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Facebook set to mentor African e-commerce startups

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Report reveals three ranking countries on Africa’s e-commerce scale

African e-commerce startups have been invited to apply for a new Facebook-run accelerator that will offer them access to mentorship and training as well as the company’s technologies and networks.

Facebook Accelerator: Commerce is a 12-week non-equity programme supporting innovative commerce startups that renew shopping experiences for buyers and sellers.

It is looking for technology that makes it quick and easy for companies to upload and manage inventory online, with startups required to be headquartered in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, Facebook said on Friday.

“Companies need to be B2B or B2B2C startups, with seed to Series A maturity, with evidence of significant progress in business growth and revenue, and a product that is focused on driving value for customers,” the company said.

It further explained that selected companies will be allocated a dedicated Facebook mentor who will provide guidance on product development and business growth, and will also be given access to the Facebook family of products and technologies.

According to the social media giant, they will also benefit from a training programme covering product innovation and business growth in the commerce space, as well as have the opportunity to connect with talented founders of innovative commerce startups and deepen connections with Facebook experts representing various fields of expertise.

“At Facebook, our focus has long been to bring people together and build community. We are committed to the startup ecosystem and believe that by connecting, training, and growing entrepreneurs through our programs, Facebook can empower people to solve relevant, meaningful problems.

“In this critical time, Facebook is doubling down on commerce and accelerating its work to enable every business to sell online and help people gain inspiration, discover and buy the products they love.

“Our commerce vision is one unified shopping experience across all Facebook apps. We can’t achieve this alone, so we are looking for startups to build technology with us,” the statement read.

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