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News | Development Cooperation 04.02.2015
Impact Hub launched in Africa
empowering people – entrepreneurial ideas for sustainable social change
The Impact Hub offers networks, infrastructure and space for entrepreneurs and social innovators to help them build and develop their start-ups and social enterprises. At the heart of all the initiatives stands the goal of creating a positive impact for society. Today, the worldwide network is already represented in 32 countries with more than 11,000 members.
In the context of the “Africa Seed Program”, supported by Siemens Stiftung, BMW Foundation and Argidius Foundation, teams from Africa were for the first time invited to apply to become founders of Impact Hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. The selection criteria included a sustainable business model, a committed and experienced team, and the successful involvement of the local communities.
Since 2015, Impact Hub is now present in Africa to provide social entrepreneurs with a space to develop and implement their ideas as well as to build valuable networks. Seven teams have made it into the official selection for the Impact Hub network: Accra (Ghana), Bamako (Mali), Kigali (Rwanda), Khartoum (Sudan), Kampala (Uganda), Lusaka (Zambia) and Harare (Zimbabwe). Over the coming months, they will work together with experienced founders to develop their Hubs. This collaboration officially started in Kampala in the last week of January. The teams met for the first time in order to further develop their business models as well as to connect and further expand their networks across national boundaries.
There was a strong determination across all teams to closely collaborate in terms of strategic focus, both regarding operations and content. “We envision the Impact Hubs in Africa being very interdependent”, says Ihab Osman from the Impact Hub Team Khartoum. “The induction meeting in Kampala was a perfect setting to get to know the other African teams and to start building the trust and confidence for a functioning regional network. We will also be facing many similar topics in terms of content and impact. Africa is the youngest continent in the world, with more than half of the population below the age of 25 in some states. So many of these young people don’t even come close to realizing their potential! With the Impact Hub, we want to build opportunities for them to create their own impact.”
Siemens Stiftung is supporting the “Africa Seed Program” of the Impact Hub in order to empower social entrepreneurs in Africa to turn their ideas into reality. The infrastructure provided by the Impact Hub is the basis for entrepreneurial activities. In many African countries, this cannot be taken for granted. Networks, incubation programs and consultancy will further empower social entrepreneurs to increase their positive impact.