The objective of Création Africa is to enable Africa’s emerging creative and cultural entrepreneurs to make a sustainable and sustaining impact on their national and regional economies

The Embassy of France, The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), and UVU Africa are delighted to announce that a shortlist of 40 creative and cultural initiatives has been selected in the R24 million Création Africa programme. 

Création Africa is a ground-breaking initiative, launched by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in 2023 to boost and support entrepreneurship in the Cultural and Creative industries in South Africa, Lesotho, and Malawi. It is driven by France’s broader engagement with Africa, focusing on youth, entrepreneurship, and creative industries. 

The 40 promising initiatives capture the economic significance and diversity of the CCI sectors in all three countries. The talented young entrepreneurs and businesses (of which 35% are represented by female participants) lead projects spanning fashion and design (35%), audiovisual and media (32.5%), video games (10%), music, literature, visual arts, performing arts, and multidisciplinary ventures. 

“The response to our call for Création Africa applications was overwhelmingly positive and enormously encouraging,” says H. E. David Martinon, Ambassador of France to South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi. “Création Africa received 702 applications, many of them of excellent quality and representing the diversity of cultures, genders, economic sectors and geographic regions. We are satisfied that we have chosen the most promising and deserving projects out of an enormously competitive field and look forward to taking the next step together with those businesses that go on to the next phase of the programme.”

In total, 72 applicants were pre-selected to pitch their business ideas and growth plans to a panel of jurors over three days in the second half of February, 2024. Jury members were drawn from the Embassy of France in South Africa, IFAS, UVU Africa, Bpifrance, as well as Team France partners and experts in the local CCI industries, based on their expertise in business development, their familiarity with the cultural and creative industries; and their understanding of the role of entrepreneurship plays in economic growth and development.

The 40 chosen initiatives, of which 2 are from Lesotho, 4 from Malawi, and 34 from South Africa, will now take part in an intensive month-long mentoring programme with Création Africa partner, UVU Africa. The programme will address a wide range of topics including business planning, marketing, corporate finance, sales, access to funding, as well as in depth insights into the cultural and creative ecosystems. 

Bpifrance has also joined Création Africa as a French investment partner to explore and unlock worldwide partnership and networking opportunities as part of the next phase of the programme which will see 12 of the 40 entrepreneurs graduate into Création Africa’s tailored 5-month incubation programme, as well as an immersion programme run by Bpifrance through its platform Euroquity for market exposure and investment. 

“The ultimate objective of Création Africa is to establish an ecosystem that identifies and nurtures cultural initiatives and enables Africa’s emerging creative and cultural entrepreneurs to make a sustainable and sustaining impact on their national and regional economies, and on Africa’s continental economy,” David Martinon says.