Applications for the Archipelagos SME Support Programme are urged from African startups.

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African startups have been invited to apply for Archipelagos, a multi-year international cooperation programme that aims at supporting the growth of African SMEs and facilitating their access to capital markets.

Developed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the Italian financial institution for international development cooperation, with the support of the European Commission, Archipelagos will assist up to 1,000 SMEs from across the continent with access to a dedicated capacity-building programme.

The programme is structured around three core areas—training, mentoring, and networking—and is delivered through a hybrid model, combining both asynchronous and synchronous components to offer a comprehensive and interactive learning experience.

Through the Archipelagos digital platform, SMEs will have access to a vast learning catalogue of online courses with differentiated learning paths according to their specific needs and stage of development. On top of the asynchronous component, webinars will contribute to making the learning journey even more stimulating, engaging, and interactive.

In addition to training, SMEs participating in the programme will also 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 the international level.

At the end of the capacity-building programme, the SMEs that demonstrate the readiness and potential to raise funds in the capital markets will be provided with tailored support and guided through the fundraising process. They will be supported in the structuring of innovative debt instruments and secure funding at favourable terms thanks to the first-loss financial guarantee facility from the European Commission that will enable them to attract other investors.

Interested parties can apply here until June 30, with applications evaluated on a rolling basis.