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Village Capital Partners with 20 ESOs to Deepen the Understanding of the African Rural Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Nairobi, Kenya, (December 13, 2022) Small Foundation and Village Capital have selected 20 entrepreneur support organisations (ESOs) that work with rural-impacting enterprises (RIEs) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to take part in the Rural Impacting Entrepreneurship research project aimed at identifying gaps and solutions to deepen impact within the rural business ecosystem and develop a thriving support community.

“Small Foundation is excited to be partnered with Village Capital for this initiative which we hope will deepen understanding of the rural-impacting ESO ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa. We look forward to working with the selected ESOs to identify opportunities to more effectively support the ecosystem, improving local incomes and economies.” Conor Brosnan, CEO & Chair, Small Foundation. 

Village Capital has spent the past few months reviewing the landscape of ESOs providing support to rural-impacting enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa to identify the different types of support they provide and their effectiveness to draw insights to determine how these ESOs can better support RIEs. “The Rural-Impacting Enterprise (RIE) support ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa is fragmented with many actors operating in different communities, supporting ventures at different levels. By working with ESOs across the region, we're able to identify where and how to most effectively focus their support efforts, and provide capacity-building training and customisable tools for their effective programming and benefit of the ecosystem as a whole.” Brenda Wangari, Senior Program Manager - Africa, Village Capital.

Having reviewed over 180 ESOs from 30 countries in the region, 20 have been selected for the final cohort. Village Capital will work closely with these organisations to review their interventions and provide training and access to Village Capital's Abaca App Supporter Package, which includes access to a customised ESO diagnostic tool to track performance and personalised support from the Village Capital team. 

Here are the selected ESOs:

  • Agri Frontier East Africa Limited [Kenya]is an agri investment and agri-business advisory firm specialised in helping create world class farming and integrated agribusinesses across the value chain, with a focus on frontier markets, particularly Africa.
  • Anza Entrepreneurs [Tanzania] an accelerator, network of co-working spaces, and growth fund that provides capital leases to entrepreneurs. 
  • BAYI Foundation [Nigeria] a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation established to build and support sustainable social and economic growth in underserved communities by supporting small businesses. 
  • BongoHive [Zambia] supports entrepreneurs and startups through the entrepreneurial journey, from idea generation to delivering new products to market through different programs, innovation consulting, and provision co-working space. 
  • Burundi Business Incubator [Burundi] is the first incubator in Burundi. It primarily focuses on building entrepreneurship skills among youth and a systems-level hypothesis to build an agriculture value chain that impacts SMEs. 
  • Center for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CIPMEN) [Niger], is the first business incubator in Niger and one of the largest in West Africa. 
  • Community Women Enterprise Network Uganda Limited (CWEN) [Uganda], is a network of women entrepreneurs that aims to reinforce the capacity of their members to become more productive, gain a larger market share and grow their businesses. 
  • DoniLab [Mali], is the first incubator and support structure for innovative entrepreneurship in Mali. Since 2015, they have supported Malians in entrepreneurship through acceleration, mentorship and a co-working space. 
  • El-Kanis and Partners [Nigeria] harnesses climate-smart agriculture and leverages technology to increase the production of staple food crops in Nigeria. 
  • Goldstone Enterprise Consulting and Training [Uganda], is a multi-sectoral enterprise consulting and training firm based in Kampala, Uganda. It has provided services to clients in the NGO, impact investment, and private sectors since 2012. 
  • Imagine Her (IH) [Uganda], works with communities to accelerate the power and potential of women, girls, and youth as active leaders and social entrepreneurs who create sustainable solutions within their communities. 
  • Innohub Limited [Ghana], is a business accelerator, management consulting, and impact investment platform that supports small and growing businesses to become investment ready and matches them to the capital needed for growth. 
  • Innovation SL [Sierra Leone], established in 2017, Innovation SL runs the Freetown Pitch Night, Innovations Axis Ltd (an incubator/accelerator and co-working space), and is the Global Entrepreneurship Network affiliate in Sierra Leone. 
  • Intelli-Wealth Limited [Kenya], is an Agribusiness Consultancy Company established in 2016 to provide advisory services to the agricultural sector in Africa. 
  • PearlMutual Consulting Ltd [Nigeria], offers services in financial advisory, capital raising, and corporate training. It started operations in 2012 in Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria. 
  • Smart Regional Consultants Ltd (SRC), Kenya, is a private sector company working with local and international organizations that are affiliated with SMEs. 
  • Tradeline Consult [Ghana], Finance Factory (FIFACT) is a flagship program of Tradeline Consult designed to ensure micro and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in different sectors have access to accounting and development services at their own convenience. 
  • Pepea Capital [Formerly Winam Capital] [Kenya],  is a regional consulting firm that supports businesses and organizations to solve their most pressing challenges by offering advisory and organizational development services. 
  • WYLDE International [Kenya], is a strategy and entrepreneurship firm that equips and empowers entrepreneurs and their support institutions to succeed. 
  • Yeesal Agri Hub [Senegal],  is the first Agritech hub in West Africa. Yeesal Agri Hub was created by a group of young experts in agriculture with different profiles and skills.

For more information, reach out to Eva Waweru at Village Capital (  


About Village Capital

Village Capital is reinventing the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to supporting founders who are building solutions to emergent social, economic, and environmental challenges, VilCap unlocks critical social and financial capital for early-stage companies to maximize business and impact growth. 

Since 2009, Village Capital has supported over 1,400 startups that have raised over $5 billion in investment capital. One of its affiliated funds, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 peer-selected companies. Over 20,000 entrepreneurs have improved their investment readiness through its network of entrepreneur support organizations and its platform, Abaca. Learn more at and follow @villagecapital.

About Small Foundation

Small Foundation is a philanthropic foundation based in Ireland that is working to catalyse income-generating opportunities for extremely poor people in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Small Foundation’s goal is to improve the business ecosystems that proliferate income opportunities for those in extreme poverty by expanding the access of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to knowledge, social and human capital, finance, technology, and markets.