The Africa Canarias Challenge (ACC) initiative was born in 2021 from the collaboration between MTA Afrika and the Directorate General for Economic Affairs with Africa of the Government of the Canary Islands. ACC aims to be an intercultural community of entrepreneurs that fosters the impact of socio-business initiatives that promote inclusive development and contribute to reducing inequalities both in the Canary Islands and Africa. The shared purpose of reducing inequality gaps is what unites African and Canary Island entrepreneurs.

Through the first edition in 2021, a triangulation concept was developed to connect the ecosystems of the Basque Country, Senegal (participating African country) and the Canary Islands, tightening nodes and connections. In 2022, in its second edition, the Program will focus on the ecosystems of Mauritania and the Canary Islands.

This ACC 2022 offers an entrepreneurship experience where participants will create multicultural teams and develop projects with the aim of solving challenges in the agriculture field, to generate a positive impact in their communities. The Program will be held between May and November 2022.


The Program arises with the aim of being an intercultural community of impact entrepreneurs that encourages the development of socio-business initiatives that promote inclusive development and contribute to reducing social inequality or the impact on the environment. The creation of positive impact in our communities is what unites us and the shared purpose of reducing inequality gaps is what activates us as social entrepreneurs. The organization team entities in the 2022 edition are:

  • Government of The Canary Islands – General Directorate of Economic Affairs with Africa: Sponsor and support.
  • EMERGE: Program coordination, development, coaching and community management.
  • Startup Mauritania: Program coordination in Mauritania, training, coaching and methodological support.



The basis of learning in the Program is through constant practice of the obtained training during workshops and bootcamps, both onsite and online. These training sessions will combine the latest trends in innovation as the base of the pyramid with the study of financial tools for social and environmental impact, as well as the entrepreneurial mindset linked to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 agenda, exponential technologies, strategic thinking and product design.

The Program’s workflow*:

  • Pre-selection Process – May 2022.
  • Lectures, webinars and training in the context of Mauritania and the Canary Islands – June to July 2022. → Final Selection of the participants and reserve list.
  • 1st Bootcamp in the Canary Islands (onsite). Building up the Teams – September 2022.
  • Team work through digital platforms with mentoring and coaching (online) – October to November 2022.
  • 2nd Bootcamp in Mauritania (onsite). Final Event – November 2022
  • Further support process for the 3 winning teams – From November 2022 onwards.

*This Program may be subject to changes due to circumstances outside of the organisation’s control.

The methodology of “learning by creating” will be used throughout the Program, which has been designed considering the context and reality of each edition. Taking into account that not all the participants have undertaken or know about all the topics that they will be working on during the Program, the process has been gamified for easy understanding. The intention is to cover three main dimensions:

  • Personal development – Your purpose as a changemaker.
  • Team development – Our purpose as a community.
  • Business development – The vehicle.



  • To generate new changemakers working in teams to create a positive impact in their communities.
  • To co-create business initiatives with a social impact, capable of addressing agriculture challenges with tech-based solutions in Mauritania and/or the Canary Islands.



Canary Islands:

The Government of the Canary Islands wants to pursue new ways of internationalization in the framework of social economy and the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with young people as the agents of change, and the integration of Canarian and African talent through business projects.

In this context, the General Directorate of Economic Affairs with Africa, faced with the need to provide young people from the Canary Islands and Africa with the tools and resources to start businesses that have the capacity to generate opportunities, decided to create, with the support of MTA Afrika and under the leadership of Diversity4Equality, the Africa Canarias Challenge in 2021, in which participants from the Canary Islands and Senegal were recruited to participate in the program. Canarian entities from the entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as EMERGE Assosiation, were also involved to support the initiative and with the idea that the know-how and methodology would remain in the Canary Islands for future editions.

The current edition, led from the Canary Islands, aims to reinforce the success achieved in 2021, based on lessons learned, and the tools and platforms previously launched.

In this 2022 edition, the Canary Islands and Mauritanian entrepreneurial ecosystems will be interconnected, thus increasing the connection nodes between both territories.


The Canary Islands and Mauritania have established several ties of cooperation along the years, with important percentages of population from both territories permanently living and established on each other’s soil, creating strong ties between them. This connection, however, has not translated into knowledge exchanges, technology transfer, or the creation of innovative economic activities. This Program can be an opportunity to give them a boost through entrepreneurship and innovation.

Beyond the historical and cultural ties and the natural proximity as it is a geographically close country, other aspects taken into consideration to involve Mauritania in this edition have been:

Entrepreneurship: In Mauritania, players from across society are coming together to advance towards a new economic model that contemplates innovation and technology. From the public sector to local and international businesses, as well as the donor community, entrepreneurship is beginning to emerge as a crucial element in any strategy to address Mauritania’s greatest challenges: socio-economic inclusion, poverty reduction, youth employment, economic diversification and climate change. Furthermore, it is estimated that the Real GDP growth in Mauritania will experience a robust growth in 2022-23, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), following the contraction in 2020.

Bidirectionality and Reciprocity. There is interest on both sides to elevate the relationship between the two countries to the level of cooperation in entrepreneurship, innovation, and science and technology. Work must always be done from a reciprocal perspective.

Actors. The scheme has received a big welcome when it has been introduced to different Mauritanian entities, both public and private, who have shown a great enthusiasm in participating.There is currently a network of contacts with whom to work and who are aligned with the objectives of this Program, both at a business and social level.

Close connection between the Canary Islands and Mauritania. Currently, flight connections are quite regular. Counting only on Mauritania Airlines and Binter, there are direct flights almost daily, which greatly facilitates the logistics of the Program.


