IDEA Program Guinea

Accelerating the growth of new entrepreneurship communities

As a way of testing entrepreneurship support in Africa as a scalable and sustainable way of generating employment, UNIDO partnered with Bridge for Billions to create a pilot program in Guinea to support entrepreneurs in the development of new bankable businesses.

Fostering an entrepreneurial culture for economic development

SMEs create 60% of all jobs in developing economies, but these positions are heavily threatened by automation and AI. Because of this, innovation-based entrepreneurship is the most systemic instrument to drive economies’ structural transformation. There is a need for capacity building of local incubators and accelerators while boosting entrepreneurship culture, access to mentorship, and networking for those innovative entrepreneurs to emerge and ensure long-term employment. 

UNIDO partnered with Bridge for Billions to create the IDEA Program, an online entrepreneurship program to connect entrepreneurs with mentors from all over the world to transfer knowledge and develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skills. Bridge for Billions coordinates programs in several countries by building the capacity of local Incubation Centers, scouting and training global mentors, regularly coaching founders online, monitoring the program implementation, and evaluating the overall impact of the initiative with the objective that entrepreneurs can contribute to new business development and the economic growth of their communities. 

How does the model work?

UNIDO set one IDEA Center to be Bridge for Billions’ implementation partner and undergo a “Training of Trainers” program to build their entrepreneurship program management and incubation capacity. The training consisted of 6 sessions covering topics from creating a mentors network to mastering the IDEA platform to facilitating best practices.

Bridge for Billions co-managed the entrepreneurship program with the IDEA Center in Guinea: Jatropha Hub.

UNIDO and Bridge for Billions managed the first pilot in Guinea from August 2019 until February 2020.

During six months, five chosen entrepreneurs from Conakry in such diverse sectors as agriculture, arts & culture, and electronics went through the online incubation program.

Each one got paired up with a mentor, many of them coming from the African diaspora, thanks to our partner, the African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe (ADYFE). All of them were trained and onboarded during our Kickoff Day.

As part of the program, all founders access structured guidance in 8 business tools, constant support from the incubation management team, personalized weekly mentorship, and a global community of founders, workshops, and sectorial resources.

Jatropha Hub provided local support and knowledge to the founders, additional in-person workshops and resources, and physical space for founders to work.

Entrepreneurs worked in teams to develop their businesses while working weekly with volunteer mentors through the IDEA platform.

Once the program is complete, entrepreneurs have bankable and validated business plans and all the confidence that they’re pursuing a viable business.

Impact goals in Guinea


entrepreneurs accepted into the program


volunteer mentors


local incubator trained in Guinea

4 out of 5

Entrepreneurs said that Bridge for Billions helped them structure and organize their business project

4.2 out of 5

Entrepreneurs said that Bridge for Billions was essential for the development of their projects

4.2 out of 5

Entrepreneurs said that Bridge for Billions helped them assess the viability of their business plan

Some of the participants from IDEA Program in Guinea

Aoudy Food

Agri-food company that grows, processes, and markets Guinean agricultural products. Its current flagship project is the modernization of beekeeping and honey production.


Mamoudou Cery Barry

Aoudy Food Founder


Stephane Ugeux

CSO and Founder at Ewala

AD Company

Agro-food company with 10 employees that produces palm oil, rice and pineapples. Has a 75-hectare palm plantation in Kenema, Sierra Leone.


Amadou Diallo

AD Company Founder


Juan Pinzon

International Consultant and Trainer at Krauthammer


The CAPA agricultural cooperative’s digital “crowd farming” tool allows any individual with savings to sponsor a farming project.


Abdourahamane Diallo

Kilet Founder


Nadia Mrabit

Cofounder at Business Club Africa and UNIDO Consultant

With the support of

UNIDO and Bridge for BIllions designed each entrepreneurship program taking into account the most critical value chains for each country, and found entrepreneurs working on the fundamental challenges for the sector with the support of local incubators. 

Kaloum Peninsula, Guinea

Jatropha Hub

Program Administrator

Mohamed Lamine Magassouba

Jatropha Hub’s mission is to improve the living conditions of populations through entrepreneurship. They emphasize innovation as the engine of employment and empowerment of the young generation.

The Team

Rui Martins Levy

Euclides Horta Lopes Correia

We are looking for partners!

IDEA Program Guinea is on the lookout for public and private institutional partners and donors to make the program sustainable and amplify its impact over the next few years. Send us an email and make a difference in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of your country or region.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) partnered with Bridge for Billions to create IDEA, an online program to connect young entrepreneurs with mentors from all over the world to accelerate the growth of new entrepreneurship communities and foster an entrepreneurial culture.

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