We sat down with the co-founder and co-CEO of Seedstars, Alisee de Tonnac to get deeper insights on their mission to impact people’s lives in emerging and frontier markets through technology and entrepreneurship.
What are the most challenging issues facing Seedstars and other capacity-building programs concerned with humanitarian affairs in 2023?
While the world is making progress in reducing poverty and increasing access to healthcare and education, there is still a lot of work to be done, particularly in emerging markets. A report by the OECD revealed that the gap in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals in developing countries has actually increased by 56% due to the aftermath of the pandemic.
We need to continue finding ways to strengthen support for entrepreneurs in these regions who are developing innovative solutions to the most pressing issues facing their communities, while also creating sustainable businesses that can generate jobs and economic growth.
Specifically, with regards to our work, the challenge is to always be as inclusive as possible in our programs and make sure we are supporting the larger community of entrepreneurs that need critical support to sustain their businesses and hence have a positive impact on their communities.
So we have been testing different hybrid solutions to be able to tailor the program to those outside the city or country and try to customize as much as possible to the particular need of each business vs. a more general program.
Additionally, we have participated in operating programs that could directly help pressing challenges such as migration, climate change, or support for minorities such as the following programs: The Migration Entrepreneurship Prize, CTCN Youth Climate Innovation Labs, Women Entrepreneurship 4 Africa, and many more.
Seedstars offers a myriad of programs for growth, investment, acceleration, and more. Could you give us a brief rundown of these opportunities?
Of course! At Seedstars, we offer a variety of ways to support entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. Through our Seedstars Programs, we implement cohort-based capacity-building programs for small and growing businesses (SGBs) in various stages of their journey, with a focus on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
We also invest in startups across emerging markets through our Seedstars International Ventures, pooling together over 90 portfolio companies across Asia, Africa, MENA, CEE, and LATAM.
Most recently, we launched our Seedstars Academy, a talent incubator providing coding skills and entrepreneurial-based education, and Seedstars Capital, a fund platform that partners with and invests in venture capital fund managers.
Recently, you have also launched a platform to develop VC managers in emerging markets called Seedstars Capital. How will this work in tandem with your other programs to solve the most pressing issues in the field?
By developing VC managers in emerging markets, we are helping to create a more robust investment ecosystem that will provide funding to more businesses with a high potential for impact. Seedstars Capital will work in tandem with our other programs by providing founders with the tools they need to accelerate the growth of their startups, significantly increase their ability to access capital and expand their operations across emerging markets.
By doing so, we will help create a more sustainable model for investment in emerging markets and contribute to the growth and success of the entrepreneurs we work with.
With these resources in mind, what are the best events people interested in humanitarian affairs can attend in 2023?
Some events in Europe that come to mind are the European Humanitarian Forum 2023 and AidEx 2023. The former will offer a platform to participate in high-level discussions, political debates, and practical workshops with key decision-makers, experts, and practitioners from the humanitarian sector.
The latter is the world's leading humanitarian aid and disaster relief event, providing an opportunity to network with representatives from governments, NGOs, UN agencies, and the private sector to learn and share ideas, knowledge, and best practices on how to respond to humanitarian crises and disasters.
Finally, what actions can people take if they want to help or get involved in Seedstars’ mission?
We are always on the lookout for promising startups, mentors, investors, and partners in emerging markets. We welcome anyone who wants to join us in creating a more sustainable and equitable future for all - and they may get in touch through our website at seedstars.com.