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    Création Africa's top 12 entrepreneur finalists announced

    The top 12 entrepreneur finalists of the Création Africa’s final incubation and immersion stage have been announced and include one from Lesotho, two from Malawi and nine from South Africa, of which one third are women.
    Image supplied. The top 12 entrepreneur finalists of the Création Africa’s final incubation and immersion stage
    Image supplied. The top 12 entrepreneur finalists of the Création Africa’s final incubation and immersion stage

    The finalists are in fashion, design, audio-visual, video games and music.

    The announcement was made by the Embassy of France in South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and attended by the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi, David Martinon.

    Launched in 2023, the R24-million Création Africa programme is a continent-wide initiative by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

    It focuses on the cultural and creative industries in 16 African countries, as part of its renewed engagement to invest in entrepreneurship and creative industries on the continent.

    The programme is designed to reinforce cultural cooperation between France and Lesotho, Malawi and South Africa by supporting cultural and creative talents from these countries on their entrepreneurial journeys.

    The 12 finalists were selected from a shortlist of 40 businesses.

    They will undergo a month-long training and pitch their ideas in the incubation and immersion phase.

    The finalists

    The 12 finalists are:

    • Ananta Design Studio – Viveka and Rucita Vassen, design – Cape Town, South Africa
    • Gita – Giyani Mashimbye and Cassandra Twala, design – Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Kwacha Creative Studios – Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba and Rafik Seleman, audio-visual – Blantyre, Malawi
    • LSJ Clothing and Merchandising – Julian Kubel, fashion – Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Moodswing – Jimmy Muteba, music and media – Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Pineapple on Pizza Studios – Kushal Jeethendra Sithlu, gaming – Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Renaissance Design – Glorinah Khutso Mabaso, design – Pretoria, South Africa
    • SourceCode Motion Pictures – Katleho Monyako, audiovisual – Maseru, Lesotho
    • SpaceSalad Studios – Thabo Tsolo, gaming – Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Tendalo Trading – Xolile Mabuza, fashion – Mbombela, South Africa
    • Terry Made Designs – Terrence Thobani Ngulube, fashion – Blantyre, Malawi
    • Thebe Magugu – Thebe Magugu, fashion – Johannesburg, South Africa

    Incubation phase

    in this phase, the finalists will embark on a five-month incubation journey designed to empower them and take their creative ventures to the next level.

    This includes strategic guidance, tailored training, and exposure and networking opportunities with French and international cultural and creative industry experts and investors with financial grants ranging from €30,000 to €50,000.

    One-on-one tailored mentorship sessions

    As part of the incubation programme, each business will be supported by three dedicated mentors through weekly one-on-one tailored mentorship sessions and will attend weekly group sessions with the cohort.

    They will complete entrepreneurship-on-demand training online to develop their human skills and master business fundamentals.

    The 12 finalists will also get an opportunity to learn from French and international industry leaders as part of a series of bespoke masterclasses to build their vision and support their growth.

    Unlock investment opportunities

    Création Africa is supported by key partnerships with the business development and incubation division of UVU Africa (UVU Accelerate) alongside the French public investment bank Bpifrance.

    Bpifrance will leverage its expertise to connect entrepreneurs with a global network of partners and investors to unlock investment opportunities to propel them forward.

    Crucial for nurturing creative talent

    “Congratulations to our cohort of 12 for reaching this stage in the programme. Their success through a very competitive field is a testament to their talent, dedication and great potential,” says Ambassador Martinon at the announcement.

    “Business acceleration programmes in the cultural and creative industries, such as Création Africa, are crucial for nurturing creative talent.

    “I am convinced that investment in ecosystems, skills development and innovation can drive productivity and competitiveness, and lead to sustainable economic growth and job creation across our nations.

    He adds, “In this latest phase, we aim to develop a holistic support system that ensures these entrepreneurs gain the competitive edge they need as well as providing them with essential industry insights and networking opportunities that will open doors to further their growth and success.”

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