Act in Africa(ACT) is an entrepreneurship program based in Harare, with funding – if you make the cut. Their mission is to “build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Zimbabwe to catalyse economic development and fight unemployment”
The program started in 2014 and has a curriculum created by MBA students from the University of California, University of Zimbabwe and Africa University. The ACT program offers training, business clinics, mentorship and seed funding to successful applicants.
Their alumni have started a lot of interesting businesses including Wild Child Bath and Body, a cosmetics shop based in Kadoma and Nduna Girls, a non-profit helping young girls reach their economic potential.
They are looking for individuals interested in developing businesses and provide support and potential funding for accepted projects. How it works is that you come up with a business idea and during the classes, you will be given the tools with which to develop a business plan and create a pitch which will be presented at the end of the programme to local investors and business people.
If your pitch shows potential ACT will then assign you a mentor who will work with you for a further six months on your idea. If after this period your mentor believes you have a viable project and have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur ACT will help you access further seed capital to proceed with your plans.
The 2018 program will be held at the Tech Village in Bulawayo in July and will be their third cycle. You complete an application on their website, pay the application fee and wait for their response. The program accepts people as individuals so business partners, groups, and cooperatives are expected to apply as individuals to gain entry. Applications will open at the end of March.
Something to note is the open IP environment during the training program. Any idea developed during the training isn’t actually yours. It belongs to everyone and anyone can develop it. You are, however, free to develop other products during the training programme and keep your big idea to develop with your mentor.
Another major consideration is that they don’t offer dinner or lodgings to participants so you would have to make your own plans for the duration of the program.
Check them out here.