Are you facing challenges starting your innovative business idea as a result of lack of funds i.e capital? Do you already have a business you are operating but need more funds to boost it to the next level?
I will show you in this article top organisations around the world that gives out money in the form of business grants to both new and existing businesses in Africa.
In an online poll that was recently conducted on Tony Elumelu Foundation website few weeks to the 2018 Entrepreneurship Programme, lack of capital came first as the greatest challenge facing start ups in the African continent.
However, this challenge is not only common in Africa. In different parts of Asia, Australia and South America, getting access to capital or would I say “enough capital” is not always easy.
If you do not have the collateral or an already existing business to get a loan, almost no bank would consider you serious in Africa. Regardless of how good your business idea is, unless you have BIG contacts.
This is why I have put together in this post a list of top organisations that funds small businesses and innovative ideas of different categories in Africa, Middle East, Australia, Europe, America and beyond.
These organisations offer business grants to both individuals and groups around the world from thousands to millions of dollars.
Apart from the funding you will get for your idea or already existing business, some of these organisations will also train and equip you with adequate knowledge and techniques that will help you grow and develop your business into a multi-million dollar enterprise.
I also followed this list with examples of people (individuals and groups) that have received funding from these organisations at one time or other, to take their business to a greater height.
Top 8 Organisations That Funds Innovative Business Ideas And Existing Businesses In Africa
The US African Development Foundation (USADF) is an organisation owned by the US government that invest primarily in African start ups and existing businesses.
They accept proposals from both individuals and groups of different categories provided they are from the African continent.
They give grants ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 to people from supported countries in Africa to start and grow their businesses.
The countries that USADF currently supports in Africa are: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Senegal, Rwanda, Nigeria, Niger, Mauriatania, Mali, Malawi, Liberia, Kenya, Guinea, DR. Congo, Burundi, Burkina Faso and Benin.
This organisation supports African businesses that reaches up to 2,000 people and with the potential to reach more than that over time.
If you are from the supported countries in Africa, GBF will invest between $750,000 to $2,500,000 in your business if it meets up their criteria.
These countries in Africa are currently supported by GBF: Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Rwanda.
This organisation through her yearly programme “Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)”, supports African start ups from different parts of the continent.
Founded by one of Africa’s richest billionaires and philanthropists, Tony Elumelu, the entrepreneurship programme yearly trains and equips about 3,000 young African entrepreneurs with seed capital for business.
The Foundation welcomes applications in different business categories or segments.
Interested persons can register on their website and begin their application once the application is open.
4. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
This funding organisation was founded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan in December 2015.
The organisation welcomes applications from individuals and groups from African countries and beyond.
Supported categories includes: Education, Science and Technology.
5. Seedstars World
This organisation hosts an annual organisation for start up entrepreneurs.
The competition begins with a continental tour where participants from over 25 cities across Africa compete in local competitions.
The winner from each country is invited to the finals at the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland to compete for up to $500,000 in equity investment and additional multiple prizes and perks.
In 2014, Seedstars invested $330,000 in SimplePay, a young Nigerian third-party payment processing company.
In 2016, Seedstars also invested $500,000 in Giraffe, a South African business that provides low cost automated recruitment solutions.
Also known as AB Kinnevik, this Swedish funding organisation primarily focuses on businesses that falls under Communications, E-commerce and Entertainment.
In January 2014, Kinnevik invested $25 million in Konga, one of Nigeria’s leading online stores.
Other companies that have been remarkably impacted by Kinnevik in Africa includes Iroko Partners, Jumia, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Tele2, and so many others.
7. Helios Investment Partners
Helios Investment Partners is a private equity and venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs in mostly South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
The organisation invests between $15 million and $200,000 in an individual transaction.
Helios focuses mainly on businesses that falls within the following segments: Telecommunications, Media, Financial Services, Utilities, Travel, Power, Leisure, Distribution, Logistics, Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Agro-allied sectors.
In 2010, Helios invested $92 million in Interswitch, a Nigerian payment services provider.
In 2016, the organisation invested $10 million in OffGrid Electric, a solar energy company in Tanzania that is spreading across East Africa.
The organisation has also invested in Mall for Africa, Bayport, Equity Bank, GB Foods and several others.
Norfund is funded by the state budget of Norway. It focuses primarily on 3 categories: Clean Energy, Financial Institutions and Food & Agribusiness.
In 2016, Associated Foods – a food processing company in Zimbabawe, received $2.2 million loan from Norfund.
In 2017, the organisation gave Nyama World (a beef production company in Malawi) a loan of $2.75 million.
With offices in South Africa, Mozambique and Kenya, Norfund is a place to look if you are hoping to raise capital for your business in Africa.
There you have them. Organisations that funds entrepreneurs and businesses in Africa.
If you know any other organisation that you feel should be in this list, please let me about it in the comment section below.
I give credit to Gemsbok founder, Dr. Charles Awuzie, whose research were parts of this post.
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