Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Italian financial institution for international development cooperation, is inviting African start-ups to apply for the Archipelagos SME support programme.
Established in collaboration with the European Commission, Archipelagos seeks to assist up to 1 000 SMEs from across the continent to join a dedicated capacity-building programme designed to strengthen their capabilities and skills, and increase their readiness for capital markets.
According to a statement, through the Archipelagos online learning platform, SMEs will have access to a learning catalogue of online courses, with differentiated learning paths according to the specific needs and stage of development for each business.
It focuses on three core areas: training, mentoring and networking. The training is delivered through a hybrid model, combining asynchronous and synchronous components to offer a comprehensive and interactive learning experience.
Webinars also contribute to make the learning journey more stimulating, engaging and interactive.
“In addition to training, SMEs participating in the programme will receive dedicated support and will have access to a community of SMEs and investors, providing them the opportunity to make valuable business connections, also at international level,” says the statement.
“The European Commission has committed a €30 million guarantee facility and €5 million for technical assistance – all to be channelled towards the top achieving participants.”
At the end of the programme, the most promising SMEs will receive specialised support to raise funds in the capital markets through debt instruments, supported by a guarantee facility from the European Commission.
Interested businesses can apply on the Archipelagos website until 30 June.