Business accelerator: Meaning, benefits, challenges and more

The global business scene is filled with varying startups trying, as best as they can, to pull through the hustle and bustle of starting a business. Startups tend to lack some of the basic needs to pull their business through to success. Business accelerators are some of the means through which support is given to startups across the globe.

This article offers all there is to know on business accelerators globally. 

What is a business accelerator?

A business accelerator program is designed to support early-stage companies by providing resources, mentorship, and network access. It is an intensive, time-bound initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of startups. Typically, accelerators work by selecting a cohort of promising startups and offering them a structured curriculum, guidance from industry experts, networking opportunities, and sometimes even funding in exchange for equity.

The rise of business accelerators

The World has witnessed a rapid rise in business accelerators, driven by a growing startup culture and increased investor interest. Prominent organizations and institutions have been crucial in establishing and supporting these accelerator programs.

For instance, in Nigeria, companies such as Ventures Platform, Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), and Wennovation Hub have become household names, offering accelerator programs tailored to various industries and business stages.

How to be selected by a business accelerator

Entrepreneurs typically undergo a rigorous selection process to participate in a business accelerator program. This process often involves submitting applications detailing the business concept, team, market potential, and growth strategy. Accelerators evaluate applications based on predetermined criteria, such as the uniqueness of the idea, scalability, market fit, and the team’s capabilities.

Business accelerators follow a structured program format with a defined duration, typically three to six months. The programs are intensive and immersive, designed to fast-track startup growth. During the program, entrepreneurs receive mentorship, attend workshops and training sessions, and engage in networking activities. Accelerator programs may also include milestone-driven modules, where startups must meet specific targets to progress through the program successfully.

Also, business accelerators offer startups a range of support and resources. Access to funding is another significant benefit, with accelerators often facilitating connections with angel investors and venture capitalists or providing seed funding directly. Startups also gain access to well-equipped co-working spaces, technical assistance, legal support, and introductions to potential customers or partners.

Benefits of business accelerators

Business accelerators have gained significant traction in the global entrepreneurial landscape, offering a range of benefits to startups and early-stage businesses. Amongst these benefits are:

1. Mentorship and guidance

One of the primary advantages of participating in a business accelerator is the access to experienced mentors and industry experts. These mentors provide invaluable guidance, sharing their knowledge, insights, and network connections. While navigating the global business landscape can be complex, having seasoned mentors by your side can help entrepreneurs make informed decisions, avoid common pitfalls, and strategize for success.

2. Access to funding

Securing funding is often a significant challenge for startups. Business accelerators address this hurdle by offering access to capital through various channels. Some accelerators provide direct investment, while others facilitate connections with angel investors and venture capitalists or provide guidance on accessing government grants and funding programs.

The financial support obtained through accelerators allows startups to invest in product development, talent acquisition, marketing, and infrastructure, accelerating their growth trajectory.

3. Network expansion

Business accelerators provide an excellent platform for networking and collaboration. By participating in an accelerator program, entrepreneurs gain access to a diverse network of peers, mentors, industry experts, investors, and potential partners.

The connections made within these networks can lead to valuable collaborations, strategic partnerships, customer acquisition opportunities, and market expansion. The power of a strong network should be considered, as it can open doors to new markets, funding, and expertise.

4. Skill development and learning opportunities

Accelerator programs offer a structured curriculum tailored to the needs of startups. These programs provide workshops, training sessions, and mentoring focusing on critical business areas such as market analysis, financial planning, marketing strategies, operations management, and pitching.

Startups can learn from experts and industry leaders, acquire new skills, and gain a deeper understanding of business fundamentals. The knowledge gained through accelerator programs equips entrepreneurs to overcome challenges, refine their strategies, and optimize their business performance.

5. Validation and credibility

Participating in a reputable business accelerator program lends credibility and validation to startups. The selection process conducted by accelerators confirms the viability and potential of the business concept, boosting investor confidence.

The assurance obtained through the accelerator program can significantly enhance a startup’s reputation, making it more attractive to potential investors, customers, and partners. It serves as proof of market potential and can accelerate the business’s growth trajectory.

6. Access to resources and infrastructure

 Business accelerators often provide startups with access to valuable resources and infrastructure. This may include well-equipped co-working spaces, technical support, legal advice, marketing resources, and business development services. 

7. Exposure and market access

Accelerator programs often expose startups to industry events, investor pitch sessions, demo days, and media coverage. These opportunities increase the visibility of startups in the market, attracting potential customers, investors, and partners.

Accelerators may also facilitate introductions to potential clients and pilot programs, enabling startups to gain early traction, receive valuable feedback, and refine their products or services based on market demands.

Challenges of business accelerators

While business accelerators offer tremendous benefits, entrepreneurs still face particular challenges. The limited availability of accelerator programs and intense competition for admission can make it challenging for startups to secure a spot. Additionally, entrepreneurs must navigate the complexities of funding gaps, regulatory frameworks, and market dynamics.

However, these challenges also present opportunities for collaboration among accelerators, corporations, and the government to expand accelerator programs, provide more funding options, and create a favourable business environment.


Business accelerators have emerged as essential catalysts for entrepreneurial success globally. By providing startups with mentorship, funding opportunities, and a supportive ecosystem, accelerators play a pivotal role in shaping the future of businesses.

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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