AFRICA – Seedstars World, a Swiss-based start-up competition in emerging markets, and the African Development Bank announced a strategic partnership to implement its innovative ‘job creation track’ model to support youth employment and entrepreneurship in Africa.

The partnership is in line with the Bank’s entrepreneurship and innovation lab under its Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) strategy.

The aim is to create 25 million jobs and equip 50 million young people with skills to enhance their employability and entrepreneurial success by 2025.

The strategy will support countries to stimulate entrepreneurship, youth employment and economic development with a focus on young women.

As part of the ‘job creation track’, Seedstars World is adding the criterion “the potential for job creation” in selecting the local competition winners.

The African Development Bank will select and award the start-up demonstrating the most potential for sustainable job creation with three months’ access to the Seedstars investment readiness program.

As a catalyst for the best business and investment opportunities in the region, the Summit will bring together its network of start-ups, investors, mentors, ambassadors, partners and over 300 key stakeholders across the continent.

Tapera Jeffrey Muzira, Jobs for Youth in Africa Coordinator, said: “This is a spectacular initiative which will jump-start Africa’s encouragement of youth involvement in business enterprise and job creation.

“This partnership between the Bank and Seedstars World is an electrifying component of the Bank’s continuing commitment to sustainable job creation for women and young people across the continent”.

The Seedstars Group’s activities cover over 80 emerging ecosystems in a variety of events such as the Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities.

Also, the innovation and entrepreneurship lab at the African Development Bank is an essential part of the Bank’s long-term strategy to improve inclusive economic development and to accelerate investment in Africa’s key resource, its young people.

The overall objective is to support innovative and energetic young entrepreneurs and youth-owned start-ups, strengthen the capacity and market reach of women entrepreneurs and innovators, and improve access to finance for entrepreneurs and start-ups operated by young people across Africa.

To do this, the lab targets entrepreneurs and start-ups and also the enterprise support organizations (ESOs) that help young people to succeed.

The innovation and entrepreneurship lab will strengthen business incubators to help African entrepreneurs achieve more success in becoming investor-ready.

It will also contribute to the creation of quality jobs for young people and young women and achieving sustainable commercial success with a beneficial social impact overall.