Playbook Cover 3
News Article — January 29, 2024 — Alex Calvin Gbetie

The Hub Specialisation Playbook

While more hubs in Africa are implementing tech entrepreneurship programs in general, hubs in more mature ecosystems are becoming more specialized. With the increased interest and funding around planet-friendly solutions, there is an opportunity for hubs to run dedicated Greentech-focused programs.

The Hub Specialization Playbook, conceptualized and driven by GIZ’s Make-IT in Africa initiative, aims to grow nascent sectors like GreenTech by equipping innovation hubs to specialize their programs for entrepreneurs, funders, and stakeholders who are committed to turning sector-specific solutions into successful businesses. The playbook is available for any organization to use to support the development of a sector within their local ecosystems, and this toolkit aims to provide support for planning and executing a specialization strategy.

This toolkit has been developed by Viridian together with Make-IT in Africa, with support from IRESEN and lessons from the Hubs GoGreentech – HUGG, a Make-IT in Africa’s programs. It provides a customizable program framework (published under open license) and provides knowledge, tips, and tools for African organizations to leverage to transition into Greentech space and run Greentech-focused program.

Download the Playbook now (10.2 Mb)

From Generalist Approach to Specialization

As more organizations provide generalized entrepreneurial support in a given city or country, experienced, professionalized ISOs can consider applying their venture-building skills to niche industries or sectors identified as high-growth areas in their region. A continued focus on achieving efficiencies and scale through technology opens up opportunities in targeted areas such as fintech, edtech, and smart cities. At the same time, an increased interest in planet-friendly solutions is driving regions to differentiate themselves in place-based sectors like the blue and green economies.

But in contexts where sectors are nascent and stakeholder networks are few, by choosing to focus on specialization, your hub can play a critical role in changing the funding landscape towards sector-specific solutions, rather than generic startup support

This playbook presents a concise list of success factors for you to consider when specializing.

Playbook Specialisation

How to use this playbook

There are two ways to use this guide:

  1. Start at the beginning and work your way through all ten success factors.
  2. Start with the question that most interests you and explore its related success factor. Each success factor chapter is connected to other relevant success factor chapters; the links in the chapters can help you “join the dots”.
Playbook Navigation

This playbook is divided into chapters and sections for each chapter: Why this matters, Key considerations, Greentech in Africa, Tips, Tools, and Additional resources. It also includes case studies from CTIC Dakar, GreenCape, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre (NCIC), and Zixtech HUB.

Download the Playbook now (10.2 Mb)

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