Benefits for entrepreneurs

Aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa will have the opportunity to:

Training

Take an online course on entrepreneurship

Learn to build a business and to get funding from investors in a new 6-week online course by Bocconi University and venture capitalists in Africa.

Network with entrepreneurs

Make new connections and get feedback

Discuss your business ideas with fellow entrepreneurs from other African countries and make new connections.

Funding

Pitch to investors and get funding

Pitch to local and international venture capitalists who are interested in funding African startups and SMEs.

Funding

Learn more at a top business school in Milan

The most innovative and engaged participants will have the opportunity to travel to Italy for a brief business course at Bocconi University.



Timeline for the 2017 program

The following dates are approximate and may change by a week.

Deadline for applying for the program is May 14

May 14, 2017

The deadline for applying for the 2017 program is May 14, 2017.

Online course begins

May 17, 2017

Online course begins

All participants get to take a new six-week online course on entrepreneurship. In the course, you will learn how to craft your business plan and how to apply for funding from local and international investors. The course is taught by professors at Bocconi University, one of the top business schools in Europe, and by venture capitalists in Africa. The course consists of brief videos with low bandwidth requirements.

Network with fellow entrepreneurs

June 3, 2017

Network with fellow entrepreneurs

Some participants will have the opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs. In virtual communities and in-person meet-up events, participants will meet, chat, give feedback, offer advice, and more.

Online course finishes

July 28, 2017

Online course finishes

By the end of the course, participants will have learned how to ideate a new value proposition, test an idea before launch, assess market size, assess competitors, segment customers, make financial forecasts, build your team, prepare a business plan, pitch your idea, and apply for funding.

Participants submit business proposals

July 30, 2017

All participants can submit a business proposal. These proposals are reviewed by venture capitalists in Africa.

Pitching event

August 25, 2017

Pitching event

Entrepreneurs with the top-rated business proposals (as rated by venture capitalists) will have the opportunity to pitch to local venture capitalists and other investors. These investors give feedback and have the opportunity to offer funding to the entrepreneurs.



Who is eligible?

In the April–June 2017 program, entrepreneurs must satisfy three requirements:

Africa

Based in Africa

Participants must be based in Africa. It doesn’t matter where.

Lightbulb

Have a business idea

Aspiring entrepreneurs are welcome. So are entrepreneurs with an existing business that they wish to expand.

Internet-connected device

Have an Internet-connected device

Be able to view videos and to run an application on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Mail

Join the May–June 2017 program

Registration for Adansonia 2017 is now closed. Stay tuned for future iterations of the Adansonia program.

The more the better

The program only improves as more people join. Invite your friends on Twitter and Facebook:





Frequently Asked Questions about the Program


Eligibility

I have an existing business. Can I apply?

Yes! You just need an idea for expanding your business. You can use Adansonia to get financing and feedback.

I do not yet have a business. Can I apply?

Yes! Having an idea for a start-up is enough to join Adansonia.

I already participated in the fall 2016 Adansonia program. Can I also participate in the spring 2017 Adansonia program?

You may participate in either program but not both.

Is Adansonia addressed only to young entrepreneurs?

There is no age limit. All are welcome!

Can I apply if my business is a social enterprise?

Yes. Adansonia has no barriers to entry in terms of sector, size of business, and whether it’s a for-profit, not-for-profit, or social enterprise.

How many ideas can I submit?

Just one. In each program (fall 2016 and spring 2017), you can submit one business proposal. If you would like to submit more than one, we suggest that you find business partners to present the other ideas.




Funding

If I receive a funding offer by any of your partners, am I forced to accept it?

No, none of the offers are binding. You will be free to carefully evaluate the offers and decide whether to reject or accept them.

If I receive a funding offer by any of your partners, will they ask me for a collateral?

Collateral may only be asked if the offer is a loan. However, because all of our partners have long been operating in Africa, they know that loans with collateral are usually not so attractive to local entrepreneurs.

If I receive a funding offer by any of your partners, will it be a loan? At what interest rate?

The investment could be debt or equity. If it is a loan, there is no predetermined interest rate. These terms will be decided by our partners on a case-by-case basis.

Can my final business proposal be different from the idea I write in the initial survey?

Yes. A main purpose of the program is to improve business ideas. That improvement may be a small tweak, a pivot to a new direction, or an entirely new idea.





Frequently Asked Questions about the Online Course


Course access

I lost my login credentials

The credentials are in your email inbox. Look for a message that dates May 18th. Also check your spam folder. If you cannot find them anywhere, send us an email at adansonia@unibocconi.it and we will send them again to you.

My internet connection is too slow

We are trying to make the platform as light-weight as possible. We suggest that you try to access the platform at least once a week from a place with a good internet connection, like a university or an internet cafè. Remember that, once the materials have been downloaded, they will be available for you at any time!

