Cape Verde: #1 Startup Ecosystem in the PALOP (2024)

Cape Verde: #1 Startup Ecosystem in the PALOP (2024)


Cape Verde Startup Ecosystem

The African island nation of Cabo Verde, located off Africa’s western shores, is gaining attention as the next hotspot for startups. Remarkably, the country, with its natural, cultural, and economic splendor, has become the lighthouse of innovation in the region. In this article, we analyze how Cape Verde has become the leading startup ecosystem in PALOP (Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa) and enumerate the factors that have contributed to this achievement.

Celebrating Cape Verdeans Rise

Cape Verde is a remarkable case of a startup ecosystem among Portuguese-speaking nations on the continent of Africa. The 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Index Report identifies Cape Verde as preeminent amongst its PALOP peers and an exemplary model of innovative entrepreneurship in Africa. The growth of Cape Verde is mainly attributed to its steadfastness in digital innovation, the creation of international partnerships, programs, and the cultivation of a crop of tech talents through future-oriented establishments.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Index Report 2023

Digital Innovation in the Cape Verde islands: A Catalyst for Growth

The core of Cape Verde’s success is an energy devoted to digital innovation and initiative. Technology is fast reshaping business sceneries globally, and Cape Verde is no exception. The country has seen increasing attention and capital injected into the technology sector, and, consequently, Cape Verdean startup entrepreneurs are harnessing technology, from digital payment solutions to eCommerce platforms, to solve local and global issues, making processes simpler and providing new paths for startups to innovate and thrive as the country has technology as its axis of development, improving public services, and creating chances for businesses.

International Partnerships Fueling Progress

Cape Verde’s successes in developing a vibrant startup community are partly attributed to its receptivity to international collaborations. An example it the landmark partnership with Microsoft, which made Cape Verde the first country to benefit from a specific digital development program and substantially reflects global confidence in its digital direction. Digital transformation is to be sped up via this joint effort, creating an ecosystem so that IT enterprises can thrive.

In addition, sustained collaboration with Huawei through the University of Cape Verde (Uni-CV) to inaugurate a new networking laboratory also endorses the interplay between education, research, and industry. These alliances enable the nation to progress forward and combine the technical platform and knowledge base for stimulating innovation.

Cape Verde and Microsoft sign agreement

Educational Institutions as Catalysts

In Cape Verde’s startup ecosystem, educational institutions are strong growth and innovation drivers. Aligned to this is the collaboration between the University of Cape Verde (Uni-CV) and the Huawei global technology giant. Here’s why it matters:

Cutting-Edge Research: The collaboration of Uni-CV with Huawei brings about contemporary research on information and communication technology (ICT). All of them take an interest in forthcoming technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. Technology research not only advances the educational level but also aims to contribute to the nation’s development.

Laboratories of Innovation: The new lab network at Uni-CV is an innovation place. Students are not only developing theoretical solutions but also applying them to deal with real-life problems. They delve into networking and smart city concepts, encouraging innovation and experiential learning.

Empowering Future Leaders: Uni-CV and Huawei support students in leading the change. Through teaching practices from industry such as coding, network design, and data analytics, these institutions nurture talents who determine the shape of the tech industry, giving Cape Verde the visibility it deserves.

Startup Incubators: Uni-CV, Uni-Mindelo, Jean-Piaget, and the University of Santiago hold incubators where potential entrepreneurs are provided with mentorship, resources, and guidance. These incubators give students a conducive environment to turn their ideas into profitable businesses. From ideation to project, to market entry, they apprentice in entrepreneurship.

Hackathons and Competitions: Universities arrange hackathons, coding challenges, and innovation contests. Such activities promote creative thinking, teamwork, and prototyping among students. Whether it is a mobile app or a sustainable energy solution, something that is built into these platforms kindles the passion and gets it done.

UniCv and Huawei finalize protocol

Youth Engagement and Tech Talent Emergence

Cape Verde’s youth actively participate in shaping the startup ecosystem. Initiatives like the Startup Challenge and Startup School provide training and mentorship. As the country continues to nurture talent, it positions itself as a gateway to Africa’s growing tech landscape. With a clear vision towards innovation and country development, young Cape Verdeans are increasingly participating in tech-driven initiatives and enterprises. This engagement is a testament to the optimistic outlook of the nation’s youth, ready to harness technology for societal progress.

Dreams & Demos team ©Sandro Fonseca Creative

Success Stories from Cape Verde’s Startup Ecosystem: Being

A shining example of innovation within the Cape Verde startup ecosystem is, an online platform that has transformed the landscape of tourism and local commerce. By creating vouchers for commercial services and attractions, provides its customers with an opportunity to live a one-of-a-kind experience in Cape Verde.

The platform is wide-ranging. It includes a variety of sectors such as accommodation, food, spa and beauty, health and wellness, sports, education, culture, and many more beyond what is usually conceived of as available in the Cape Verde islands. is a startup that relies on modern and proactive organizational management that incorporates different types of tools.’s comprehensive services, along with its role in tourism and small business promotion, indicate that the Cape Verdean ecosystem is one of the most effective startup support systems in the country.

Vale.CV Information Society in Cape Verde

Accelerating Tech Innovation in Cabo Verde

The Effect of Amplified Digital Infrastructure

The growth of tech enterprises in Cape Verde can be related to many major factors that jointly give rise to a friendly setting for technology-driven growth and innovation.These factors include:

1. Government Initiatives: The government of Cape Verde has implemented policies that support digital transformation and the growth of tech startups. This covers incentives for innovation, investment in digital infrastructure, and streamlined regulations that support tech-based companies operations.
2. Global Partnerships: Partnerships with global tech giants and world governments let local tech think globally.
3. STEM Education: Education in STEM fields directed at skills a professional needs produces skilled workers suitable for job opportunities in the industry.
4. Digital Infrastructure: Initiatives like Cabo Verde Digital and the Technological Park are the country’s digital ecosystem drivers.
5. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem:The entrepreneurial spirit in Cape Verde is rising, driven by incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces that promote innovation. This network facilitates networking, mentoring, and access to capital, which are critical for early-stage startups.
6. Market Access: Strategy and geopolitics grant Cape Verdean tech companies a special window of chance for expansion.
7. Youth and Tech Talent: With a young, tech-oriented workforce, the Cape Verdean market is primitively merging with emerging tech talent. Youth technological engagement is promoted by competitions, hackathons, or innovation challenges that serve as triggers for creativity among young entrepreneurs.

These factors, acting in synergy, are accelerating the growth of tech firms in Cape Verde, turning the country into a leading tech hub in the region.

TechPark - connection and partnership in the Cabo Verde islands

The Road Ahead for Cape Verde startups

Cape Verde possesses a supportive government, strategic international partnerships, a focus on education, and a population of energetic young people; so, the country is not just an intra-regional leader but a global contender in the startup and technological arena.

As Cape Verde continues to nurture its ecosystem, the key takeaway for other countries is clear: creating an integrated approach that merges education, government support, international collaboration, and youth engagement can accelerate some leaps in the digital and startup sectors. The Cape Verdean story is an inspiration, showing that any small state can be big in the context of the global arena.


Cape Verde stands out in the PALOP as a leader in the startup ecosystem, driven by digital innovation, international partnerships, and emerging tech talent and entrepreneurship. With governmental support, collaborations with global tech firms, and a focus on education, the nation has built a thriving environment for startups. Its strategic initiatives and youth engagement position Cape Verde as a model of technological growth and entrepreneurial spirit in Africa.

Picture of CaboWork


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