For Mauritania: Aimed at participants between the ages of 18 and 40 who are currently citizens and residents of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Through both the pre-selection and selection processes, the ACC team will select a maximum of 20 final participants.

For the Canary Islands: Aimed at participants between the ages of 18 and 40 who have resided continuously in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands for at least three years prior to the date of registration. Through the pre-selection and selection processes, the ACC team will select a maximum of 20 final participants.

Participants do not have to be entrepreneurs, or have studied a specific discipline, we are looking for motivation! We are looking for different profiles, who want to “change the world”, interested in undertaking and building viable business models with social impact through this multicultural experience.



  • Be a citizen and a resident in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, or
  • Being a Canarian resident.
  • 18 and 40 years old.
  • High written and oral comprehension levels in English and/or French.
  • Be committed to create a positive impact in the communities of Mauritania and / or the Canary Islands.
  • It is not necessary to have a project or company already up and running. Projects will be co-created during the Program.


  • Academic and/or professional background in agriculture – 1,5 points
  • Vocational Training – 1 point, or,
  • Bachelor’s degree – 1 points
  • Master’s degree – 0,5 points
  • Researcher profile and/or PhD candidates or holders – 1,5 points
  • Written and oral comprehension levels in English (test will be taken): 1 point and/or,
  • Written and oral comprehension levels in French (test will be taken): 1 point
  • Working experience (CV requested): 1,5 points
  • Cover/Motivational Letter: 2 points.



The Program will be in English and/or French.



  • The first step for the selection process is to fill in a form on the website: africacanariaschallenge.com
  • Registrations are open until 26th of May 2022.



  • Take an active part in all the processes.
  • All initiatives created have to be designed for Mauritania or The Canary Islands.
  • These initiatives or projects created will have to respond to challenges identified in both territories and they will have to be based on tech solutions.
  • Winning teams will compromise after the Program, with the support received from the organisers, to create a real company in Mauritania or Canary Islands.



This Program is covered by the Government of the Canary Islands and there will be no cost for the participants of the Africa Canarias Challenge*.

*Only travel expenses between Mauritania – Canary Islands will be covered.


Module 1: General introduction and Context Setting (online workshops) – Final Selection of the participants*

Africa Canarias Challenge presentation.

Reality in Mauritania and Canary Islands.

Diversity & Culture workshop, understanding our identity.

Social Entrepreneurship + Social Innovation. Impact Business Methodology tools and workflow presentation.

Challenges and opportunities in the agricultural sector of Mauritania and the Canary Islands. Innovation and technology as tools for change.

*At the end of this module, participants must demonstrate through a specific task that they are able to apply and take in the training received. The organization will be responsible for carrying out this evaluation. Those selected will be invited to continue in the following modules.



Module 2: Bootcamp 1 – Building the teams in the Canary Islands (onsite). Building up the Teams

Africa Canarias Challenge – Official opening ceremony.

Guided visits to different entities in the Canarian ecosystem.

Lectures and storytelling from experts, entrepreneurs and other relevant actors.

Tools and methodologies.

Interviews and collection of testimonies.

Team creation according to challenges identification.

Brainstorming of prospective ideas/solutions.


Module 3: Building a Social Enterprise (online work)*

Idea incubation process.

Concept formulation and value proposition.

Market, sector and competition analysis. SWOT.

Business model draft.

Prototyping Financial Modeling.


Module 4: Understanding and Sharing Your Social Enterprise (online work)*

Social Business Model Impact Measurement

Marketing strategy for communication and sales.

Business Model.

Introduction to Investment Readiness.

Presentation & Pitching preparation.

*In modules 3 and 4, a coach will be assigned to each team to support them during the development of their projects. Furthermore, the teams will also receive advice from mentors, specialized in the fields they are working on, who will help them to shape the business solutions they will present.


Module 5: Bootcamp 2 in Mauritania (onsite). Final Event

Guided visits to different entities in the Mauritanian ecosystem.

Lectures and storytelling from experts, entrepreneurs and other relevant actors.

Pitching rehearsal.

Final Event and pitching in front of a jury.

– – –

During the final event, a jury will evaluate the best initiatives presented. But this is only the beginning! From this point on, the participants of the winning projects will embark on the journey of entrepreneurship, with the aim of creating a company based on the business models they have been working on. Apart from the training and guidance offered by the collaborating entities, the winners will receive further specialized support to work on the following steps.

– – –


MORE INFO: acc@asociacionemerge.com.



Africa Canarias Challenge 2021 – Senegal: The first edition of the ACC involved Senegal and the Canary Islands. A total of 30 participants formed multicultural teams and were challenged to find business solutions that addressed common social problems in both territories. As a result, 6 innovative projects were presented and 4 were the winning initiatives that are now in a process of acceleration. More info: https://diversit- y4equality.com/africa-basque-challenge/



  • General Directorate of Economic Affairs with Africa: Promoters of the initiative.
  • EMERGE Association: Coordination of the program, recruitment of participants, mentoring and coaching.
  • Startup Mauritania Incubator: Coordination in Mauritania, recruitment of participants, mentoring and organization of the bootcamp in Mauritania.



  • ICIA: Training and mentoring.
  • IDeTIC – University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Training and mentoring.
  • Ecole Supérieure Polytecnique: Support in recruiting participants in Mauritania and mentoring.
  • ITC: Training and mentoring.
  • Hadina RimTIC: Training and mentoring.
  • Diversity4Equality: Support in the methodology, training and coaching.
  • Asombrosa: Training and mentoring.
  • Gáldar City Council: Support in the organization of the bootcamp in the Canary Islands.