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.

Advanced Workshop in Nairobi 2019

The workshop will take place from 27th to 30th October 2019 in Addis Ababa.

The next call for applications is open now until the deadline on July, 14th 2019.

20 Seats are available.

Link to Registration with venturelabs will soon be available here

Eligibility criteria will ask in addition of the 2018 call for successful completion of MOOCs or proving successful own business activity.

This year, for the first time, a group of 10 Swiss entrepreneurs will join the AIT Camp Africa in Addis.

–        Meeting with selected entrepreneurs from the SABII program

–        Participating in the AfriLabs’ Annual Gathering 28 – 30 October in Addis

–        Guidance to market validation and market entry in Sub-Sahara Africa

–        Exposure to Venture Capitalists – from Africa and Overseas


Impressions of the 2018 Workshop

Successful Participants

to be invited to the Swiss Venturelab Workshop.

Accadius Lunayo, University of Nairobi.
His company Nairobi-based Til’Data LLC uses 3D computational modelling to develop more efficient fertilizers and crop-vaccines for farmers.

Chisepo Chirwa, studied computer science at ZCAS University in Zambia.
His Lusaka, Zambias-based Outsource Now Ltd makes software for businesses, schools and restaurants.

David Sayia, University of Eldoret, Kenya.
His platform, Paybobby, connects freelancers with those looking to hire digital talent.

Elorm Allavi, University of Ghana.
His company mfarmPay uses alternative datasets and algorithms to facilitate loans for farmers.

Oladele Bakare, Anglia Ruskin University.
U.K. Findworka, his Lagos-based platform outsources software development and digital services.

Ruth Kerubo, Karabak University.
Nairobi-based M-shamba Ltd offers a mobile application to help smallholder farmers increase their yield and profit, broadcasting weather forecasts and agronomic advice.

Nonso Opurum, Abuja, Nigeria.
The aim of JaraCare is to improve access to healthcare in Nigeria leveraging on technology,


Call for Proposals 2018


Topic: Swiss Sub-Saharan Business Development Program
Date: Workshop 10th-12th December 2018
Place: Nairobi Garage Kenya
Price: Free of charge
Partners: Venturelab
Universität Basel
SERI (Swiss Confoederation)



Bring your science based startup to next level!

Maximise the potential of your booming startup with a fast-track Afro-Swiss acceleration program.

If you are an entrepreneur or a startup from an Sub-Saharan African innovation hub in the field of Mobile health, Pharmacometrics, Innovative Financing or Digital Humanities then join the Swiss Sub-Saharan business development program.

If you think your project should get a boost, apply until October 31st.

The Swiss – Sub-Saharan business development program (SSABDP) aims to boost the entrepreneurial know-how and exposure of Sub-Saharan graduate students – entrepreneurs seeking growth opportunities by offering a unique program bringing entrepreneurs to innovation hotspot in Nairobi and Switzerland.

Offered free of charge to ambitious young entrepreneurs, this highly competitive program comprises a 3-days workshop for advanced innovation entrepreneurs, and for the top eight candidates, a 4 days intense business development Venture Leaders program in the Swiss startup and business ecosystem.


Open to graduate students – entrepreneurs and startups from Sub-Saharan African innovation hubs, with a strong link to academia, developing products or services in the fields of mobile health, pharmacometrics, innovative financing and digital humanities/knowledge transfer.
Your project or company must be based on research or technology developed at a local university/research institute.

Deadline for application: Oct 31st 2018
Selection of participants: Nov 19th 2018
Advanced entrepreneurs workshop in Nairobi : December 10th to 12th 2018
Business development bootcamp in Switzerland
Spring 2019 (dates to be confirmed)


3-days workshop in Nairobi
Day 1: Learn to deliver a unique customer value and define a striking business plan
Day 2: Shape a winning team and secure funding for growth
Day 3: Master a convincing pitch and individual coaching sessions.
Presentation to an African – Swiss jury and selection of eight candidates for a 4-days action packed entrepreneurial development week in Switzerland.


The program is free of charge. Accommodation expenses on site in Nairobi are covered by the program. For the Swiss week, flights, transport and accommodation in Switzerland are also covered by the program.

For further information please contact Markus Rommel (

More Information on Business Development

Download the Flyer Here