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World Bank offers African FinTech startups better odds

World Bank offers African FinTech startups better odds

An exclusive pan-African post-acceleration programme, XL Africa has been launched by the World Bank Group for African digital startups.

The programme is aimed at those ventures that have achieved product-market fit, demonstrated traction and are bringing in revenue - but want to push for real growth and source investment.

XL Africa aims at supporting enterprises in any sector that are making smart use of digital solutions and connect these businesses with angel investors and venture capital firms in a bid to raise growth capital estimated at US$1.5 million.

Africa's FinTech sector has witnessed a boost in recent years, fuelled by aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to establish an early foothold in the market but who have little financial muscle.

Several accelerator programmes such as XL Africa have sprung up with the main premise to help bridge the funding gap between those with business ideas and those that have the means to support them.

XL Africa features nine intensive training modules designed to complement mentorship, including: 'Are You Ready? The Investment Readiness Framework'; 'African Investors' Due Diligence Priorities and Practices'; as well as 'Options for Growth Investment Structuring'.

Mentors lined up to help startups include Stephe Gugu, a consultant for startups, SMEs, corporates and projects in Africa who also sits on the board of Demo Africa, and the African Business Angels Network; Nancy Glaser, a Stanford Seed Business Coach and Trainer; Matthew Buckland of Saatchi Creative Spark; and Mark Essien of Hotels.ng.

The programme has financial assistance from the governments of Finland, Norway and Sweden, and is open to applications until 12 June.

The twenty XL Africa finalist companies would be announced on August 14.

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