Designer Accelerator

EFI Designer Accelerator

The EFI Designer Accelerator focuses on the specific needs of African fashion brands who require additional support to accelerate their businesses in the global marketplace. The programme has a 360° business development approach that prepares young African fashion brands to become investment-ready.

Production Support

Business Processes

Building Brand Value

EFI supports designers in achieving the quality standards expected
by premium international buyers and retailers

Production Support

The programme will help the selected brands expand their supply chain and scale up their production, source new products and develop their production team.

Brands will be assigned a production mentor, with whom one-to-one support meetings will take place.

The accelerator will support the management and production of the key designs of the first collection, which will be manufactured through experienced companies selected within the EFI network.

Areas that will be covered within this programme will include;

  • Sourcing materials
  • Choosing manufacturers within the African continent
  • Establishing communication with suppliers
  • International quality standards
  • Building a sustainable supply chain
  • Shipment and delivery
  • Critical paths
  • Production planning
  • Introduction to legal requirements for raw material testing
  • Creating a production team
  • Costing and pricing
  • Import and export regulations
The Katush team at work in their studio in downtown Nairobi

Business Processes

The Accelerator will fast track emerging African designer labels, identifying and strategizing areas for growth and funding towards developing a new product, process or service. A diagnostic review of the business takes place every season in order to assess progress and tailor the programme to best suit and benefit the business.

The programme will provide a set of one-on-one mentoring sessions and expert workshops on:

  • Financing for fashion business
  • Collection planning and design
  • Sales, promotion and marketing
  • E-commerce & digital strategies
  • Social and environmental sustainability
  • ESG due diligence
  • Working towards the SDG’s
MaXhosa at Constellation Africa 2016, an EFI x Pitti Uomo production

Building Brand Value

The programme will help businesses understand investment, develop strategies for maximising brand equity, build a funding proposition and market themselves as an attractive investment proposition to angel investors or VC funds. The programme concludes with an opportunity to pitch to investors at a networking event.


The programme includes workshops and 1-1 mentoring sessions delivered by industry experts on:

  • Maximising brand equity
  • Brand valuation and proposition
  • Funding options – pros and cons
  • Building your proposition
  • Preparing your business and team
  • Legal structure of the investment
  • Tax incentives
  • Alternative forms of finance
  • Funding pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • How to prepare a killer pitch
Kente Gentlemen presenting at EFI's Paris Fashion Week event in 2022