WE Empower

Are you a social women entrepreneur advancing the UN SDGs? Apply for the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge before 15 April 2022

Are you a social women entrepreneur advancing the UN SDGs? Apply for the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge before 15 April 2022

The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is a global competition for social entrepreneurs advancing or inspiring others to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will honour innovative women leaders globally who incorporate the SDGs in sustainable business practices and inspire others to follow suit.

Awardees will receive capacity building sessions and opportunities to network with an unparalleled global network to advance their businesses. Additionally, awardees will participate in events surrounding the 77th UN General Assembly and in a dynamic pitch competition for an opportunity to receive a grant worth USD 20,000.

Interested entrepreneurs should fulfil the following criteria to apply:

  • Woman entrepreneur with a lead decision-making role in for-profit or non-profit organization/business
  • Have a business/organization that has been in operation for three years
  • Have at least three full-time employees
  • Proficiency in writing and speaking English
  • Have a business/organization that generates at least USD 100,000 in annual revenue or sales
  • Be available to travel to New York and participate in events from 17-24 September 2022 or participate in a virtual program if needed from August through October 2022. (Both dependent on COVID-19 restrictions available at the time).

To apply for the Challenge, visit: WE Empower UN SDG Challenge Application


Are you a woman entrepreneur interested in scaling your business? Apply for the WIA 54 programme before 31 May 2022

Are you a woman entrepreneur interested in scaling your business? Apply for the WIA 54 programme before 31 May 2022

Women in Africa (WIA), a social impact company supporting African women entrepreneurs, invites applicants for the WIA 54 programme( WIA54). WIA will support 540 finalists from 54 African countries with training and personalized mentoring via a boot camp. The programme will be carried out in three phases including:

  • Training phase: Selected entrepreneurs will participate in a virtual orientation programme to learn more about the process and receive a timeline and overview of available resources. Additionally, participants for this phase will receive intensive business management training.
  • Mentoring phase: This phase will last six months for select participants. Selected entrepreneurs will be offered mentors to support them in integrating learnings from the training into their business plan. After the mentoring phase, select candidates will participate in a pitching phase, which will give them access to investors and seed capital.
  • Pitching phase: Select participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate their business knowledge to convince the jury on the viability of their business to access funds.

Interested applicants should fulfil the following eligibility criteria to apply:

  • Business should be created or led by an African woman
  • Have a first traction on the market (sales, number of users, funds raised)
  • Be part of one of the following sectors: agriculture & agritech, food & foodtech, education & edutech, fintech, environment & sustainable development, beauty or creative industry, or health & healthtech

The selection of projects will be based on the following criteria:

  • Innovativeness of the product, service, or technology
  • Proven business model scalability
  • Growth potential
  • Demonstration of an ambitious team with solid execution ability
  • Market traction (revenue, number of users, funds raised)
  • Potential for impact in Africa

To apply for the WIA54 programme, visit: WIA54 Application


Unsure of whether to register your business? Here's why you should!

Unsure of whether to register your business? Here’s why you should!

Business registration is one of the most crucial steps in any entrepreneur’s journey and the first step in legally establishing your business. Registering comes with several benefits, including easier access to capital, limiting personal liability, better business reputation and many others.

Watch the video below to learn more about the benefits of registering your business.


Do you have a tech initiative that drives civic participation? Apply for Round I of the Africa Union Civic Tech Fund by 16 January 2022! 

Do you have a tech initiative that drives civic participation? Apply for Round I of the Africa Union Civic Tech Fund by 16 January 2022! 

The African Union Civic Tech Fund is a pan-African competition seeks to support innovative civic initiatives that demonstrate the potential to lead to citizen-led transformative action across the African continent. Through the Fund, select initiatives will be awarded financial support ranging from EUR 10,000 to EUR 20,000 over an implementation period of six months to be focused on upscaling, adaptation, or replication of pre-existing civic tech initiatives. Support may also be channeled towards funding the deployment of civic technology in partnership with a particular citizen group or civil society that does not have the expertise to do so independently.  