I cannot log in

This issue might be caused by slow internet connection or by the type of browser used. Try to change Wi-Fi connection or device; and use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari as browsers. Also, try to refresh the page several times if it does not work. To make sure that your problems are not due to traffic congestion, try accessing the learning platform at different times of the day. Finally, double-check that you are clicking on the correct link (http://learninglab.sdabocconi.it/adansonia/login/) and that you are using the correct credentials.

I cannot access the videos

If you have troubles in accessing the videos, send us an email and we will send you a link to the videos. However, in order to proceed with the course, you should at least be able to click on the “MARK COMPLETE” button at the bottom of the video’s window. If you are encountering difficulties with this procedure, do not hesitate to contact us.




Course content

I cannot find the module

After logging in, you will arrive the dashboard page. To navigate across modules please click on the Menu button in the upper left corner of the learning platform. A vertical column will open up, with all the links to the modules. Please, note that not all modules are already available. They are released over time, as indicated in the syllabus.

What is the difference between Module and Milestone?

The course is organized into Modules. Each module represents a section of the business course, made of videos, slides and short quizzes. At the end of some modules, you will be asked to complete a Milestone. Milestones are practical applications of what you have learned in the module.

How do I know whether I successfully completed the assignment for the week?

If you have successfully completed your weekly Module, then the course status bar that you find in the dashboard will show “100% completed”. However, if that module is followed by a Milestone, you will have to complete it as well.

How do I submit my Milestone?

Starting from Module 1, milestones will be automatically saved in progress. Therefore, do not worry if you suddenly lose your connection; your answers won’t be lost! Please keep in mind that milestones can only be completed once; if you submit an answer you cannot go back and change it.




Investors

A number of investors have partnered with the Adansonia program. These investors rate the business proposals submitted by participants. Entrepreneurs with the top-rated proposals get the opportunity to pitch to these investors, and after the pitching event, the investors decide whom to invest in.


GAIN
NEST
SPEED CAPITAL
UMAT CAPITAL
Village Capital
Hivos Impact Investments
Viktoria Ventures
Enjuba
Blue Luxury Investments
Hivos Creative Funds

 

Our partners

Impact Hub Accra
I SPACE
IMUKA VENTURES
VC4Africa
Rocket Chat
Metta
iHub
Brave Venture Labs
The Hub East Africa
BarCampGhana
DirectLineCommunications
IGIER
BDC Uganda
Africa Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum
Africa Women Power
Social Venture Africa

Testimonials from the October–December 2016 program

It’s the first online based platform of its kind I have used. After working with a business incubator for 3 years, I saw the need of entrepreneurs working together to address challenges within their businesses. There were always unique solutions to challenges devised whenever they worked together.

Richard

It does not discriminate anyone; it is open to everyone who is ready to participate irrespective of age and education level and other background levels. Therefore I would recommend anyone as long as he/she has a business idea.

Stella

I would absolutely recommend [the Adansonia program] because most of the lessons learnt during the program are not handled in detail at colleges and university, as I was given exposure and a skill on how to pitch a Business, apply for funding and also write a proposal. I believe many youth out there are limited to start business due to lack of this attainable and easy to adapt knowledge and skills.

Douglas

It is the most exciting entrepreneurship contest I have ever seen. It enables entrepreneurs to network while building insights and lessons for business growth, sustainability and development.

Joseph

Our team

FERNANDO VEGA REDONDO

Fernando Vega Redondo

Fernando is an economist, currently at Bocconi University in Milan. His latest research has centered on the study of social networks in a variety of different contexts. He believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are very much embedded in social networks and that a network perspective should shed novel and important light on economic development.

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Cristiana Benedetti Fasil

Cristiana is an economist working on growth, entrepreneurship, and development at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. She is driven by curiosity, passion and a personal desire of doing something meaningful. This has led her to be involved in different activities in Africa and in funding her NGO Social Venture Africa which promotes women empowerment and entrepreneurship.

CHARLIE BRUMMITT

Charlie Brummitt

Charlie is an applied mathematician with wide-ranging interests in complex systems, economics, and artificial intelligence. He is a Research Associate in Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University.

PAOLO PIN

Paolo Pin

Paolo is a mathematician turned economist, working at Bocconi University. His research has mostly focused on social networks, but in the last years he moved his area of interest to real field work.

 

Gaia_cropped

Gaia Rubera

Gaia is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Bocconi University, where she studies innovation, strategic marketing, Big Data, and marketing analytics.

DIEGO UBFAL

Diego Ubfal

Diego is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Bocconi University. His current research focuses on entrepreneurship, financial access and attitudes towards immigrants. His teaching focuses on Program Evaluation and Development Economics.

 


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