Africa Ecosystem Partner Spotlight : Sara Fakir of ideiaLab
Sara Fakir is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of ideiaLab, one of Get in the Ring’s ecosystem partners promoting our activities on the continent. ideiaLab has been running for 12 years in Mozambique.
What is the origin of your organization?
Sara Fakir: “ideiaLab is a female-led and funded entrepreneurship catalyst organization from Mozambique. We created ideiaLab in the very beginning of the entrepreneurial boom in the country and built strategic partnerships over the continent very fast with special mention to Angola (with Acelera Angola, another partner of GITR). We are a key player in the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem after 12 years building what we believe is the way for development, an Entrepreneurial Society.”
What is unique about ideiaLab?
“Mozambique is one of the less developed countries in the world, facing challenges such as the lowest Human Index, low access to education and work opportunities and reduced state investment in entrepreneurship. In this context, we have built a unique resilience and ability to transform challenges into opportunities. To do so, we direct a significant percentage of our offer to young people contributing to their growth and development while also challenging a mindset shift in the ecosystem. ideiaLab is also very human-centered, we have a way of working, thinking and sharing experiences based on care, commitment, courage, creativity and collaboration within the ecosystem. In 2019 we were awarded ‘best place to work’ and ‘best organizational culture’ and last year we received a YBI accreditation recognizing our journey of improvements for more inclusion in our programs.”
What domains do you focus on?
“We are essentially focused in the cycle of entrepreneurship development offering inspirational programs to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit, followed by ideation programs for people of all ages with business ideas. Then we propose activation programs such as our flagship program of incubation for early stage or new businesses. Additionally, we offer acceleration programs focused on women (FEMTECH and reStart), programs for Young People (#BIZ) and an acceleration program for Tech and Digital startups (Vodacom PUXAP). For more mature business we offer iCreate, a program that reshapes businesses to deal with challenging phases.”
What is your proudest achievement at ideiaLab?
“Our proudest achievement at the moment has been to keep growing with our community of entrepreneurs and lead a journey of continuous improvement in our ecosystem. This year we registered a growth in more than 50% of our employers and doubled our investment in the individual growth of our team, our collective improvements and the overall quality of our offer. We continue to bring new ways of thinking and keep close partnerships that allow us to directly work with 1439 entrepreneurs and accelerate 349 businesses in all provinces of Mozambique and of Angola, only in 2021. Our impact is wider than numbers and we have been changing lives through our programs, offering a wide range of tools, knowledge and also access to financing while we also facilitate access to market and linkages between entrepreneurs and other organizations (corporates and other SMEs). We have a solid number of entrepreneurs that continue to be active in the market, bringing more innovation and strategic partnerships forwards.”
Can you tell us about one bold solution from a founder within your network?
“Marta Vânia Uatela is 26 years-old green entrepreneur with a business focused in developing a prosthesis made from recycled plastics to sustainably benefit people with disabilities. She has been part of various of our initiatives and we are proudly part of her growing success and commitment in creating innovative solutions. Biomec Prosthetics has been one of the National and Regional Finalists of ClimateLaunchPad and has been recognized internationally for its impact and boldness!”
What are ideiaLab’s main events this year?
“In May we graduated 30 businesses from our flagship female entrepreneurship initiative FEMTECH, an event that has always been an important part of what we believe in. In the same month we launched an initiative led by the State Secretary of Youth and Employment, where we aim to give 5000 skills that will improve their employability. This is one of our biggest initiatives for the next two years where we will keep creating and sharing our impact.”
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