African unicorns of the future ?


In Africa, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is seen as a key springboard for economic growth on the continent, but also as a sustainable tool for job creation as well as an attractive device for the young population. In several African countries, companies and start-ups are emerging and gradually growing. In 2019, African startups raised $2.02 billion, 74 % more than in 2018*.

To encourage entrepreneurship at the continental level, BANK OF AFRICA has put in place several programs, among them :

The Blue Space program, an incubation network, through an educational bank branch offering students work spaces, knowledge and initiation about the world of banking and finance, and an incubator designed to support project leaders participating in the programs, from the formalization of their projects to their realization.

In the same vein, BANK OF AFRICA has also launched SMART Bank a new collaborative learning format, aimed at encouraging meetings, exchanges and innovation between students and the corporate world. Based on regional and national competitions that award prizes to the best project ideas, selected program candidates benefit from training, advisory and support services to help them convert their ideas into sustainable solutions and their projects into an entrepreneurial adventure.

For many years, the 1 million dollar African Entrepreneurship Award has rewarded the best entrepreneurial projects in Africa that have a sustainable social impact in the areas of education, environment and innovation. This program has helped to carry out the group's vision of a dynamic Africa, driven by its young entrepreneurs to strengthen the economic and social opportunities available to all Africans.


  • More than 5,100 project submissions
  • 2,900 potential projects
  • 54 African countries represented out of a total of 98 participating countries
  • More than 80 partner-mentors from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America