Funding Opportunities for African Businesses

  1. Enter the Mombasa Plastics Prize in Kenya

Deadline: 8-Nov-22

Nominations are now open for the Mombasa Plastics Prize that aims to encourage innovation and awareness amongst aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders (ages 18-25) in Mombasa County, by inspiring the development of solutions that tackle the problem of plastic waste mismanagement within informal settlements.

The prize, funded by USAID and the Government of Canada, is being managed by Challenge Works in close collaboration with other organizations working across the innovation ecosystem in Mombasa.

This prize builds on the work of the Afri-Plastics Challenge, which aims to reduce marine plastics in sub-Saharan African countries by developing and scaling innovative solutions to plastic mismanagement.

 Prizes and support  

 Eligibility Criteria

 To be eligible to enter the Mombasa Plastics Prize, competitors must:

Also Read: Funding Opportunities For African Businesses

For more information, visit

  1. Call for Proposal for Digital Innovation Hubs in Nigeria

Deadline: 11-Nov-22

The Digital Transformation Center Nigeria (DTC Nigeria) has launched the Digital Innovation Hubs, a coordinated group of organisations with complementary expertise and a public-benefit objective, offering a set of services and activities to small businesses to support their digital transformation and innovation through a one-stop shop.

DTC Nigeria aims to improve the capacities of the innovation ecosystem – policy implementation, performance of organisations and networks as service providers for the digital economy, offering scalable digital solutions, competences – for the growth of the digital economy. The project is working closely with Nigerian actors in the innovation ecosystem such as: National Information and Technology Development Agency, research institutions, innovation hubs, hub networks, start-ups, MSMEs and women.

The DTC Nigeria is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Its primary focus is on Digitalization and Entrepreneurship. The project aims to contribute to the improvement of the capacity of the Nigerian economy to implement digital innovations for growth, through supporting the digital transformation of the economy and society.

 Focus Areas

 A Digital Innovation Hub needs to provide Services and Activities along Four Areas:


DTC Nigeria will support the formation and operationalization of two (2) Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) in Nigeria that will:


Through this call for proposal, DTC Nigeria will select suitable DIH consortia for the creation of Digital Innovation Hubs in Nigeria; one in the Green Economy Sector (Agtech, circular economy or clean tech) and in other in-demand sectors. Successful applicants with selected proposals will receive the following benefits:

 Who are they looking for?

 DTC Nigeria is looking for organizations that will form a consortium (minimum of two partnering organization) to create two (2) DIHs in Nigeria. Such organizations can be, but are not limited to,


 This will be achieved through working in the following outputs:

 Eligibility Criteria

To enter into the application process for the creation of Digital Innovation Hubs in Nigeria, applications subject to this call for proposals need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

For more information, visit

  1. TETFUND Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR) for Researchers and Academics in Nigerian Universities

     Deadline: October 31, 2022

 TETFAIR is a year-long programme, sponsored by TETFUND. A unique opportunity for researchers and academics in Nigerian universities to transform their ideas into market-driven solutions, including the development and fabrication of prototypes. Selected teams of researchers and academic staff, who have ideas for innovative solutions in one of our areas of focus, will be taken through a journey that combines technology and product development along with venture creation.



 The 12 month journey runs both in person and online and includes:


For more information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the TETFUND Alliance for Innovative Research

4. Seed Grants for Supporting Women Entrepreneurs to Develop Sustainable Solutions to Wash Challenges

       Deadline: 23-Oct-22

Are you a woman entrepreneur developing a business focusing on improving access to Water, Sanitation, or Hygiene? Then, you can apply for the Women Innovators In WASH program.

The “Women Innovators in WASH” is an incubation program aiming to support women entrepreneurs in Africa and Latin America with an innovative business project in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.

The Women Innovators in WASH Incubation Program’s overall goal is to sustainably improve access to safe and affordable Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) products and services for communities living in GhanaNigeriaCameroonTanzaniaSouth Africa as well as BrazilArgentina, and Colombia.

Throughout the program, you will create your own executive summary business plan to present to potential investors or new co-founders while receiving the necessary support from a personalized mentor, and having the certainty that you are building a business validated by your potential clients.

They are looking for early-stage women-led ventures across the following value chains

WASH is an acronym that stands for “water, sanitation, and hygiene”. Together, they want to support you to develop and scale your innovative solutions to any of the following WASH challenges:

(Safe) Water

Type of innovations may include but are not limited to:


Type of innovations may include but are not limited to:



Type of innovations may include but are not limited to:


Funding Information

$15K in total dividend for the top 4 entrepreneurs: $5K each for the first two and $2.5K each for the other two.

 Why Participate?

