(Ecofin Agency) - Mali has decided to make technical innovation and the digital one of the wealth and job creation tools in the coming years. In that regard, it is already laying the legal basis, necessary for the youth that will become the main added value service provider, with the “start-up Act.” This act encourages innovative project carriers.
During the Francophone Africa Investor Summit, which will end today, Mali’s minister of digital economy Arouna Modibo Touré (photo), declared that the "start-up Act" which is now subjected to public consultation will be submitted to the parliament without change.
The 23-article act set an administrative, economic and fiscal environment favourable to young entrepreneurs who are usually confronted with numerous challenges like company creation and management as well as access to funding notably.
The act plans for the creation of a label "start-up" that will be delivered to less than four year old firms whose equities are 1/3 owned by nationals with less than ten employees. Companies with this label will be provided with seed funding as well as the possibility for innovation grants.
A start-up guarantee fund will also be created to help those startups raise about 80% of the funds they need. They will also be promoted abroad by the government.
To dynamise the national innovation ecosystem, the act plans to encourage startup incubators to be more rigorous in their choice of the various projects and in their coaching. In that regard, the act provides that for an incubator to be funded, 50% of its startups should have survived for two years.
The selection of coaching, mentoring and training professionals will be based on performances and only the best will survive. This will guarantee the success and quality of the firms in the market.
The country that wants to encourage its youth into entrepreneurship also plans to create research and development laboratories in schools to grow the entrepreneurship sense of its youth. A special scholarship will then be awarded to any student carrying an innovative project.
Overall, the start-up Act aims to build Mali’s innovative ecosystem and prepare it to become a real attraction for investors who will be confident that they are investing in firms with good prospects.