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Policy Papers and Research: Innovative Finance

A knowledge brief of South Africa’s Incubator and Accelerator Landscape

"The South African Business Development Services Provider1 (BDSP) space is active and growing. According to ANDE South Africa’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map, there were almost 150 BDSPs2 supporting entrepreneurs in 2017, with estimates exceeding this figure. National development and transformation priorities, coupled with global trends, have seen a proliferation of these programmes in South Africa, yet little is known about their effectiveness and uniqueness in the South African context. In an effort to deepen understanding of the incubator and accelerator landscape in South Africa, ANDE hosted a series of breakfast roundtables in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2017 and 2018. This document presents an overview of the key findings of the roundtables and provides recommendations for further research.


A series of four roundtables, split evenly between Johannesburg and Cape Town, was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018. During these sessions, aimed at gaining a local understanding of the sector, roundtable participants engaged in a number of activities designed to gather information regarding the BDSP space from the perspective of various players. Discussions focused on gathering qualitative information regarding key activities and services, programme structure and funding sources, as well as challenges and opportunities faced by BDSPs. In addition, a brief survey was circulated amongst participants to gather more data and cross-check qualitative responses received during the conversations. It is important to note that the findings presented in this document are based on the information provided by roundtable participants, and do not necessarily represent the view of ANDE. In addition, while these findings are assumed to be largely representative of the industry, they are anecdotal, and should be viewed as such."

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Source details: A knowledge brief of South Africa’s Incubator and Accelerator Landscape May 2018 By the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs – South Africa, May 2018, https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.andeglobal.org