ADN, eBay to provide mentorship platform for African entrepreneurs

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African Diaspora Network (ADN) has been selected as a 2019 Global Give grantee by the eBay Foundation. In June, the eBay Foundation announced 24 winners of the 2019 Global Give, awarding a total of $1 million in grants ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 each. ADN will leverage this funding in partnership with eBay to provide a platform for mentorship for African entrepreneurs.

Global Give, eBay’s employee-led grant-making program, was launched in 2018 to celebrate the Foundation’s 20th anniversary. “The Global Give is eBay’s unique approach to grant-making that delivers financial support along with the talents and passions of eBay’s employee base to global non-profit organizations,” said Allie Ottoboni, Global Philanthropy Manager, eBay Foundation. “Through the program, employees come together to create teams, partner with non-profit organizations and create innovative projects that support small businesses and entrepreneurs in their communities.”

The ADN proposal, “Innovation through Collective Collaboration,” recognizes the under-utilized African Diaspora resources of talent in Silicon Valley and on the continent. When African entrepreneurs, professionals, and students have awareness and access to mentorship platforms and sources of capital, they can turn the tide into investments outside of their own families and collectively leap forward African-owned startups and businesses in Silicon Valley and on the continent.

Among the 24 winning projects, ADN has been selected to receive an outstanding award of $45,000 due to the compelling nature of the proposal and its potential to bring eBay’s purpose to life. In collaboration with eBay executives, ADN will provide strategic consulting and mentoring to mobilize strong networks of African Diasporans and friends of Africa to catalyze economic opportunities for local and global impact, particularly among youth and women.

“African Diaspora Network is an organization that inspires, empowers, and brings together African entrepreneurs both in Silicon Valley and on the continent. The organization’s mission will change the way in which we think about entrepreneurial investments to create more jobs, wealth, and innovations, which are critical to developing economic stability on the African continent,” said Helen Kim, vice-president of Business Operations of Product and Technology at eBay, who led the eBay team that nominated ADN through Global Give.

“I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion at the African Diaspora Investment Symposium this year, where I was inspired by the entrepreneurs and the possibilities, they are creating for increasing global economic impact. Through collective collaboration, we will create access to resources that foster partnership, knowledge-sharing, and advance investment opportunities.”

“The partnership between ADN and eBay will strengthen the capacity of the organization to support ADN’s Builders of Africa’s Future,” says Almaz Negash, founder and executive director of ADN. “We are delighted for this opportunity to collaborate with eBay employees.”

Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) is a program that showcases and supports select Africa-based entrepreneurs who run early stage for-profit and non-profits addressing Africa’s unique needs in health, education, energy, financial inclusion, and other sectors. ADN plans to recruit and assess seven to 10 African entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and seven to 10 entrepreneurs on the continent to participate in the Global Give program.

The eBay volunteer team, based in San Jose, CA, will assess the needs and goals of the selected entrepreneurs in the design of a three-month mentorship program. Activities will range from regular meetings to convening hacking and panel discussions, to making introductions and suggestions for career advice, internships, job opportunities, and networks.

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