
- Jafaru Larry (Ghana
- Victor Anate of VICNATE (Nigeria)
- Nadia Eman Ibrahim of TABOu (Ghana)
- Aline Mukamusoni of AMIKE (Rwanda)
- George Tetteh of Atto Tetteh (Ghana)
“We’re excited to support designers in the field by supplementing their creativity with business acumen,” says Tom-Chris Emewulu, programme manager of Seedstars.
“Seedstars believes that innovation in all industries is powered by a community that helps empower creatives in every aspect of their work. In this case, from fabric to the runway, we’d like to ensure designers in the incubator are set to scale.”
“IFFAC is excited to embark on this partnership with AFF and Seedstars, with the hope to establish and capture value in these brands at their nascent growth stages,” adds Roberta Annan, founder of IFFAC.
Participants are set to take part in an exponential and transformative program over a 5-month incubation period to scale their ventures and enhance their value chains. Through a tried and tested methodology, the fashion designers will also receive hands-on support from industry experts across a global network as well as grant funding of up to $5 000 each and additional fundraising support.
Click here for more information about the African Fashion Futures Incubator.