Many tech startups in Africa and young people with tech ideas are looking out for grants for tech startups in Africa. It is unfortunate that many ideas out there can’t be implemented due to lack of funding or an enabling environment, well there are still some associations that support tech startups in Africa and I will be listing them in this article, I will also give you steps on how to apply and also tips on how to get the grant.
Table of Contents
- 1 How do I get a grant for a tech startup in Africa?
- 2 Available grants for tech startups in Africa
- 3 How can you qualify to get a grant for a tech startup in Africa?
How do I get a grant for a tech startup in Africa?
Emerging tech startups or startup ideas usually need funding to build industry networks, and also to make the brand go global. Business grants are essential to help tech startups achieve their business goals and create job opportunities. However, there are some individuals, organisations and government agencies that give out grants for tech startups in Africa, most of them are listed below, and follow the processes to apply for one that suits your business idea.
Available grants for tech startups in Africa
MEST Africa grant for tech startups in Africa
MEST is a technology entrepreneur training program that operates across Africa. They provide internal seed funds for tech startups and a network of hubs offering incubation for technology startups in Africa. MEST also provides critical skills training, funding, and support in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s tech entrepreneurs. They have Hubs in Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, South Africa; and also Nairobi, Kenya.
MEST supports early-stage software entrepreneurs dedicated to providing tech solutions that address Africa’s most pertinent problems while also creating wealth and jobs for the people.
They usually give an internal seed fund investment of $50k to $250k in funding to help establish and scale these emerging companies. In addition to funding, MEST offers its beneficiaries 18 to 24-month incubation at the MEST hubs and access to the Africa-wide tech community.
You can visit their official website to learn more about the MEST Africa funding.
Miss Africa Initiative led by the DCA Academy, has announced a Seed Fund in Africa offering grants to women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. For them to establish or expand their initiatives that will increase their digital opportunities in IT-related training, jobs and leadership roles.
The winner will get the sum of $5000 and the finalists will also get $1000 each.
Application Deadline: 15th April 2022
Eligible Countries: All African countries
Eligible Fields: Projects eligible for grant funding include, but are not limited to:
– Computer science workshops and training for women and girls
– Early incubation of female tech entrepreneurs
– Programming and app development training programs
– Hackathons and coding boot camps for girls
To apply for a Miss. Africa Seed Fund grant you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You must be a Current resident of an African country (including North and Sub-Saharan Africa).
- Your application should be in English.
- If you are applying as an individual or a representative of a non-governmental organization (NGO) or social enterprise based in Africa you must be at least 18 years of age
- You must be able to demonstrate previous experience in conducting activities supporting women and girls in computer science or STEM fields.
- You should be willing to contribute to a virtual community for supporting women and girls initiatives.
- Your proposed projects must have a tangible impact on women and girls in computer science and/or STEM-related fields.
Selection Criteria: High consideration is given to projects that target under-served populations and locations. Take a collaborative approach, have a high potential for growth and present an innovative use of technology.
Number of Awardees: 3
You can visit their official website to learn more
Savannah fund for tech startups in Africa
Savannah Fund is a seed capital fund that invests about US$50,000-US$1,000,000 investments in early-stage high-growth technology (web and mobile) startups in sub-Saharan Africa. initially, this program was focused on East Africa. The fund aims to bridge the early-stage/angel and venture capital investment gap that currently exists in Africa.
They believe in the potential for Africa to become a global technology innovator by creating sustainable for-profit companies that create jobs and make an impact.
You can visit their official website and learn more
Seedstars Africa Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in fast-growing companies active across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Young entrepreneurs across the region are creating innovative online and offline models responding to critical products and service needs. They enjoy large market opportunities and boast high growth rates, and yet still have scarce access to capital and support compared to other regions of the World.
Capitalizing on Seedstars’ pioneering presence in African entrepreneurship ecosystems since 2012. Therefore, Seedstars Africa Ventures is profoundly an African investor bringing smart capital for entrepreneurs and providing them access to pan-African and international support.
What is the investment worth?
Their initial investments range from $250k to $2m. As long-term partners, They will reinvest in your company when it makes sense.
Their presence spans across over countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and can help you expand in neighbouring countries, recruit talents or find local expertise.
They will connect you to corporate and institutional partners across industries and sectors to accelerate your development.
Since 2015 the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has funded African entrepreneurs with business ideas or existing businesses under 5 years with $5000 seed capital, mentorship, business management training, and more. The Tony elumelu foundation grant is not limited to tech startups alone but to startup ideas across all fields.
In 2021, the Tony Elumelu Foundation disbursed USD$24.75 million to 5000 African entrepreneurs across Africa for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme. Therefore, TEF remains one of the largest private-sector responses to driving the economic recovery of African youths, women, and SMEs given the effects of the covid19 pandemic across Africa. Across Africa, the TEF Programme beneficiaries are starting and growing trailblazing businesses that have created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.
How can you qualify to get a grant for a tech startup in Africa?
Firstly, your tech startup idea needs to be something intriguing and something unusual and solve general problems in society while also creating wealth and job opportunities. These factors are what most of the above-listed organisations giving out grants for tech startups in Africa always look out for. So you must have a properly developed business idea or already launched business to be eligible for any of these grants or to attract any of the investors.