Following a successful pilot project – ABC Benin in 2020 – with funding from the Swiss Cooperation (SDC), AFFORD is delighted to announce a four-year rollout of the programme continuing in Benin, and taking in Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal from 2021 – 2025.
ABC will continue its mission to harness and maximise diaspora knowledge, encourage financial and physical contributions to stimulate wealth, generate employment and promote social development across the region.
ABC West Africa will mobilise and support diaspora investors and resource persons across Europe to provide expert advisory support, training, mentoring and coaching to diaspora and local entrepreneurs to create jobs in emerging and diverse sectors.
It intends to increase the employability and business skills of TVET graduates (young people and women) by providing upskilling through development, business advisory sessions, mentorship, and investment to enable them to create sustainable income opportunities.
ABC West Africa will also identify apprenticeship opportunities for TVET graduates at home, and abroad through skills and labour mobility partnerships.
ABC West Africa, working alongside local partners, will conduct research and due diligence to select diaspora and local entrepreneurs with early stage to well-established businesses to obtain grants/loans to grow their enterprises.
ABC West Africa will invest a match-fund of €400,000 into diaspora and local businesses in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.
ABC’s key focus continues to be on decent job creation, social impact and financial sustainability, with an extended emphasis on increasing employability for TVET graduates.
Diaspora resource persons will be engaged to deliver training, coaching and mentoring in business development to diaspora and local businesses, as well as in soft and technical skills for TVET graduates seeking employment. They will also be engaged to support the upgrade of TVET partner institutions. This will strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit of diaspora and local businesses as well as the confidence of young people and women and allow them to succeed in the SME sector and improve their lives.
ABC will strengthen the business knowledge of African diaspora and local entrepreneurs and investors and strengthen their networks to make African SMEs more viable and sustainable.
The ABC will be a centre of excellence promoting the AFFORD business model, encouraging aspiring diaspora investors to invest and providing services (training, advice, and practical resources) for diaspora/local entrepreneurs. It will also provide an accelerator programme to support early stage to well-established businesses to create decent jobs.
ABC will also carry out advocacy to eliminate barriers to investment and SME growth in West Africa. It will establish relationships, and collaborate, with national and international decision-makers and institutions to improve the operational environment for businesses.
By assessing the barriers to the development of entrepreneurs in West Africa and creating more opportunities, ABC aims to focus on the needs of diaspora/local entrepreneurs and TVET graduates: encourage job creation, create more economic opportunities, upskill young people and mitigate the risk of ‘irregular’ migration in particular.
The project aims to contribute to the development of a dynamic and well-supported SME sector in West Africa and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To get involved as a diaspora or local entrepreneur, mentor/coach, investor, strategic partner or to support the programme please email us using our contact form here.