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Stanford Seed renews collaboration with AMI to support African entrepreneurs

8th February 2023

Nairobi, Kenya – Seed, a Stanford Graduate School of Business-led initiative, has renewed its collaboration with the African Management Institute (AMI) in its ongoing effort to partner with entrepreneurs to help them build thriving enterprises that transform lives. Stanford has announced a new scholarship fund for the initiative, which spans the African continent, and will now include francophone Africa. Launched in partnership with Stanford Seed in 2021, AMI’s Aspire Business Growth Programme provides owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their senior teams with practical learning and training to power growth in their business with 88% of graduates attributing accelerated business growth to the programme. 

“Partnering with AMI to offer the Aspire Business Growth Programme has expanded our ability to reach more SMEs across Africa, while also preparing businesses to be positioned to join Stanford Seed’s Transformation Program for established CEOs and founders,” said Darius Teter, Seed Executive Director. “Evidence shows that small and early stage businesses are in need of more tailored support. Through Aspire we’re able to offer support to entrepreneurs at an earlier stage of their journey through AMI’s practical programme built specifically for African business owners.’’

Pictured: Nana Ama Yankah, Founder NAYA Naturals Limited and Aspire programme alumnus

Pictured: Nana Ama Yankah, Founder NAYA Naturals Limited and Aspire programme alumnus

Designed for business owners with annual revenue of between $20,000 – $400,000 USD, Aspire is delivered virtually over a six-month learning journey, with participating businesses joining pan-African cohorts of 30 businesses. The programme offers access to AMI’s practical business tools and resources through experiential workshops, online platform access, and peer groups, in addition to a live session delivered by Stanford Seed Graduate School of Business Faculty. Access to Stanford Seed mentors is offered to a select number of participants who operate high performing businesses that successfully complete all the programme requirements.

“Aspire draws on AMI’s business growth methodology and practical learning approach that has proven to help African businesses grow and thrive,” said Rebecca Harrison, CEO and Co-founder of AMI. “The Aspire programme is designed for small-to-medium sized businesses(SMEs) who benefit from learnings focused on five key pillars including: Strategy & Planning; Customers & Markets; Finance & Money; People & Talent and Operations Efficiency.”

Pictured: Delali Pearce Kporha, Founder Macht Limited and Aspire programme alumnus

Pictured: Delali Pearce Kporha, Founder Macht Limited and Aspire programme alumnus

Thousands of well established SMEs generating revenue between $300,000 – $15M USD have applied to Stanford Seed’s flagship programme, the Seed Transformation Program (STP), but the programme admits only a select few. Originally offered as an alternative option for African businesses that do not meet the minimum requirements, AMI and Seed have opened the application process for the Aspire Business Growth Programme to businesses across the continent after a successful pilot. 130 businesses have enrolled in the programme so far with 88% of participants that complete, attributing their business growth to the programme.

“In 2021, our business was at a stagnant state, we were not growing and we didn’t know what to do next. The Aspire programme gave us a 360 degree look at the business. The tools were a game changer. Before Aspire we kept postponing decisions as we run the day to day operations of the business, but now we have a way of making both big and small decisions and more importantly bringing people on board to the decisions. Our revenue has grown, our business continues to grow thanks to Aspire’’ – Raphael Opiyo Obiero, Founder of Nawiri African Sprouts Ltd and  Aspire Programme participant

Applications for the March 2023 English cohort are now open at https://www.africanmanagers.org/aspire-stanford-seed/. The deadline to apply is March 13th, 2023. 

To learn more and apply for the the Aspire Business Growth Programme in French visit: https://www.africanmanagers.org/fr/aspire-stanfordseed/ 

Stanford Seed will be offering scholarships of up to 75% to qualified applicants, based on the organisation’s needs. 

About Stanford Seed

Stanford Seed has for several years partnered with entrepreneurs in emerging markets to help them build thriving enterprises that transform lives. The institute, which is a part of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, offers the Seed Transformation Program  well established businesses with annual revenue between $300k – $15M and strong potential for growth. Following the program, participants have raised a collective $690M in capital. Applications for the 2024 program open on March 1st, 2023. Learn more about the Stanford Seed Transformation Program here.

About the African Management Institute (AMI)

AMI enables ambitious businesses and leaders across Africa to thrive, through practical tools and training. We equip leaders with tools to build their business, help companies train their teams and run work readiness programmes for young people starting their careers. AMI’s programmes combine online and mobile tools with in-person workshops and on-the-job practice and support. AMI has trained over 42,000 people in over 39 countries and has offices in Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa, with additional presence in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Cote’ d’Ivoire. Learn more about AMI here: https://www.africanmanagers.org/ 


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