NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 17, 2016 – M:lab East Africa and the World Bank Group today launched Traction Camp, a new initiative developed to support emerging digital and mobile entrepreneurs across the region. With support from the World Bank Group, Traction Camp will allow m:lab East Africa to extend its capacity and service portfolio, ensuring that innovative digital products can be developed and scaled into sustainable and profitable businesses.
In East Africa, there is limited support for companies with a market-ready product. Entrepreneurs who graduate from incubators still lack the necessary skills to accelerate the development of their businesses by attracting financing from different sources and building links to a wider value chain.
“Entrepreneurial skills, business acumen, access to networks, and good knowledge of financing mechanisms are critical to scale start-ups,” said Ganesh Rasagam, manager for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the World Bank Group’s Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice. “Now is the time to seize the moment and help entrepreneurs bridge the gap through increased training and technical support in those areas.”
The first call for applications will be published in the coming days and will stay open until the end of January 2017. The program will consist of two weeks of intensive training followed by up to six months of personalized coaching, tailored to each entrepreneur’s needs.
Participating companies will receive technical assistance to improve their marketability to early stage financiers. The curriculum will cover key topics, such as investment readiness and investor engagement, along with negotiations, regulatory environments, and product internationalization.
Traction Camp is supported by the World Bank Group’s infoDev program and the governments of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Kenya.
For more information, visit http://mlab.co.ke/tractioncamp/.
About the World Bank Group’s infoDev Program
infoDev is a World Bank Group multi-donor program that supports high-growth entrepreneurs in developing economies. infoDev oversees a global network of business incubators and innovation hubs for climate technology, agribusiness, and digital entrepreneurs. Through its centers, infoDev connects entrepreneurs with the knowledge, funding, and market opportunities they need to launch and scale their businesses.
About m:lab East Africa
m:lab East Africa is a regional mobile applications laboratory for East Africa. Its services to mobile entrepreneurs in the region include business incubation, developer training, application testing, ecosystem building, and market research. m:lab East Africa’s mission is to facilitate demand-driven innovation by regional entrepreneurs, ensuring that breakthrough low-cost, high-value mobile solutions can be developed and scaled into sustainable businesses that address social and economic needs.