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Embracing the future: how the mAkE venture building program is bridging the gap for startups in Africa and Europe

The entrepreneurial landscape is undergoing a significant transformation, fueled by the innovative strategies of venture building. Among these pioneering approaches, the mAkE Venture Building program stands out, particularly in its efforts to foster growth and sustainability among startups across Africa and Europe. This initiative has not only tackled the persistent challenge of startup failure but has also cultivated fertile ground for cross-continental partnerships, emphasizing the power of collaboration in driving forward the ambitions of emerging businesses.

Understanding the startup challenge

Startups face a myriad of challenges, with failure rates alarmingly high. A report by CB Insights in 2021 highlighted that internal factors often outweigh external ones in contributing to these failures. In Africa, despite the number of funding deals tripling from less than 200 to 600+ between 2018 and 2023, there has been a noticeable dip in the share of later-stage funding from 50% to 33%. This trend underscores a critical gap in support for startups as they transition from early to later stages of growth.

Venture Building: a strategic response

Venture Building stands out as a strategic response to these challenges. It is a systematic approach to creating new business initiatives that go beyond mere capital investment. Venture builders offer operational support, mentorship, and resources, focusing on co-creating systems that enable startups to scale and succeed. According to the Global Startup Studio Network (GSSN, 2020), startups emerging from venture studios are 44% more likely to reach Series A funding, highlighting the effectiveness of this model.

The mAkE Venture Building Program: a catalyst for growth

The mAkE Venture Building program has been at the forefront of implementing this model. It serves as a bridge connecting startup founders and managers from Africa and Europe, leveraging their collective strengths to foster growth and sustainability. The program’s emphasis on capacity building, management consultancy, and hands-on involvement has been instrumental in ensuring startups are not just surviving but thriving.

Building connections for greater growth

One of the standout features of the mAkE program is its focus on building connections. By facilitating interactions between startup founders and managers across continents, the program has opened up avenues for learning, collaboration, and mutual support. These connections are invaluable, providing startups with access to a broader network of resources, insights, and opportunities for expansion.

The Venture Building Handbook: a tool for success

Central to the program’s success is the Venture Building Handbook, a comprehensive toolkit designed for venture owners, managers, and builders. This handbook covers essential frameworks and processes crucial for developing successful, scalable businesses. From the Business Model Canvas to SWOT Analysis and beyond, it provides a roadmap for decision-making, product development, and team building. It is available in both English and French, you can download the full resource here.

The Venture Building Handbook emerges as an essential resource for stakeholders within the venture ecosystem, including startup founders, investors, and builders. It provides a comprehensive toolkit for developing business models, conducting market research, and formulating value propositions, with a particular focus on frameworks like the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas. Distinctively, the handbook prioritizes operational support and mentorship over merely providing capital, promoting an ecosystem that supports startups with expertise and guidance for innovation, risk-taking, and scalable growth. As a testament to the power of structured venture building, it serves as a critical roadmap for transforming ideas into successful ventures, symbolizing a significant advancement towards fostering a more inclusive and innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem across Africa and beyond.

Conclusion: embracing the future together

The mAkE Venture Building program represents a beacon of hope and a model for the future of startup development. Its success in fostering connections and facilitating growth among startups in Africa and Europe is a testament to the power of collaborative innovation. As we look forward, the program’s holistic approach offers valuable lessons on the importance of building supportive ecosystems that empower startups to navigate challenges and seize opportunities for growth. The journey of these 20 startups, supported by the mAkE program, is not just about individual success stories but a collective leap towards a more sustainable and interconnected entrepreneurial future.

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