Economic development in Africa has been progressing at tremendous speeds over the last two decades, opening even the most rural entrepreneurs of the continent the chance to succeed in their endeavours. A number of nonprofits have made it their mission to help entrepreneurs in Africa succeed.

African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC)

Established in Rwanda in 2012, AEC now supports over 100 entrepreneurs as they develop and grow their businesses. Though many organizations focus on the initial establishment of new businesses, the AEC provides on-going support and consultation to fledgling entrepreneurs and helps them grow their businesses over time. The African Entrepreneur Collective has tailored their focus to a number of areas: business development, African Innovation Prize for students, low-cost funding, tech and SPRING, focused on innovations for girls.

The organization stated, “In order to create more jobs in Africa, we find the people who are already creating jobs, and help them do it better.”

Self Help Africa

Self Help Africa has been working for 30 years to help farmers in nine countries transition from subsistence farming to farming as a means of income. Self Help’s mission is to strengthen agricultural systems, improve access to goods and services and provide rural communities with market opportunities. In 2014 alone, the organization assisted 290,000 smallholder farmers and had 1.8 million beneficiaries. Some recently highlighted activities by the organization include hosting beekeeping training for a rural Ugandan village, funding a dress-making business in Tanzania and helping a goat farmer in Uganda expand his breeding stock.


WomensTrust is a New Hampshire-based organization working to empower women in Ghana to break the cycle of poverty and build better lives for themselves and those around them. The organization focuses on three main aspects: microlending for business expansion, education and healthcare. To date, the organization has served over 2,300 clients and supplied more than $400,000 in loans to Ghanese women.

Gina Lehner

Sources: Women’s Trust, Self Help Africa, African Entrerpreneur Collective
Photo: The Renegade Times