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Young Moroccan “start-upers” attending 2019 NEF Africa Science Week, 20–22 November, in Rabat

North Africa’s start-ups stand out in Africa for the number of investments attracted, scalable products built and a policy environment that is favorable to entrepreneurship and innovation. The Tunisia Start-Up Act has become a template for other countries to copy and contextualize. The North Africa (NA) region, also, is relatively endowed with a variety of funding sources for startups at each stage of entrepreneurial growth. Here are three ways North Africa’s start-ups offer hope for investment on the continent:

  1. Available funding

North Africa start-ups have a variety of funding sources available for the highly innovative entrepreneurs, the majority of which are venture capital funds. A sizable number of private equity finance, angel investors, non-profit impact funders, accelerators, incubators and events also chime in with funding support. In 2019 alone, a study by Ventureburn discovered that about USD$64.1-million venture capital (VC) had been released to 15 startups in North Africa. These funds targeted promising start-ups in the following sectors: fintech, mobility, clean-tech, education culture and innovative learning solutions, AI, IoT, big data, e-commerce and cyber security. Funds are also available for underserved communities in emerging markets such as the Bamboo Capital Partners Fund. Non-profits are also part of the funding mix, bringing in testing funds for start-ups that show high potential for impact. Other investors, such as Modus Capital, offer a multi-pronged approach investing USD$75 million in growth-stage start-ups in the MENA region and offering an incubation programme and co-working spaces. In 2019, a startup from Egypt, Swvl managed to raise USD $42 million and another startup, Careem, was acquired by Uber for USD$3.1 …



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