Ten years after South Africa’s Cultural Season in France, a new milestone has been reached in cementing the partnership between France and Southern Africa. Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, announced during her visit in June 2023 the establishment of Création Africa: South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi, a multi-million-rand programme looking to support and upscale cultural entrepreneurs based in the three countries.
Création Africa is a groundbreaking initiative by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs coordinated by the Embassy of France and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS). Création Africa is part of a continent-wide French investment to bolster the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs).
The programme aims to support and boost emerging creative and cultural entrepreneurs across Lesotho, Malawi, and South Africa. Through a mentorship, incubation and immersion programme, the initiative will strengthen the networks, skills, and capabilities of these entrepreneurs and enterprises.
The Embassy of France in South Africa announced the appointment of UVU Africa as Création Africa’s local incubator partner.
“I am thrilled to share our partnership with the French Embassy and Création Africa, incorporating the growing regions of Lesotho, Malawi in addition to South Africa,” says Lara Rosmarin, Head of Entrepreneur Development and Incubation at UVU Accelerate. “This customised incubation programme is designed to foster the development of cultural entrepreneurs and creative minds who play a pivotal role in shaping the dynamic cultural landscape of the sector.”
“This collaborative effort is centred on equipping these entrepreneurs with essential tools, mentorship, and resources to facilitate their success. The partnership goes beyond mere business growth and expansion; it also aims to safeguard and champion the diverse tapestry of African creativity. In conjunction with the French Embassy, our goal is to establish an ecosystem that nurtures the flourishing of cultural entrepreneurs, enabling them to make a lasting impact on the global stage.”
Emerging entrepreneurs in the Cultural and Creative Industries are eligible to apply. This includes, but is not limited to the visual and performing arts; music; design and fashion; publishing; architecture; advertising; gaming; third places; multisectoral projects, and software development.
Forty projects will be selected for the mentorship programme. Twelve of those will be chosen by a jury panel to go on to an intensive incubation process. Incubation will be customised to meet the particular needs of each of the 12 projects. Additionally, it will include opening access to business networks and investors; and strategic business guidance.
The 12 incubated businesses will receive financial support (in the form of grants) in order to scale from the Embassy of France in South Africa. Grant size will be determined by the specific needs of the emerging entrepreneurs and will be calculated to support business and project growth.
Find the full call with detailed information here.
To apply, follow these steps
- Record a 1 – 3 minute video that presents yourself, your business/project, and what you hope to get from this programme.
- Upload your video to a cloud service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, or as a private/unlisted video to YouTube. Ensure anyone with the link can view it, and have the link ready for your application.
- Go to https://iqoqo.org/join/ and register on the site.
- Complete the Création Africa: Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship Programme form (found in the submenu on the left) and submit it. Include as much information as possible – this helps the jury make accurate and informed decisions.
Applications close on 31 January 2024.