Village Capital

Rural Enterprise Ecosystem Africa

Closing the rural enterprise support gap

About the Program

This research initiative, in partnership with the Small Foundation, will deepen our understanding of the support ecosystem for rural-impacting enterprises (RIEs), specifically, entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) that work or seek to work with RIEs in sub-Saharan Africa.

This research initiative will inform stakeholders' interventions to achieve a thriving, commercially viable rural business ecosystem.

We are seeking to partner with locally-led ESOs from across sub-Saharan Africa.

Rural Entrepreneurship Project About Section Image

Impacting the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Africa

Since 2009, we have supported 1,200+ early-stage entrepreneurs through our accelerators and invested in 100+ accelerator graduates, including rural impacting startups in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ecosystem building is core to our work in Africa. Our ESO Accelerators - accelerators for locally-led startup support organizations-  focus specifically on improving access to financial, social and human capital to improve opportunities for locally-led ESOs and the entrepreneurs they serve. To date, we’ve worked with over 60 locally-led African ESOs from over 25 African countries. Globally, we’ve worked with over 160 ESOs who have gone on to raise over $10M in funding for their organizations. 

Ag Africa workshop

Entrepreneur Support Organisations (ESOs)


We are seeking Entrepreneur Support Organisations (ESOs) that meet the following criteria:

  • Legally registered ESO with operations in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

  • Applicants can have operations across other countries, however, preference will be given to those operating predominantly in SSA

  • Entrant must fall into one of these supporter categories: accelerator or incubator, association or network of entrepreneurs, makerspace or fablab, SME business advisory firm, or other SME / entrepreneur training organization

  • Organizations must currently be supporting entrepreneurs in the sub-Saharan Africa ecosystem through services or programs

Rural Entrepreneurship Project Eligibility Intro Image

Benefits ESOs will receive:

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Research support

Cash stipend and tools to collect impact data on your programs

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Training and access to the VilCap's Abaca supporter package, and 1:1 support from the Village Capital team

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Access to a network of peer ESOs from across sub-Saharan Africa and an opportunity to be considered for funding from Small Foundation

Learn more about mentoring with Village Capital