Hivos, in partnership with the DOEN Foundation and Indigo Trust is set to launch a fund to support technology hubs around Africa.
The fund, worth 373,000 Euros($505,000), looks to increase the number of innovations and entrepreneurs in Africa, support tech hubs that enable entrepreneurs with a social mission to develop their business plan, identify potential investors and turn their ideas into reality.
“Technologies not only present a huge opportunity to contribute to significant social changes, but also create employment since technology solutions are often developed and marketed through local entrepreneurs” they said. During the first year of the fund, which will run from 2014- 2015, a total of EUR373,000 will be dispersed to tech hubs across the continent. The money will be used for core funding of the hubs, seed funding for various projects and for programme management costs. The hubs set to benefit include Hive Colab (Uganda), BongoHive (Zambia), RLabs (South Africa), iSpace (Ghana), Jozi Hub (South Africa) and Hypercube Hub (Zimba).
Tech hubs are critical for innovation
Hivos also fund iHub Nairobi as well. Tambudzai Madzimure, Hivos Programme Manager for expression and engagement said that the organization finds that tech hubs are a great place for young entrepreneurs, programmers and techies to come together and develop solutions for some of the pressing challenges in their communities. “We’ve seen this happen in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia, among other places. This fund will hopefully nurture initiatives that are on the ground,” he added.