The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy, an initiative of the EFSE Development Facility, encompasses a range of programs to support local business development throughout the EFSE target region. By working together with on-the-ground organisations that drive incubation and acceleration projects, the Entrepreneurship Academy provides entrepreneurs with guidance, resources, mentoring, networking opportunities, the chance to receive financial backing, and other means necessary to turn good ideas into successful enterprises. In this way, the Entrepreneurship Academy and its partners help create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive – driving the spirit of EFSE as “The Entrepreneurship Fund”.
Developing a toolkit with banking partners to promote access to finance in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy worked with loan officers from two of its financial intermediaries – MCC EKI and MF Banka – to provide practical, user-friendly tools to enhance their entrepreneurial clients’ skills in business, finance and management, and facilitate their access to finance. In addition to toolkit development, the Entrepreneurship Academy provided “train the trainers” sessions at each institution in order to multiply knowledge. Finally, a monitoring and evaluation framework was produced for measuring results.
Creating a financial education programme for entrepreneurs in Georgia
As part of the country’s “Year of Financial Literacy,” the National Bank of Georgia partnered with the EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy to develop a financial education program for micro and small enterprises. Entrepreneurs gained essential knowledge and skills for making sound financial decisions based on their own business needs and capacities. They also learned about the sources of business finance, relevant financial services, and approaches and indicators used for business assessment.
Competition for social entrepreneurs to win seed capital for their businesses
The EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy worked together with Mozaik, an incubation and acceleration organisation, to organise a pitching event for young entrepreneurs to win up to EUR 7,000 in seed capital for their businesses. Eleven young teams prepared for the event with three months of business incubation to develop their social business models and test their business prototypes in the market. In the end, all teams showed such drive and promise that each won prizes to help them accelerate their businesses.
Fincluders initiative – Financial technology meets financial inclusion
The Fincluder initiative aims to close gaps in financial services in low and middle-income countries. The programs provide financial and business acceleration support to promising tech startups who demonstrate a commitment to advancing financial inclusion. The initiative encompasses the Fincluder Fintech Startup Competition held in 2016 in Berlin, the Fincluders Bootcamp in 2017 and the Fincluders Network Programme running as of 2018. For more information, see www.fincluders.com