Press Statement - 24th August 2023
Djassi Africa and Startup Portugal have decided to join forces to promote and drive more diversity and equity in the Portuguese startup ecosystem, by enabling development opportunities, increasing the visibility, and accelerating the growth of startups led by underrepresented and underserved groups in Portugal, with a special focus on Black founders (both afrodescendant and African). With this strategic partnership, both entities commit to co-develop joint programmes and initiatives, as well as supporting each entity’s strategic roadmap.
This partnership is aligned to Djassi Africa’s mission to create more inclusive and equitable startup ecosystems, by advancing, enabling funding allocation, and levelling the playing field for underrepresented founders across Europe. According to the Afropreneurs report recently launched by Djassi Africa, less than 1% of Black founders are included in the Portuguese startup ecosystem, with this diversity and equity gap costing the ecosystem returns, talent, and innovation. In this report, Djassi Africa urged the key players of the Portuguese startup ecosystem to take real action and drive the urgent change required, with Startup Portugal embracing the vision and embarking on this important journey to make Portugal a better, more inclusive, and more equitable place to start, grow, and scale technology-enabled businesses.
Startup Portugal is the leading government body responsible for supporting the Portuguese government in the creation and implementation of the country’s national strategy for entrepreneurship, monitoring the design and implementation of public policies to support entrepreneurship, and promoting Portuguese startups at both national national and global levels. This strategic partnership is aligned to its social responsibility objective to promote inclusion, diversity and equity in the Portuguese startup ecosystem.
This partnership is already being materialised with the first joint initiative to source and select 15 Black-led startups to be part of Web Summit’s startup track, with both Djassi Africa and Startup Portugal providing tailored support and access to opportunities.