BusinessDay

The Spark launches digital platform to support entrepreneurs’ expansion

The Spark has launched an all-in-one platform that gives underrepresented entrepreneurs on-demand access to the resources, tools, network, and funding to start, sustain and scale their businesses.

Powered by OneValley, a Silicon Valley-based global entrepreneurship platform that supports founders and empowers organizations across the globe to foster innovation communities.

Ikenna Onuorah, CEO & co-founder of The Spark described the platform as an asynchronous accelerator for founders through which they can access a pool of investors, discounts on essential business tools valued at over a million dollars, over 200 mentors and learning resources.

“We started this journey with a media platform that we used to inspire, connect, and inform African start-ups, underrepresented founders and black-led businesses through different formats – magazine, podcast and masterclass,” he said in a statement.

“The next phase for us is to provide an all-in-one platform that aggregates an array of resources such as access to mentors, discounts on services, VC connect among others for underrepresented founders,” he added.

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Ikenna also said that The Spark is partnering with Stitch, Bloc, Get Equity, Univelcity, Startup Edmonton, and Africa Center to offer founders in their network an all-access pass for one month and a subsequent 20percent discount.

According to him, founders of African, Caribbean, and Black descent, which account for the youngest population around the world, launch thousands of new businesses yearly, yet they are failing at very high rates because of access to growth resources.

He noted that the aftermath of Covid19 has led to an emerging digital and tech ecosystem which is a multiplier of growth because access to technology enhances consumer information, networking, job-creating resources, and even financial inclusion.

The Spark, through technology, has created a platform where any founder can pitch investors, extend the business runway by accessing discounts on essential business tools and services valued at over $1million, access learning resources, book sessions with mentors leading the best companies in the world and access a community of entrepreneurs across the globe.

Nitin Mathur, vice president of business development at OneValley said “our partnership with The Spark is truly unique in that we’re building a unique ecosystem that connects smart founders with like-minded entrepreneurs and industry veterans, democratizing the resources of Silicon Valley and sharing them with the global community hosted by The Spark in Africa and Canada.”

Speaking on the benefit of the partnership, Jessica Manthey, channel partnerships Lead at Stitch said “our mission at Stitch is to enable fintech entrepreneurs in Africa to launch and grow their businesses more easily. The Spark is enabling access to critical resources and support that can further serve the startups we work with as they build innovative solutions.”

“We are truly excited about the launch of the Spark technology platform powering the startups run by some of the most innovative impact-driven entrepreneurs focused on building a smart future.”

The Spark is available to founders in Africa and underrepresented founders in Canada.

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