SABII – Swiss Africa Business Innovation Initiative


SABII is a joint program to foster startup entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a competitive scheme science-based business founders are selected based on their prior experience (own company incorporation, MOOC certificates, course attendance certificates at Higher Education Institutions) to take part in an advanced workshop in Africa. There, they are offered mentoring and are invited to pitch their ideas to a Swiss-African jury. The heads of the most innovative and promising business projects are subsequently invited to Switzerland for a one – week stay to meet with business peers and aquire insights into the local startup ecosystem. The workshops and business weeks are organized with our partners at Venturelab. Embedded in new networks and with the support of local partners in Africa like AfriLabs business creators step up to their next level.


Business Hubs and Networking Opportunities


AfriLabs was founded in 2011 to build a community around rapidly emerging tech hubs―innovation spaces that serve as meeting points and communities for developers, entrepreneurs, and investors.



Seedstars funds and accelerates the most promising startups in emerging markets by connecting investors and mentors with talented entrepreneurs.

Disrupt Africa

Disrupt Africa is a one-stop-shop for all news, information and commentary pertaining to the continent’s tech startup – and investment – ecosystem. With journalists roaming the continent to find, meet, and interview the most innovative and disruptive tech startups, Disrupt Africa is a true showcase of Africa’s most promising businesses and business ideas.

Funds for NGOs

Funds for NGOs is not a funding organization. They do not directly provide grants and they also do not fundraise or write proposals, but provide the resources NGOs need to learn how to provide these services themselves.  They use their website to spread knowledge from experienced fundraising experts to NGOs around the world and increase their capacity.

TIA South Africa

The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is a national public entity that serves as the key institutional intervention to bridge the innovation chasm between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, and private sector, and commercialisation.

TIA’s focus is on technology development; from proof of concept to the pre commercialisation. To achieve this, TIA established the following funds: the Seed Fund, the Technology Development Fund and the Commercialisation Support Fund.

In order to deal with the effective implementation of these funds, TIA implemented pre- and post-investment processes to improve client management, turnaround times and post-approval support to existing and new technology projects within the TIA portfolio. In terms of non-financial support to its projects TIA’s Innovation Skills Development (ISD) unit continues to strengthen its support in the areas of business and entrepreneur development.

Impact Hub Africa

Impact Hubs are a catalyst to foster social innovation. They form a global community, consultancy and a creative space. They work at the intersection of innovation and society to collaboratively create impact with an entrepreneurial mindset.

African Leadership University

The African Leadership University ALU is an institution focussing on transferring business skills and delivering career development. Their programs reach from undergrate over MBA to the professional entrepreneur level. Founded 2015 in Mauritius they also maintain outreach offices in Rwanda and Nairobi.

Strathmore University Business School

Based in Nairobi, SBS offers postgraduate academic management programmes (Master, MBA, PhD) as well as advanced level executive education in different sectors such as Business, Public Policy, Finance, Agribusiness and Healthcare.

EU-Africa Start-Up Fair

The EU has selected top 100 promising start-ups, 50 from Europe and 50 from Africa to attend the 6th EU-Africa Business Forum. These startups were given the opportunity to showcase and promote their services and technology to investors and decision makers during a Startup Fair. In addition they will be able to attend a number of side events dedicated to entrepreneurship, digital economy, energy and agriculture.

EU-Africa Business Forum

The EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF) is an integral part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). Its main objective is bringing the views of business to both European and African leaders on critical issues pertaining to both continents’ relations.

It brings together African and European business leaders representing multi-nationals, large corporations, small and medium-scale enterprises and confederations, and multilateral and regional institutions to discuss how to improve the business and investment climate between Africa and the EU.

Empretec UNCTAD

Empretec is a flagship capacity-building programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the promotion of entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) to facilitate sustainable development and inclusive growth.
Empretec’s core product is the Entrepreneurship Training Workshop (ETW), which aims to foster the motivation and self-confidence of participants who have chosen to start or expand their businesses.

Briter Bridges Innovation Maps

The Briter Bridges Innovation Maps are the first of a number of visual series aimed at showcasing technology ecosystems across emerging markets. The maps are sector focused and provide an overview of several verticals across Africa, MENA, and beyond.
Innovation Map

Cartier Women’s Initiative

This website lists practical resources and tools for entrepreneurs such as guides, videos, podcasts, tips to create and grow businesses.
Also they showcase a short list of women entrepreneur networks in Africa.

