TANZANIA – Leading telecommunication company Vodacom Tanzania Plc and Smart Lab have launched the Vodacom Digital Accelerator, a programme to help early-stage and growth-stage technology startups become profitable and revenue-generating businesses.

The new program which will run yearly aims at identifying and supporting startup entrepreneurs in mobile, telecom, FinTech, media, health, education, and e-commerce will have three phases which include application, selection and acceleration.

During the programme participants will present their progress to a panel of investors and associates at the end of a three-month acceleration period from which winners will get further support from Vodacom Tanzania, Smart Lab and partners for an added period of six months.

The program also aims at leveraging corporate resources, networks, mentors and partners. Vodacom’s director of Corporate Affairs Rosalynn Mworia said Vodacom is investing more than 150,000 dollars into the accelerator program which will go towards educating and empowering Tanzania‘s youth.

Vodacom Tanzania’s managing director Hisham Hendi said that the partnership is a crucial move towards providing opportunities to startup businesses via technological paths which will result into workable business models which will benefit communities, especially scores of youth across the country.

He encouraged more youth to be innovative and take advantage of this opportunity as a path to economic empowerment through solving social developmental issues in their communities.

“Vodacom always aims to create impactful sustainable change in the society where we operate in line with our strategic business focus and, the Vodacom Accelerator aims to do just that,” he added.

“Digital technology is not only changing the way we do business in Africa but also revolutionizing the way we perceive and solve issues of development.

“It is therefore with great honour that we will once again create an opportunity for such ideas to be recognized, supported and transformed to maximize social impact”, he said.

Smart Codes Chief Executive Officer Edwin Bruno said, “we are excited to be part of the “Vodacom Accelerator” and together with Vodacom we hope to create a brand building platform for the tech savvy youth.

“This program is in line with our corporate strategy to drive messaging around youth support in the digital age and we are grateful for Vodacom Tanzania who saw the need to create the next round of success stories for African entrepreneurs building fast-growing technology companies coming from within the country.