UNDP-Togo, FAIEJ launch US$476,000 per year fund for young entrepreneurs

TOGO – The Support Fund for Economic Initiatives for Young People (FAIEJ) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP-Togo) has launched a new fund for the benefit of young Togolese entrepreneurs.

The 265 million FCFA per year (US$476k) Togolese Facility for the Acceleration and ‘Innovation (FTAI), will help companies who are innovative and ambitious. The fund will also provide financial assistance to startups and incubators, with the goal of assisting in the formation of new enterprises and jobs for young people.

“It is a fund that functions as a catalyst for firms, particularly SMEs, with a minimum of three years in operation. It also underlines the importance of innovation in driving corporate activity. The goal is to make it easier to fund risky innovation,” Komi Aokou, head of the UNDP SDG Acceleration Lab Exploration Lab, said.

This program, according to the UNDP, is the centerpiece of the “Support project for the promotion of entrepreneurship and the private sector for the creation of sustainable jobs,” as well as the attainment of the 2nd and 3rd Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“It also underlines the importance of innovation in driving corporate activity. The goal is to make it easier to fund risky innovation.”

Komi Aokou – Head of Acceleration Lab Exploration Lab, UNDP SDG

Startups intending to benefit from the FTAI must adhere to the new business charter criteria, particularly those with a turnover of between 5 million FCFA and 1 billion FCFA (US$8,979 – 1.80m).

This is the latest in the series of new funds being set up for startups in French-speaking Africa. Orange Côte d’Ivoire recently launched a 350 million euro (US$415m) technological investment fund to promote the growth of innovative startups in the fields of networking and information technology, digital industries, and cybersecurity in Cote d’ivoire.

The fund, known as Orange Venture, aims to target startups that provide solutions to the Ivorian market’s fundamental challenges as well as promote the emergence of future technological champions at the service of the transition to a more digital and responsible world.

The fund’s administrators emphasize that the startups that will be backed will also benefit from the group’s resources and skills, as well as an international network, to help them expand faster.

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