LUSAKA — United States Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz today launched a six-month financing bootcamp for Zambian entrepreneurs beginning May 9 and running through October 2016.
In partnership with Zambian innovation hub BongoHive, the U.S. government will bring American business experts to Zambia to hold workshop sessions at BongoHive and at the U.S. Embassy. The goal of the program is to assist Zambian entrepreneurs to overcome difficulties they confront in accessing financing.
The entrepreneurship financing boot camp is a follow-on to the inaugural 2015 Zambia Entrepreneurship Summit that the U.S. Embassy organized in partnership with the WECREATE Zambia Center and that attracted nearly 400 visitors to meet with lenders, investors, and empowerment organizations. The bootcamp is also a follow-on to the successful six-month Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp of 2015, also a partnership between the U.S. Embassy and BongoHive.
These boot camp programs are part of a response by the U.S. Mission to help address the challenge of access to finance and capital that many local entrepreneurs face.
At today’s launch ceremony, Ambassador Schultz noted, “Promoting entrepreneurship among Zambians is part of the U.S. Mission’s commitment to partnerships for economic growth in Zambia. We hope that the program’s diverse group of innovative Zambian entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to learn more about strategies of sourcing financing and how they can further grow their businesses.”
Co-Founder and Executive Director of BongoHive, Mr. Lukonga Lindunda added, “The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Zambia has been developing at a tremendous pace over the past few years and initiatives like this boot camp have been vital in the instigating the positive changed we’ve witnessed. Although we still have a ways to go, cross-sector collaborations like this boot camp are delivering tremendous value to the Zambian change-makers of tomorrow.”