Development cooperation , 27.04.2015

InfoDev: Harnessing entrepreneurship in Africa


infoDev is a multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) within the World Bank Group that has promoted the use of information and communications technologies for development since its creation in 1995. InfoDev currently focuses on increasing the start-up and growth of innovative enterprises in three sectors: clean technology, digital industry and agro-processing. Finland's contribution is allocated to two of these sectors: digital industry and agro-processing. The regional emphasis is on East Africa and Southern Africa. InfoDev enables the growth of these enterprises by seeding and scaling intermediary organizations – business enablers – that connect growth-oriented entrepreneurs to the knowledge, networks, capital and markets they need to increase their competitiveness and grow their businesses. The genesis of the Digital Entrepreneurship Programs goes back more than a decade, but builds particularly on the experience gained over the last three years through the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy (CSBKE) program funding by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and implemented in cooperation with Nokia. The CSBKE initiated the design and deployment of mLabs and mHubs that in turn build the human and social capital of aspiring and start-up entrepreneurs. In Southern and Eastern Africa specifically, infoDev will first and foremost support the strengthening and scaling of the Southern Africa mLab based in South Africa and the Eastern Africa mLab based in Kenya. In Africa, infoDev is also piloting a pan-African acceleration initiative, which will be focused on taking the most promising digital industry start-ups and solutions to scale through an intensive program engaging world class industry and financing partners as coaches, investors and business partners. InfoDev’s Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program has just this year turned the corner from consultation and analysis to implementation. Within the next few years, infoDev aims to establish 5-6 Agribusiness Innovation Centers (AICs) in promising markets, primarily in Africa (preparations for AICs in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Nepal have already been completed).

Funding decision  27.04.2015

3 000 000 €

Objectives monitored by OECD's Development Assistance Committee

  • Participatory development/Good governance

Field of activity

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development 100%

Special target group

  • women

Funding channel




Code for the object of funding