We accelerate startups and assist local and international companies

grow their business in Africa

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2018


By 2043 there will be 1,5 billion Africans, the majority under the age of 18. The reality is that the vast majority of this youthful generation will not find meaningful employment. Governments and Corporates already have full staff complements and are not increasing jobs.
The Africa Entrepreneurship Academy runs Programmes for future leaders using various powerful models from the “101 of Entrepreneurship in Africa” approach to sustainable SME development.
These Programmes are available in leading education institutions in various African Countries.

Appropriate Afrocentric Content Bias 

Material is taught with an “Afrocentric” slant that is more appropriate to the requirements of the complicated African Business Landscape. Case studies are drawn from African context. Teachers are drawn where possible from Africa with extensive African experience. “African” is defined as someone whose heart is in Africa.
Relevant knowledge
Many leadership courses offer interesting material but which is not relevant to the actual economic context that the leader finds themselves. The curriculum follows the approach “The 101 to Entrepreneurship in Africa” and is offered through leading and established Learning Institutions across Africa as a Short Course or with credit towards a Diploma or Degree. Sessions in the classroom are interspersed with Internships and Learnerships in Industry.

The drive for the development of Africa requires people with the right skills, both hard and soft. AEA works to identify, train and mentor future leaders.

MISSION & Values

We see an Africa without Poverty. Our Mission is to find and uplift leaders across the Continent giving them Skills and Facilitating investment to create jobs.
  • Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Excellence
  • Collaboration
Principal Member

Ian McCloy

Ian was born in Nairobi in 1962, a year before Kenya’s independence from Britain. From an early age Ian’s father instilled in him an appreciation for the nature and culture of Africa, always optimistically asking “Ian, where is better than here?” 

Having obtained his Engineering Degree from the University of Cape Town, he joined Hoechst AG’s Graduate Development Programme in South Africa, remaining with this large Chemical Conglomerate until they unbundled the business in 1999, and then taking up MBO opportunities presented by their departure from Africa.

Ian’s career has taken him to 22 African Countries; he has set-up businesses in 12 jurisdictions and worked in a wide spectrum of sectors, leading to a deep understanding of what makes business in Africa sustainable.


Success Stories




Happy Students


Years Experience

The Entrepreneurial Cycle

Consolidating research from five leading educational institutions and understanding the reasons why SMEs succeed or fail in Africa suggests a new model should be adopted for all those in support related businesses.

In the Model we use for “The 101 of Entrepreneurship in Africa” we understand that being an Entrepreneur is an extremely challenging. Many face a “4 year burn out” where many quit to do something easier. Our model attempts to put the steps in the Entrepreneurial process into easy to understand by going through the steps that successful start-ups have gone through:

Get Educated. Become an expert in the field you wish to get into, read up, join Social Media Groups, start curating a library of information on your Facebook Page that later will serve as an easy referencing tool.

Acquire the Entrepreneurship skills that are relevant to your project. For example if there is an export aspect to the business then you need to understand Transfer and Country Risk Mitigation strategies.There are also many course on Entrepreneurship available, on-line, part time or full time.

Work as an intern, or under a learnership or apprenticeship for at least six months to really understand the dynamics in the sector you want to get into. For example if you want to start commercial farming go and work for the top commercial farm near you. Make attempts to bridge the hard skills gaps that you have identified by taking trade courses.

Incubate your project. Take time to get it ready, write a business plan for your family and friends (they are the most likely to invest in you at this early stage). There are also business incubators in many centers such as The University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Entrepreneurship in Soweto (UJCE) – these resources are affordable and will hep you test your ideas and start the funding application process. They will also help you get compliant with the Authorities. It is also important to find a Business Coach that can help you get to the next level.

Once you have raised Start-up funding (approximately $500 in Sub Saharan Africa) then get going. Don’t wait for the Million Dollar loan or investor as it is extremely unlikely that they will come on board yet.

Having run the business commercially for a while and understanding that you are getting traction then it’s time to approach a funding institution. Your Business Plan will describe the context with focus on the economic, community and entrepreneurial viability of the business.

Assuming you get through Step 6, then you are moving ahead nicely. Take time to be sure your risk mitigation strategies are implemented and functioning. It may be time to take on a partner, merge with another company or get Structured Trade Finance Facilities up and running.

Having navigated these 7 steps you are on of the 1 in 1,000 that will go onto create multi million $ companies. BUT BE AWARE OF ONE THING:

When you start-up another project make sure you follow the same steps outlined above. Otherwise you will fail and lose the money you made with your previous project. There are no short cuts.

Your Future Starts Here.

Africa Entrepreneurship Academy