Methodology and Structure

You will follow their step-by-step methodology, working directly on your business and making the most important decisions. You will also be able to visualize your financial projections, growth, and impact plan for the next years.

 Find your Mentor

You’ll be partnered with a professional to personally guide you in weekly mentoring sessions so that your project grows in the right direction.

 Seed Funding Opportunities

Pitch your business in front of a top-level jury and win a seed capital prize, granted to the finalists of their final Demo Day event ($15K in total divided for the top 4 entrepreneurs: $5K each for the first two and  $2.5K each for the other two).

 Experience Active Learning

Their platform offers a learn-by-doing approach inspired by MIT’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship and you’ll get to generate a business plan in PDF.

 Anytime, Anywhere

Collaborate from anywhere at any time through their online platform; no barriers, limits, or excuses; just an internet connection.

 Global Network

Also Read: Funding Opportunities For African Businesses

Become a part of a supportive community of founders from 89 countries that share resources and harness challenges together. So far, 3000+ entrepreneurs from 126 countries have gone through their programs!

Eligibility Criteria

For more information, visit this link.

5. Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution Programme

   Deadline: 14-Dec-22

The Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) Programme seeks to fund 3 to 6 interventions, across 8 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (EthiopiaKenyaTanzaniaUgandaGhanaBangladeshPakistan and Nepal), that aim to address manufacturing pollution in the textiles sector.



Climate change, Environment, Girls and womenHealth, Private sector/businessTechnology, Trade, Water and sanitation.

Funding Information

Up to £10,000, £10,001 to £100,000, £100,001 to £500,000, £500,001 to £1,000,000, More than £1,000,000.

 Eligible Countries

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants are requested to propose solutions that include collaboration from various actors necessary to ensure ultimate success. Collaboration partners should bring together manufacturers operating in the textile value chain (supply-side parties) and customers, including retailers (demand-side parties). Concepts may bring together different stakeholders, either as individuals or in a consortium, with at least one consortium member being based in the target country, including:

Priority will be given to 8 SMEP target countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. Concepts from other ODA countries can also be considered. Providers may elect to work in more than one country in a (sub-) region.

For more information,



6. Win up to Kshs 300,000! WIDU Local Call on Food Security for Kenya

      Deadline: Ongoing Opportunity

Are you an entrepreneur running a micro or small enterprise that contributes to sufficient, safe and/or nutritious food and agricultural production in Kenya? If yes, then the new WIDU Local Call: #FoodCallKenya is your opportunity to scale-up or start off your business!

Target Sectors
Funding Information

Participating Entrepreneurs privately invest between Kshs 30,000 and Kshs 120,000. WIDU will multiply the investment by 2.5 – successful participants can receive a grant of up to Kshs 300,000 (the grant will not have to be paid back).

Why Food Security?
Eligibility Criteria

Micro and small businesses (up to 20 employees), start-ups and new business ideas.

For more information,



7. THRIVE/Shell Climate-Smart Agriculture Challenge – Supporting Farmers (Up to $100,000 in funding)

      Deadline: 11-Dec-22

The THRIVE/ Shell Climate-Smart Agriculture Challenge is now open for submissions to identify and support top start-up and scale-up innovators who are driving the global transformation to climate-smart agriculture practices. The challenge aligns with Shell’s Powering Progress strategy and the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Focus Areas

The key goal of the challenge is to identify and promote innovations that help farmers to:

 Benefits for Winners

Winners will be selected to receive:


Up to $100,000 in funding to develop a proof of concept.

Shell Gamechanger

Acceptance into the Shell GameChanger program with access to coaching and additional funding opportunities.

Market Validation

Potential pilot opportunities with Shell.

Award-Winning Thrive Accelerator

Selected applicants will secure placement in THRIVE’s Accelerator Program in 2024.

Thrive Ecosystem

Be shortlisted for future partnership opportunities with THRIVE’s network

Eligible for Investment

Considered or eligible for investment from Shell Ventures if investment criteria met.

Thrive Top 50 Fast-Track

Receive automatic nomination for THRIVE’s TOP 50 AgTech & FoodTech Listings.


Gain brand recognition through THRIVE media and brand exposure across various channels.

Mentorship & Coaching

Access THRIVE’s extensive ecosystem of industry experts & receive focused startup coaching.

Selection Criteria

The Climate-Smart Agriculture Challenge is open to start-ups and scale-ups located around the world.




For more information,


8. CFYE: Call for Solutions in Nigeria

       Deadline: 7-Nov-22

 The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) second Call for Solutions in Nigeria is now open for applications that will focus on expanding on the work currently being done by existing partners in the country by supporting scalable private sector led initiatives that can create employment opportunities for youth, particularly those in rural areas with lower levels of education and women.

