The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem
The Gateway to Africa's Startup Ecosystem

Week 17: Funding and Grant Opportunities for African Startups

If you are an African startup founder looking for funding to scale your business, you should look into these programs. From equity investments and cash prizes to mentorship and technical support, each program provides unique benefits that could help your business grow.

GIZ-DTC Nigeria Techmybiz Pitchathon

Are you a startup or innovator with digital solutions that can address the needs of MSMEs in Nigeria? Apply for the GIZ-DTC Nigeria Techmybiz Pitchathon! Techmybiz is designed to support Nigerian startups and innovators in developing innovative software and hardware products that will contribute to the growth and development of MSMEs in Nigeria.

Techmybiz focuses on local innovators and start-ups that have developed digital solutions targeting MSMEs in the following sectors: retail, green economy, manufacturing/production.

Benefits: Acceleration program, access to user testing through DIH, IITA & other partners, access to markets & digital service points, promotional campaign,  national and international partnerships, certificate of completion.

Application deadline: May 10, 2023

Find out more about the pitchathon here.

OPEC Fund Annual Award for Development

The OPEC Fund Annual Award for Development (AAD) honors outstanding contributions to sustainable development with a US$100,000 prize. Established in 2006, the award annually recognizes a different theme of particular relevance to global development.

In recognition of the central role of women in the international development agenda, the OPEC Fund will present its 2023 AAD to a project partner working on the crossroads of gender equality, development and climate action. Of particular interest are plausible contributions toward SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Benefits: $100,000 prize.

Application deadline: May 12, 2023

Learn more about the prize and the application process here.

OceanHub Africa Acceleration Programme

OceanHub Africa is launching the fourth cohort of its eight-month online incubation program to support up to ten of Africa’s most promising impact-for-profit startups focused on preserving and restoring the health of the ocean, while developing equitable and sustainable livelihoods.

The accelerator is on a mission to support ocean-minded startups with the express aim of nurturing an environmentally conscious and profitable economy that effectively mitigates the effects of global warming as well as the overexploitation and pollution of the ocean. Leveraging its highly qualified network of stakeholders and facilitators, it will deliver to the accelerated startups a program that seeks out sustainable pathways yielding stable profits (ROIs) and avenues for scalable growth throughout Africa.

Benefits: Up to $10,000 in non-dilutive funding, in-person training bootcamp in Cape Town, personalized coaching, up to $75,000 worth of cloud service, legal advisory sessions worth up to $50,000, access to partners, potential clients and international network.

Application deadline: May 14, 2023

Learn more about the acceleration programme here.

HiiL Innovation Hub Justice Entrepreneurship School

The Justice Entrepreneurship School is HiiL’s flagship incubation programme that supports early-stage entrepreneurs that are preventing or resolving pressing justice needs in their communities. The programme is catered to startups in the incubation stage, where there is a Minimal Viable Product or Service, but no traction and runs for a period of 6 weeks. Focused on delivering high-quality action learning, the programme focuses on business modeling, storytelling, pitching and justice design thinking. This year the programme is focused on supporting innovative early stage startups in Kenya.

During the incubation programme, the startups will work on getting their product into the hands of users as fast as possible, aggressively and consistently obtain their feedback, and refine the MVP accordingly. This includes getting enough users and running tests on them.

Benefits: A one-week residential boot camp, coaching sessions and mentorship, access to HiiL’s regional network, certification and self-serve learning platform, win up to €1000 during the demo day.

Application deadline: May 31, 2023

Find out more about the programme here.

Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards

AGRA has launched a call for applications for the 2023 Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA) that recognise African female agripreneurs demonstrating remarkable Innovation and business excellence in agricultural value chains.

The winning agripreneurs, who will be unveiled during the 2023 AGRF Summit, will receive a total of $85,000 in grant funding. To be eligible for WAYA, businesses must be operating in an agriculture or agribusiness value chain, be a legal entity registered in a country that is a member state of the African Union, and at least 51% owned and managed by one or more women who are citizens of one of the 55 African countries.

Benefits: Up to $85,000 in grant funding.

Application deadline: May 31, 2023

Get more details about the WAYA Awards here.

Smart Energy Solutions for Africa Call for Entrepreneurs

SESA is a collaborative project between the European Union and nine African countries (Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Nigeria) that aims at providing energy access technologies and business models. Through several local living labs, it is expected to facilitate the co-development of scalable and replicable energy access innovations, to be tested, validated, and later replicated throughout the African continent. These solutions will include de-centralised renewables (solar photovoltaics), innovative energy storage systems including the use of second-life electric vehicle batteries, smart microgrids, waste-to-energy systems (biomass to biogas), climate-proofing, resilience and adaptation, and rural internet access.

The SESA project, funded by the European Commission is operative across nine African countries with local and international partners, testing and validating sustainable energy solutions and business models that are replicable and generate local opportunities for economic development. 

Benefits: Up to €100,000 for the design, implementation, and evaluation of submitted projects, participation in the SESA Incubator Programme, mentorship, coaching, and access to networks of industry experts and potential investors.

Application deadline: June 25, 2023

Learn more about the project here.

Don’t forget to check through our previous posts for more funding and grant opportunities to help your startup thrive.

Use this link to access them.

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