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AMI secures funds to support growth

18 June 2014, 12:21 Nechesa Chemoi

Nairobi - The African Management Initiative (AMI) has secured a $750,000 investment from the Lundin Foundation and Isibindi Trust to support the next phase of its growth.

AMI, a social enterprise established in 2012 to tackle Africa’s management capacity gap, leverages technology to empower African managers and entrepreneurs through practical, accessible and locally relevant learning and development tools.

The investment is in the form of convertible debt, and will provide AMI with funding to build a web and mobile platform and fund operational expenses as it scales up to reach 20,000 managers in 2014 and 1 million by 2023.

“We want to develop 1 million effective and responsible African managers for Africa’s growth and development, by 2023,” said Jonathan Cook, AMI’s Chairmanand Co-Founder.

 “There is a gap that needs to be filled through accessible learning tools that embrace the digital space. This investment will help us achieve our ambitious goals to drive management excellence in Africa,” he added.

Stephen Nairne, Managing Director of the Lundin Foundation said access to risk capital is no longer the primary constraint limiting SME development in Sub-Saharan Africa it is instead management capacity.

 “AMI has developed a scalable, innovative technology platform, content partnerships with leading academic institutions in the region, and a delivery model that focuses on applied learning and outcomes for managers,” he said.

Jennifer Oppenheimer, the Co-Founder of the Trust said they were enthusiastic about the Isibindi Trust’s investment in AMI to bring high quality, relevant African content to African managers.

 “We continue to be excited by the game-changing advances in interactive online technology across the educational landscape. We believe AMI’s online platform will significantly increase access for management talent to excellent management education and tools,” she said.

Partnering with Africa’s leading business schools – including Kenya’s Strathmore Business School, South Africa’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and Nigeria’s Lagos Business School, AMI works with individuals and organisations, and has already empowered over 1,000 managers in 25 countries.  It aims to reach 1 million managers by 2023.

AMI will be launching Africa’s first social learning and development platform in July 2014. The first course on the new platform, Managing Markets and Customers, will be available online for free to managers across the continent and is already open for registration at www.africanmanagers.co/2.

AMI is also offering offline Learning Lab workshops in partnership with organisations and businesses in East Africa, and will soon be expanding into West and Southern Africa.

AMI’s platform and content is developed with mobile in mind and for an environment where bandwidth is often constrained.

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