US backs entrepreneurs at Zambia’s BongoHive with 6-month finance bootcamp

By Tom Jackson

The United States (US) Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz has launched a six-month finance bootcamp for Zambian entrepreneurs at innovation Hub BongoHive, aimed at assisting entrepreneurs in overcoming difficulties in accessing funding.

The programme, which begins on May 9 and runs through to October, is a partnership between the US government and BongoHive, and will see American business experts visit Zambia to hold workshops at BongoHive and the US Embassy.

The bootcamp is a follow-on to the inaugural 2015 Zambia Entrepreneurship Summit, which the US Embassy organised in partnership with the WECREATE Zambia Center, and the successful six-month Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp of last year, also a partnership between the US Embassy and BongoHive.

“Promoting entrepreneurship among Zambians is part of the US Mission’s commitment to partnerships for economic growth in Zambia. We hope that the program’s diverse group of innovative Zambian entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to learn more about strategies of sourcing financing and how they can further grow their businesses,” said Ambassador Schultz.

Co-founder and executive director of BongoHive Lukonga Lindunda said the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Zambia has been developing at a tremendous pace over the past few years.

“Initiatives like this bootcamp have been vital in the instigation of the positive changes we’ve witnessed,” he said.

“Although we still have work to do, cross-sector collaborations like this boot camp are delivering tremendous value to the Zambian change-makers of tomorrow.”

Disrupt Africa reported last week BongoHive kicked off the second cohort of its Launch accelerator programme, which aims to assist startups in growing and scaling their businesses.

BongoHive also recently launched the Discover programme, an intense three-week full-time bootcamp providing entrepreneurs with the basic skills they need to turn a business idea into a fully-fledged startup.

In February, the hub signed a sponsorship arrangement with local operator MTN, which will see the partners build an enabling environment for developers in Zambia.

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