20 Businesses LEVEL UP

After six months of intensive training, our WEAC LEVEL UP Accelerator cohort came to a close on 17th February 2022 – recording a 100% competition rate. The cohort, which is one of six Accelerator cohorts, was manged by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Access Centre (WEAC), who were contracted to take a cohort of 20 Agribusinesses through the 6-month Accelerator Training. The training aims to help businesses be investor ready and WEAC worked with other organisations to make sure that the businesses got the most value out of it.

WEAC worked with Headroom to take the participants through mental health and wellbeing coaching, Impact Capital Africa on investment-readiness pitching, growth strategy and development of bankable business plans. The cohort also worked with US based Brilliant Entrepreneur company. Local partners included MSK and Zanaco.

Speaking at the cohort close out event, AGS Programme Team leader, Gareth Evans, indicated that the accelerator does not end with the close of the cohort – the AGS will continue to support the MSMEs on their growth journey and is excited about the business growth that will follow having gone through the accelerator programme.

And in her opening remarks, the Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, H.E Pirjo Soumela Chowdhury, urged the businesses to put the lessons learned and the commodity package to great use and to continue being passionate and hardworking.

The event was also graced by Zambia Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Elias Mubanga. He reiterated that Government is committed to grow the private sector and that the ministry would address the challenges faced by SMEs and has thus increased the Community Development Fund. He further thanked the Finnish Government for coming up with programmes that support the growth of SMEs and called on financial institutions and development partners to come on board to support the sector. The minister pledged to support SMEs with access to finance and the market.

Watch the replay here.