Week 20: Funding and Grant Opportunities for African Startups

This week, we’ve curated a bunch of exciting opportunities for African startup founders! There are numerous funding opportunities available, ranging from financial support for agricultural and financial technology ventures to grants open to all sectors and even a dedicated program empowering women entrepreneurs. If you want to scale your startup, it’s worth looking into these opportunities to accelerate your growth.

NewGen Renewable Energy Accelerator

IRENA, supported by the United Arab Emirates, has established the NewGen Renewable Energy Accelerator (NewGen) programme to empower youth to be active participants in the energy transition. NewGen supports the development and implementation of youth-led solutions in the climate and sustainable energy sectors by acting as a global showcase for youth-led innovation.

The goal of the programme is to provide youth with the tools, knowledge, and support needed to develop and implement their ideas. Youth-led start-ups, scale-ups, and growth businesses now can be supported by IRENA to foster their growth and business acceleration.

Benefits: Tailored acceleration program in renewable energy and climate technology, webinars, workshops, and dedicated mentorship by IRENA experts, access to pitching events and investment matchmaking, dedicated climate impact forecasting workshop.

Application deadline: June 9, 2023

Learn more about the program here.

develoPPP Ventures Ideas Competition

With develoPPP Ventures funding, the BMZ is supporting young companies that are already active in a developing or emerging economy and whose business model contributes to sustainable local economic, ecological and social development. The aim is to scale innovative solutions in order to make them accessible to more people. Therefore, it is important that the proof of concept has already been achieved and first revenues have been generated. Funding the start-up phase via develoPPP Ventures is not possible.

The BMZ supports the scaling of suitable business models with a grant of up to 100,000 euros if your company manages to acquire matching funds from other sources of at least the same amount. In addition, your start-up will receive local technical support. Women-led start-ups and start-ups promoting gender equality are especially encouraged to apply.

Benefits: Up to €100,000 in co-investment grant.

Application deadline: June 30, 2023

Learn more about the program here.

IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator 2023

The IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator is an investment-readiness and technical mentorship program, run in partnership with Village Capital and IBM. The program supports impact-focused startups leveraging highly sensitive data to improve the quality of, and access to: digital, financial, and healthcare services. The IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator has already supported 146 early-stage startups across the world and is now open to applications for Cohort 6 and Friends of Hyper Protect (FoHP) Class III.

Village Capital and IBM will identify, vet, and recruit 45 companies using highly sensitive personal data to increase access to digital solutions, including -but not limited to- Fintech, Datatech, Digital Assets, Edtech, Insuretch, and other solutions. The virtual Accelerator will take place between September and December 2023 and there will be continued support from IBM into 2024.

Benefits: 1 year of on-demand technical mentorship, access to Village Capital investor and alumni network, 1:1 training on financial modeling, access to up to $120,000 in IBM Cloud credits.

Application deadline: June 30, 2023

Find out more about the accelerator program here.

The Fishbowl Challenge

The Fishbowl Challenge connects ambitious young individuals from around the world, to develop technology-driven social ventures that addrsess critical issues in Healthcare, Agriculture, and Sustainable Energy.

For 6 months, teams from around the world go through various venture-building stages, with a shared goal to secure up to $50,000 in seed funding. During this journey, they benefit from the guidance and expertise of experienced mentors and judges within their respective industries, equipping them with the tools to turn their innovative ideas into reality.

Benefits: Up to $50,000 in equity-free seed funding, 6-month intensive program, tailored mentorship and guidance, access to global network of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Application deadline: Jun 30, 2023

Find out more about the Fishbowl Challenge here.

Pitch AgriHack 2023

Pitch AgriHack supports technological innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture across Africa. It targets young entrepreneurs 18 to 40 years old. The Pitch AgriHack competition is sponsored by Heifer International and managed by Generation Africa, a thematic platform of The AGRF. 

The competition will identify and amplify efforts by young innovators to build resilience beyond COVID-19 through digital agriculture products and services. These innovations should be scalable and generate measurable impact in Africa’s food systems. Winners will receive funding and continued support to scale up their innovations to transform the agriculture sector.

Benefits: Up to $45,000 in total prize money.

Application deadline: July 3, 2023

Find out more about Pitch AgriHack here.

ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator

Following the success of the inaugural program in 2022, the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator 2023 program will support startups based in Africa that are building innovative companies across FinTech, Mobility, E-commerce and TalentTech. 

The three-month, in-person program is based in Lagos, Nigeria. The first month is dedicated to refining the startup’s value proposition through extensive hands-on training and exposure to over 100 Techstars mentors. Month two features guest speakers including top ecosystem operators and founders, tailored workshops, and one-on-one support to help founders execute and accelerate their business. The third month is focused on preparing the startups for fundraising, and the building of investor relationships.

Benefits: 90-day mentor-driven acceleration programme, access to $400k of cash equivalent support, lifetime access to Techstars resources, and worldwide network of entrepreneurs, Demo Day exposure and investor connections.

Application deadline: August 9, 2023

Use this link to learn more about the program and to apply.

The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award

The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa‘s flagship program focused on supporting young health entrepreneurs across Africa with the tools they need to advance promising healthcare solutions for the betterment of their communities.

In the second edition of the Award, we seek to find and nurture health innovations that will help us get closer to the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC means everyone has access to the healthcare services that they need, of good quality and without the risk of financial hardship .

Benefits: Up to $90,000 in funding, 3-month business mentorship program from prominent business leaders, access to a global network across healthcare, technology, and media, expert advice on legal matters by Adams & Adams, media training, increased PR and press opportunities.

Apply using this link.

Google for Startups Africa Google Cloud Credits Program

The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub and Google for startups Africa have collaborated to support female technology founders with up to $3 million in Google Cloud Credits.

Benefits: Up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits.

Learn more about the program here.

Do not forget to go through our previous posts for more opportunities to help your startup thrive. 

Use this link to access them.

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