Impact Hub Fellowship in Africa

Impact Hub Fellowship is a topic focused entrepreneurial idea award and one-year incubation program designed to attract, select and support early stage impact orientated entrepreneurs and help them realise their innovations for a more sustainable world. Each Fellowship gets implemented by the collaborative effort of key stakeholders.
The Fellows and finalists contribute to solve key pressing social and ecological issues of our time with enterprising ideas. Support is provided throughout the fellowship year so that they build a strong foundation for growth into scalable, innovative, impactful ventures.
Rapid economic growth continues to underscore a new narrative for Africa. Many countries on the continent are dealing with complex social and environmental challenges that characterize usually high growth ecosystems. Widespread youth unemployment and rising income inequality have led to rising crime rates in urban centers while increased rural-urban migration has doubled the pressure on the limited infrastructure for services such as education, health, transport, housing and waste management.    
Fortunately, these challenges create fertile grounds for a new crop of entrepreneurs who are motivated by the desire to create positive impact in their communities. These emerging entrepreneurs are driven to create viable and sustainable businesses that provide communities with critical products and services. The businesses also function as anchors for the community whenever there are economic shocks resulting from events such as disease outbreaks, security threats, civil and political unrest.    
The Impact Hub Fellowship on Resilient Communities is part of an ongoing partnership between Cordaid and Impact Hub and is aimed at identifying, recognizing and supporting entrepreneurs with innovative social business solutions that enhance the resilience of their communities against external shocks. The program is implemented in 3 cities across 3 countries: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bujumbura, Burundi and Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Program structure

The entire program is structured in 3 phases:

Phase 1: Campaign & Application

During the application phase we invite everyone interested to benefit from a ideation workshop, where you will learn how to conceptualise your idea with a clear business approach. From all applications received, 6 candidates are invited to a pitching workshop and later to pitch in front of a professional jury panel, where the 3 finalists will be selected, who will than enter the cohort.

Phase 2: Cohort

The cohort is an intensive 6-week acceleration phase, targeting the development of a full-fledged business model, as well as other key competences and start-up skills. Finalists further gain access to a personal coach, valuable networks and a stimulating workspace at Impact Hub. At the end of this phase, the Impact Hub Fellow will be selected, who will enter the incubation phase.

Phase 3: Incubation

The goal for the Fellow during the 9-month incubation phase is to build a management team, found a legal entity, develop and test a prototype and secure additional funding as well as customer contacts. During this phase the Fellow  receives  significant seed funding as well as connections to peer entrepreneurs, coaches, and other valuable contacts. These relationships, combined with focused skill development and access to a vibrant community of change-makers in an inspiring work atmosphere, help facilitate the start-up of a thriving social business.

Incubation support

Fellows initiatives get significant seed funding as well as connections to peer entrepreneurs, coaches, and other valuable contacts. These relationships, combined with skills training, help facilitate the start-up of a thriving social business.

Seed funding

Funding is awarded to finance the very early steps of Fellow’s initiatives. Seed funding is essential to entrepreneurs entering the challenging shift from intention to action. This capital is to be spent for prototyping, business incorporation, and basic living costs.

Workspace

Get immersed into the Impact Hub community of change-makers. The peer-to-peer effect in the curated Impact Hub spaces will make a big difference during the initial venture-forming phase. Fellows can fully focus on the development of their venture in a uniquely designed space and inspiring work atmosphere. While some famous tech ventures have started in a garage, social innovation happens at Impact Hub!

Coaching

Together with their coaches, Fellows will develop and track a targeted milestone plan meant to advance the incubation phase of a Fellow’s venture. In cooperation with our partners and existing programs offered at Impact Hub, further training may also be offered to complement and strengthen Fellows’ critical skills.

Network

Fellows plug into a network of like-minded individuals and experts, who will facilitate the beginnings, growth, and overall scale of each Fellow’s venture. Connections like these allows them to gain access to resources and that will ultimately increase the impact of their work. A mentorship approach to each venture means that Fellows will get exposure to an extensive pool of experienced colleagues, resources who will ultimate build connections to potential partners and investors.

What is Impact Hub?

We believe a better world is created through the combined accomplishments of compassionate, creative, and committed individuals focused on a common purpose. Impact Hub is a network of  collaborators focused on making a positive impact in our world. There are 91+ From Amsterdam to Johannesburg, Singapore to San Francisco, Impact Hub is a rapidly expanding, diverse global network of over 11,000+ members in 91+ locations all over the world.
Impact Hub in Africa
With 91+ Impact Hubs across the world and only Impact Hub Johannesburg as of last year in Africa, a focused effort was made to expand in the region through the launching of the Africa Seed Program. Due to the large interest generated, the Resilience Program followed also focused on supporting local entrepreneurial teams to start an Impact Hub in their cities.

Our goal is to jointly create platforms and experiences that inspire, connect and enable individuals and institutions around the world to a more sustainable society. Through our direct and collaborative efforts we support journeys of impact on many different levels.

Since 2014 Impact Hub has identified, selected and supported highly talented founding teams across the region working to start up an Impact Hub in their cities. In May and June 2015, 5 new teams across Africa (joining the existing Impact Hub in Johannesburg, South Africa) were officially approved by the Association and plan to launch their Impact Hubs in late 2015, early 2016.

Each new local Impact Hub is developed and owned by a local team and is deeply rooted in the local market and community. External support is offered through a thorough an Onboarding process based on peer-to-peer review and support which allows key practices, experiences and programs to be transferred from the global network.