Getting a venture off the ground or growing an existing business as a young entrepreneur can be difficult: raising capital without a solid credit history or having valuable assets to use for security are a challenge. The good news is there are organisations that offer funding opportunities to help rising stars shine. We believe that these young people deserve funding. This blog highlights the various opportunities that are available for young African entrepreneurs.
The Anzisha Prize is offered by the African Leadership Academy. It’s open to Africans aged between 15 and 22. To be considered you must be a founder of a business that’s already up and running. Your venture can be a business enterprise, an invention, or a social project in any field or industry including science and technology, civil society, arts and culture, sports, etc. Businesses will be judged on impact, scalability, and job creation and applicants should show leadership and commitment. The fellowship includes world-renowned Entrepreneurial Leadership curriculum training, consultation and mentorship services. Applications for 2017 open on Wednesday, 15 February.
The She Leads Africa Accelerator is an annual prize for a female entrepreneur in Nigeria.This is one of the great funding opportunities for women – a six-month programme with a prize of 2 million Nigerian Naira in investment. Applicants must be between 18 and 35 and the business must already have been launched and based in Nigeria. The business must be less than three years old and have raised less than $50000 in external funding. This scholarship includes media coverage to raise your profile, access to Nigeria’s best business minds, and an opportunity for investment.
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has a special fund for business ideas across Africa called the Agribusiness Africa Window (AAW). This fund focuses on business ideas in the fields of agribusiness, financial services and value chains that have a positive impact on the rural poor by delivering employment, reducing costs and improving productivity. Businesses can request between USD 250 000 and USD 1 500 000 for an innovative business idea in this industry.
Technoserve Enhancing Growth in New Enterprises (ENGINE) business plan competition and entrepreneurship development programme aims to equip micro and small enterprises with the necessary skills and resources. Applicants must be Ghanaian citizens 20 years or older with a proposition for an expansion on an existing business or new business based in Ghana. Winners will receive seed capital, business development services, opportunities to present to private investors and links to financial institutions. Applications close on Friday, 31 March.
Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is offered by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. This programme has USD 100 million for young African entrepreneurs over the age of 18 with businesses under three years old. The prize includes 12 weeks of intensive training, mentoring and seed capital. Applications are now open.
More and more organisations are investing in young people with extraordinary talent. If you are a young entrepreneur, keep searching for entrepreneurial opportunities and applying for support. And remember the African proverb: “However long the night, the dawn will break.” Funding opportunities for young African entrepreneurs are now more accessible than ever before.
Click here to find out more about the Anzisha Prize.