African Entrepreneur Collective


Building the capacity of African entrepreneurs to create jobs.

African Entrepreneur Collective is a collection of business accelerators that support local entrepreneurs to drive job growth. AEC accelerators partner with young entrepreneurs to build their skills, expand their networks, and grow their businesses so that they may employ others. Since launching in Rwanda in 2012, our model has already helped create more than 700 jobs, providing gainful employment to local people while contributing to the country’s economic and social development.

African economies are some of the fastest growing in the world, but that growth threatens to leave behind a generation of youth. With 200 million people aged 15 to 24, Africa has the youngest population in the world. And yet, 60% of all unemployed in Africa are youth, and that doesn’t count young people who are underemployed with low pay and few advancement opportunities.

Rwanda exemplifies both the challenge and the opportunity facing youth. Roughly 70% of the population is under 35 years old, and the majority of the population works in subsistence farming. While private sector growth can create jobs for thousands of young people moving off farms each year, Rwanda’s private sector is currently dominated by small enterprises that employ just 1-2 people. While young people are motivated to create their own jobs through entrepreneurship, they often lack the skills, networks, and capital needed to grow their businesses to the size where they can create jobs for others. AEC seeks to change that paradigm. Through capacity-building, mentorship, advising, and access to affordable capital, AEC removes the barriers so that young people can lead the economic transformation of their countries.

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