In particular, CFYE is seeking:

 Funding Information

The minimum CFYE co-investment is € 200.000.

The Challenge

Nigeria is the 7th most populous country in the world with over 200 million people. Approximately 60% of this number are young, energetic working-age men and women, majority of whom reside in the rural areas and have lower education levels.  As of 2020, youth unemployment stood at 35%. A further 28% of young people in the labor force are underemployed (working 20-39 hours a week). As a result, a large proportion of people in the largest segment of the population are locked out of the productive economy because of the lack of employment opportunities available to them. Women are also negatively impacted, and research also shows that there is an over 5% gap between the rate of unemployment between men and women.  This imbalance along gender lines may mean that more women are excluded from opportunities that make them self-reliant and able to contribute to economic development.  Action is needed to stimulate economic growth and create employment opportunities for young people (especially youth in rural areas and women) and improve the decency of existing jobs.


Tech-Enabled Jobs

The Nigerian economy’s ongoing shift from its traditional agriculture-centered model to more technology-driven production and service provision models is largely driven by the increasing pressure being faced by Nigerian businesses to reduce operating costs, increase productivity, and improve customer experiences. Many activities that workers carry out today have the potential to be automated and several businesses are turning to technology to enable them to do this.

Jobs for Women

Women in Nigeria represent one of the largest pools of untapped labor, with 61.3 million women. However, they are underrepresented in the labour force with a gap of 13.42% when compared to men. The underrepresentation of women in the labour force and their growing participation in the informal sector has largely been linked to a number of factors,


CYFE Principles


Actively Support Women

CFYE strives to support equal opportunities for young women in the job market; CFYE’s ambition is to ensure that at least 50% of the youth reached in target countries are young women, and that women-led businesses are actively supported to apply for CFYE.

Maximize Additionality

CFYE will only support solutions and initiatives that would not be delivered within the same timelines, at the same scale, or delivering the same impact level, without support from CFYE.

Clear Pathways to Employment

CFYE identifies and supports initiatives that present a clear pathway to creating, matching and improving jobs. CFYE looks for solutions that present a deeper analysis of youth employment challenges and present a sustainable solution that will lead to sustainable business growth and employment outcomes.

Collaboration with the Private Sector

CFYE actively targets private sector entities or consortia involving a private sector entity. While CFYE welcomes ideas from any organisation, CFYE is looking for market-based solutions, tailored to the context of every country. CFYE prioritizes initiatives that are led by or actively engage private sector. These entities can be local or international.

Youth Engagement

Actively involving youth, and especially young women, is a prerequisite for being considered as a CFYE partner. Interventions should demonstrate how youth were involved in developing the proposed solution and how these solutions are likely to contribute to the goals and aspirations of young people.


As part of the design of a project/investment, prospective Implementing Partners will be required to demonstrate how their initiatives will become independent of external funding as part of their business case. It is of importance that projects have the necessary means to sustain their job outcomes beyond CFYE’s funding.

What they’re looking for?

CFYE takes a holistic approach to assessing the concept notes and business cases received. CFYE evaluates the proposals based on a detailed criteria that considers the technical design, delivery feasibility and associated commercial proposal.

Key elements of CFYE’s evaluation and selection criteria are given below:

Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria will apply:

Also Read: Funding Opportunities For African Businesses

For more information,


  1. UM6P and IFA launch the Africa Agtech Startup Showcase (€20,000 prize)

 Deadline Date: 30-Nov-2022

Innovation is positioning African agricultural systems for a productive and sustainable future. In light of this transformation process, the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) have launched the Africa Agtech Startup Showcase.

“The International Fertilizer Association created the Smart&Green platform in 2021 to bridge the AgTech ecosystem and providers of plant nutrition solutions. As a next step, IFA is partnering with UM6P to help connect entrepreneurs with potential partners and investors through the Africa AgTech startup showcase. And all of this to ultimately help feed the world sustainably,” said Alzbeta Klein, IFA CEO/Director General.


Startups from around the world are invited to apply online in one of the following five categories:

Funding Information

The largest gathering of the fertilizer industry, and the winning startup will receive a €20,000 prize.

Eligibility Criteria

For more information,


9. US Embassy announces Funding to carry out New Cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs

      Deadline: 1-Nov-22

The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe under the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a new cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).

The Public Diplomacy Section invites proposals from non-profit organizations, civil society organizations, and U.S. government alumni organizations to design and implement an entrepreneurship program that equips women entrepreneurs with skills and knowledge to grow their businesses and adapt to adverse economic situations while growing a local network of women-led businesses. The intended program should empower women entrepreneurs to realize their full economic potential.

Program Objectives:

Funding Information

Participants and Audiences

Eligibility Criteria

For more information,




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