Boost Africa – Questions and answers

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Boost Africa – Questions and answers

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Boost Africa is a joint initiative between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) which aims to promote entrepreneurship and innovation across Africa in a commercially viable way, leveraging on a blending mechanism with the European Commission.

Read more about Boost Africa

The Investment Programme

1. Does Boost Africa directly invest in start-ups and SMEs?

Boost Africa does not directly provide funding to individuals or companies.

Boost Africa will only invest through financial intermediaries (i.e. investment funds), which will, in turn, invest in the final beneficiaries (i.e. startups & small and medium-sized enterprises).

2. What kind of investment will Boost Africa make?

Boost Africa will mostly make equity investments in the intermediaries.

3. In which sectors does Boost Africa invest?

The focus will be on sectors where innovations can improve the quality of people’s lives, in particular that of poorer households, providing access to affordable products and services. These sectors include, but are not limited to:

  • ICT
  • agribusiness
  • financial services and financial inclusion
  • health
  • education
  • renewable energy
  • light industrialisation
  • value-chain creation

There will be a particular emphasis on intermediaries that focus on youth and women as final beneficiaries.

4. What types of investment funds are eligible for the Boost Africa investments?

  • seed, early stage and growth venture capital funds focusing on African innovative startups and SMEs
  • business incubators/accelerators funds
  • business angels co-investment funds

5. How can fund managers apply for a Boost Africa investment?

Please see the contact details at the bottom of this page.

6. How are fund managers selected?

The fund managers are selected after joint appraisal by the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank.

Fund managers, be it first time or existing teams, will be selected based on their potential to successfully invest in and exit from innovative companies with a high-growth potential.

Innovation is meant here as the use of novel technologies and/or business processes or delivery mechanisms in a way which enables a significant competitive advantage in a given market setting.

7. Where do beneficiary funds and others need to be based?

Funds must be incorporated in Africa with operational capacity in the regions where they plan to invest.

8. Who manages the Boost Africa investments?

A joint team comprised of staff from the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank will source a pipeline, appraise the selected funds and manage the investments.

9. What is Boost Africa’s investment ‘ticket size’?

Boost Africa’s investment in a fund will normally not exceed 25% of the total fund size. The technical assistance support to fund managers will be decided on a case by case basis.

Technical Assistance Pool

1. Does Boost Africa directly provide technical assistance to start-ups and SMEs?

Boost Africa does not directly provide technical assistance to individuals or companies.

Boost Africa will only provide technical assistance through intermediaries (investment funds, accelerators, incubators, etc).

2. Who is eligible to benefit from the Technical Assistance Pool?

  • venture capital funds which are considered for investment by Boost Africa
  • incubators and accelerators
  • investee companies of funds in which Boost Africa has invested
  • entrepreneurs participating to acceleration/incubation programmes

3. Who manages the Boost Africa Technical Assistance Pool?

The European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank will recruit, through a tendering process, highly specialized consultants who will provide the required technical assistance to the selected funds, startups, incubators and accelerators.

Innovation and Information Lab

1. Who is eligible to benefit from the Innovation and Information Lab (I&I Lab)?

  • entities contributing to the development of entrepreneurship and innovation
  • young entrepreneurs

The I&I Lab will facilitate international linkages and knowledge transfer through partnerships with local and international research centres, universities, corporations as well as investors. The Lab also seeks to strengthen regional networks of angel and other funds supporting innovative start-ups as well as of incubators and accelerators.

About Boost Africa

1. Is Boost Africa ready to engage with parties in Africa?

Boost Africa will be fully operational in the course of 2017.

2. Who can invest in Boost Africa?

Public and private investors can participate in the Boost Africa Investment Programme with equity and/or grants.

Boost Africa is also looking for additional funders who can provide (cash or in-kind) donations for the Technical Assistance Facility and the Innovation & Information Lab.

For more information please contact:

The African Development Bank:
Mr. Robert Zegers: and Ms. Laura Sennett:

The European Investment Bank

3. How to contact the European Investment Bank or the African Development Bank?

If you are a fund manager focusing on African innovative start-up and SMEs, then please contact us by email and provide a summary of the information requested below:

  • management team
  • investment strategy
  • track record (if applicable)
  • geographical scope
  • target sectors
  • fund/holding size
  • legal structure
  • term sheet
  • expected returns
  • other investors
  • timing of fundraising

The European Investment Bank and/or the African Development Bank will respond by email after an initial review.

Please send relevant information to:

The African Development Bank:
Mr. Robert Zegers: and Ms. Laura Sennett:

The European Investment Bank

Contact persons may change.