Centre of Entrepreneurship

ICC and ECA open continental Centre of Entrepreneurship to support next generation of African entrepreneurs

  • 16 September 2021

ICC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ECA have launched the ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship. First hubs were announced in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria to inspire innovation and improve the business environment for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

With strategic locations across Africa, the ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship will work with various stakeholders, including businesses, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, intergovernmental and governmental agencies, to connect local entrepreneurs to global markets and enhance regulatory conditions for SMEs to thrive. From developing the skills of young people who face uncertain employment prospects to mentoring local start-ups and entrepreneurs, the ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship is devoted to preparing the next generation of African business leaders.

“Building on ICC’s presence in over 100 countries around the world, we are extremely pleased to announce the launch of the ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship in Africa to support private growth and development across the continent. SMEs, entrepreneurs, and young people are the primary drivers behind Africa’s fast-growing economies. This Centre will equip entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to scale their business strategies, enter new markets, and improve local job opportunities,” said ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.

The Centre will host a series of talks for entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, businesses, banks and governments, to address the structural challenges facing emerging and developing markets, including youth employment, gender inclusion and education. By bringing together thought leaders, businesses and entrepreneurs, the Centre will create a thriving community of professionals devoted to bringing their innovative ideas to life.

“The ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship will definitely enhance women and youth empowerment and provide MSMEs with additional tools to expand their business and play an effective role in the goods & services supply chain under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This is an important step towards tackling the problem of poverty and unemployment, which have been exacerbated by the effects Covid-19. ECA has been at the forefront of Africa’s respond to the pandemic, ensuring that no one is left behind.  An inclusive economy that recognizes the role of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in national and regional economies is a critical part of the solution, with MSMEs leveraging technology to meaningfully contribute to trade,” said Oliver Chinganya, ECA’s Director of the African Centre for Statistics.

Since 2020, ICC has launched several regional hubs of the ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship to provide specialised training, mentoring and support services to help entrepreneurs establish, fund, manage and expand their start-ups. The first regional ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship was launched in Istanbul in early 2020 to serve the Central Asia and Caucus region and was followed in October 2020 by another regional hub in Beirut to serve the Arab region. In the coming months, ICC will launch future hubs in South America and Asia.

Learn more about the ICC-ECA Centre of Entrepreneurship.