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Online Courses, MOOCs and Webinars

Entrepreneurships in Nonprofits

to FutureLearn

Learn about economic tools to become a successful social entrepreneur.

Nonprofit organizations operate globally in many areas. They address societal issues in fields like health, culture and arts, environment, education and research. With their work, they make a significant contribution to sustainable social and ecological development. This course provides you with the economic tools and knowledge that are needed to become a successful social entrepreneur. It gives you an introduction to the topics that need to be addressed in order to make informed decisions in nonprofits, and it asks to look upon your own practice in order to critically reflect your learnings.

  • Length: 5 weeks
  • Effort: 4 hours per week
  • Price: Free; 64€ for unlimited access and certificate
  • Institution: University Basel
  • Level:  New or aspiring managers and experienced managers with few formal qualifications
  • Language: English


Find the right markets for your innovation – A tool for entrepreneurs and innovators for choosing which markets to play in. Learn how to apply the Market Opportunity Navigator – a three-step tool for identifying, evaluating and strategizing market opportunities – to get the most value for your innovation.

FutureLearn Courses: Become an Entrepreneur

 to FutureLearn

Want to learn how to start your own business? Or bring new ideas and energy to your current organisation? Develop key entrepreneurial skills with short online entrepreneurship courses from top universities and business schools.

Some Inspiration

ICT Startup Entrepreneurs in Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya share their stories in this 42 min documentary report feature from Deutsche Welle.

Business Model Thinking

 to FutureLearn

Do you have a business idea? Can your idea make a difference?

This course will show you how to use business model thinking and other tools and techniques, to develop your ideas into business opportunities.

You’ll learn how to assess the viability of your business idea and the value it will add to your business.

You’ll understand how businesses of all sizes can add value in a global market, and have societal impacts and benefits.

You’ll find out about the importance of vision, mission and value proposition for your business.

  • Length: 2 weeks
  • Effort: 3 hours per week
  • Price: Free; 64€ for unlimited access and certificate
  • Institution: Coventry University
  • Level: People progressing into senior roles
  • Language: English

Innovation Strategy: Challenging the Usual Suspects

to FutureLearn

Gain innovation strategy insights and learn to apply them to advanced and emerging contexts in business.

Meeting today’s business and world challenges requires going beyond the thinking that created the challenges in the first place. This is where a good innovation strategy helps. On this course you will develop your knowledge of the challenges of open innovation, management innovation, platform innovation and emerging market innovation and learn how to meet them with a long-term approach. Using quizzes, the newest theoretical insights, cases on pioneering businesses, and thought-provoking debates with leading experts, you will solidify your knowledge of innovation.

  • Length: 4 weeks
  • Effort: 3 hours per week
  • Price: Free; 49€ for unlimited access and certificate
  • Institution: Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Level: Graduates with strategic innovation experience and experienced professionals
  • Language: English

Management and Leadership: Growing as a Manager

to FutureLearn

This online course will provide an introduction to the foundation skills and knowledge you need when becoming a manager.

It has been developed by The Open University Business School – a pioneering institution that is triple accredited by AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB – and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – the leading authority on management and leadership in the UK.

As such, it will give you the opportunity to learn from both academic experts and experienced practitioners, who have achieved the CMI’s prestigious Chartered Manager status.

  • Length: 4 weeks
  • Effort: 3 hours per week
  • Price: Free; 74€ for unlimited access and certificate
  • Institution: The Open University
  • Level:  New or aspiring managers and experienced managers with few formal qualifications
  • Language: English

Teaching Entrepreneurial Thinking

to FutureLearn

Get an introduction to what entrepreneurial thinking is, and how and why we should teach it.

We live in an uncertain and complex world, where the big problems of today and tomorrow are yet to be identified.

Teaching young people the skills and resilience to live and thrive in such a world is the purpose of entrepreneurial thinking.

This course will introduce you to what entrepreneurial thinking is, and why it’s an important skill for young people to learn.

  • Length: 2 weeks
  • Effort: 1 hour per week
  • Price: Free; 49€ for unlimited access and certificate
  • Institution: Queensland University of Technology
  • Level: People progressing into senior roles
  • Language: English

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Business Development News

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