How To Apply Archipelagos Program For Graduates and Young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2024

How To Apply Archipelagos Program For Graduates and Young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2024| The portal of Archipelagos Program are now open, Archipelagos is a multi-year international cooperation program developed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Italian Financial Institution for International Development Cooperation, with the support of the European Commission.

Are you own any Small and midsize enterprises (SMEs)?, If yes, Up to 1000+ SMEs will be selected across the African continent to join a dedicated capacity building Program designed to strengthen their capabilities and increase their readiness for capital markets.

In addition to SMEs, the capacity building platform is also open to young university graduates / young entrepreneurs that want to boost their academic journey and prepare to enter into the business world as well as those who look for strengthening their entrepreneurial skills.


The selected SMEs will embark on a tailored learning journey through the Archipelagos digital platform, where they will have access to training, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

At the end of this Program, the most promising SMEs will receive specialized support for raising funds in the capital markets through innovative debt instruments, supported by a guarantee facility from the European Commission.

Inspired by the Team Europe Initiative of Investing in Young Business in Africa (TEI IYBA), also young university graduates / young entrepreneurs will have access to the capacity building Program to strengthen their business skills and sharpen their knowledge.


  • Each of the selected SMEs will receive access to the platform for up to 3 key figures within the organization (e.g., founder, finance manager, strategy manager).
  • Develop new skills and capabilities by acquiring knowledge and expertise to grow their business and boost competitiveness.
  • Look for guidance and support from experienced professionals to navigate new challenges and receive actionable advice to achieve their goals.
  • Connect with other businesses and establish valuable connections that can help them grow and succeed, by sharing experiences, knowledge, and best practices.
  • Want to explore potential collaborations and partnerships that can support them in achieving their business objectives.
  • Pursue the chance to access debt capital to finance their growth, by connecting with a range of potential investors and differentiating their sources of funding.

Program objectives:

The Archipelagos Program pursues 3 overarching objectives:

  • Supporting the growth of African SMEs: These include,  The Archipelagos capacity-building Program with tailored training, mentoring, and networking, powered by a dedicated digital platform.
  • Facilitating SMEs access to capital markets: These including, the collaboration with local stock exchanges and a dedicated guarantee facility from the European Commission for the structuring of innovative financial instruments.
  • Creating a more favorable ecosystem for SMEs: These include,  the dialogue with local policy makers and institutions, and the engagement of key stakeholders.

What they will offer:

Capacity building Program

  • CDP and the European Commission, through the project Archipelagos, recognize the importance of supporting the growth and development of African SMEs. To this end, CDP has designed a dedicated capacity building Program aimed at strengthening SMEs industrial and operational capabilities and preparing them to access the capital markets.

Access to capital markets

  • The Archipelagos Program offers a unique opportunity for SMEs to access the capital they need to grow and scale up their business.

Key information:

  • Donor: European Commission
  • Donor’s contribution: € 30 million Guarantee facility and € 5 million Technical Assistance
  • Implementing Institution: Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP)
  • Partners: Local Stock Exchanges, International Investment Banks, Financial Intermediaries
  • Beneficiaries: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and young university graduates / young entrepreneurs (capacity building only)
  • Geographical coverage: All African countries, with Morocco, South Africa, Kenya and Ivory Coast acting as key Hubs

How To Apply Archipelagos Program For Graduates and Young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2024

If you are willing to apply and join the Program to grow your company and enhance your business skills Click Here

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