Access Bank Backs Initiative to Nurture, Fund African Start-ups

January 21, 2021
Africa Fintech Foundry

By Ahmed Rahma

One of the leading financial institutions in Africa, Access Bank Plc, has thrown its weight behind an initiative aimed to nurture, fund and accelerate the growth of FinTech startups in Africa.

The lender, because of its love for innovation, has partnered with the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) for its 2021 Accelerator Programme designed to give an opportunity to technology entrepreneurs.

The initiative will fast track and assist the selected start-ups to navigate issues such as start-up pricing and competitiveness, creating endearing customer experiences, support and retention, hiring and people management, scaling for growth and product development cycle fundamentals, amongst others.

According to the Head of the AFF, Mr Daniel Awe, research shows that 90 per cent of start-ups fail as a result “funding, being in the wrong market, a lack of research, misaligned partnerships, ineffective marketing and poor competitive positioning to name a few.”

Mr Awe said “90 per cent is a high percentage rate of failure” because it “indicates that many things need to go right for a business to succeed. Enabling start-ups to grow, scale and remain relevant in the tech space is where we play a major role as AFF.”

Speaking further, he said, “Since its establishment, the Africa Fintech Foundry has progressively demonstrated leadership in the areas of innovation, financial technology and entrepreneurship.

“We recognise the vast array of talent possessed by Africans and the wider global players and the immense potential that our technological start-ups have.

“Hence, through the Accelerator programme, we will be providing cohorts with mentorship and clinic hours from leading entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. They will also get access to funding, unrivalled business insights, access to markets and networking opportunities with our partners at various stages of the programme.”

On his part, the Executive Director for Information Technology and Operations at Access Bank, Mr Ade Bajomo, there is the need for increased corporate investment in tech-focused capacity building initiatives because technology can serve as the catalyst for solving many of the problems faced across various industries.

“We also believe that it holds the potential to resolve the social and economic challenges faced across the African continent.

“Therefore, as Africa’s gateway to the world, we have partnered the continent’s leading accelerator, the Africa Fintech Foundry, to create a platform that will nurture the brightest minds, providing them with the needed resources to develop and scale their projects, to the benefit of all,” he noted.

Interested participants have been urged to submit their entries before the deadline slated for Saturday, January 31, 2021, at

However, the start-ups to be considered for admission into the programme include those that have a tech-enabled solution; offer a unique solution or unique application in a regional setting; have a cross-functional team with a deep understanding of the market – which includes technical lead(s) and founder(s) that are fully committed to the business; have a defensible position (IP; network effects; domain or region expertise); have been in operations for at least 6 months, amongst others.

Rahma Ahmed

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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