In addition to financial support, the Fund will also provide technical support, including:  

  • Technical support 
    • Virtual inception/acceleration week (hosted by AfriLabs)
    • Provision of embedded technical expertise through the engagement of civic tech specialists 
  • Thematic support 
    • Provision of thematic expertise on democracy support, African Union governance & continental policymaking 
  • Marketing, communication & showcasing support 
    • Facilitation of access to decision-makers at the African Union level as well as the international development community 
  • Peer-to-peer learning & networking  
    • Facilitation of exchange between recipients and other members of related civic tech ecosystems 

Priorities for the Fund are across relevant areas such as participation in public space and public discourse, electoral cycles and elections, rule of law and orderly transfers of power between governments, democratic culture and political pluralism, peace and security, and human, economic, and sustainable development. An example of a potential initiative would be one that may propose to leverage technology to enable citizens to have a voice on key issues within their constituencies such as by encouraging participation in digital councils.  

Interested applicants must fulfill the following to apply: 

  • Legal entity 
  • Registered in an African Union Member State 
  • Able to sign a service contract agreement (as opposed to a grant contract agreement) 
  • Not be bankrupt, in the process of being wound up, nor have its affairs administered by the courts 
  • Must not have received an adverse audit opinion from its own auditors or its donors’ auditor 
  • Must have policies in place and/or practices in place to guarantee the ethical management of personal identifiable information 

Proposals are due 16 January 2022. Preliminary award decisions will be made in February 2022, with implementation set to take place between April and September 2022.  

For more information about the Fund, visit: CIVIC TECH FUND 

To apply, visit: CIVIC TECH FUND Application 


20 September Deadline for the Ecobank Fintech Challenge – Apply Now

20 September Deadline for the Ecobank Fintech Challenge – Apply Now

Ecobank has launched the Ecobank Fintech Challenge to identify and partner with FinTechs that are ready to scale. Ecobank will provide successful applicants with support and access to opportunities across Ecobank’s 33 African markets.  

The Ecobank Fintech Challenge is open to all Fintechs on the African continent. It will offer participants the opportunity to participate in Ecobank’s  FinTech innovation fair and join the Ecobank FinTech fellowship. Other potential benefits for selected firms include:    

  • Access to 33 markets  Stand a chance to be among the top three winners at the challenge awarded with $15000, $12000 and $10000 cash prizes, respectively. 
  • An opportunity to partner with Ecobank locally in any of Ecobank’s 33 country ecosystem.  
  • Access to a dedicated team to support FinTechs with Ecobank’s API test to enable them to improve their products for the pan-African market. 
  • Access to a vast network of global and African accelerators as well as potential investors and mentors. 
  • Potential integration with Ecobank’s existing digital offerings such as Ecobank Omni, Ecobank electronic financial supply chain (eFSC), Ecobank Xpress, Ecobank Mobile APP or USSD, MasterPass QR, mVisa & mCash.  

To qualify, FinTechs should make sure their products address one or more specific pain points, including customer experience, financial inclusion, credit scoring, ecosystem aggregation, internal tools, payments or any other relevant product categories.  

Interested firms can apply by sending details of their product and a demo before 20 September 2021.  

For more information about the challenge and application details, visit: Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2021 


Tourism Incubator Program

Are you a young entrepreneur or start-up in the tourism and hospitality sector? Apply for the Tourism Incubator Program!

Tourism Incubator Program

Are you a young entrepreneur or start-up in the tourism and hospitality sector? Apply for the Tourism Incubator Program! 

Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation under its Hanga Ahazaza program, has launched its fifth call for applications for young hospitality and start-up businesses to join the Tourism Inc. incubator program. Twenty-five applicants will be selected for the program and receive skills-building, seed funding, and access to a co-working space along with information and networking opportunities.  

The tourism and hospitality sector is a significant contributor to Rwanda’s economic development and was among the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this program, young entrepreneurs and start-ups will have access to support to enable them to bounce back from the effects of COVID and prosper in a post-COVID business environment. 

Interested applicants must meet the following criteria to apply: 

  • Must be a start-up (or have a start-up idea) in the tourism and hospitality sector (or be a supplier to the industry). 
  • Must be between 18 and 35 years of age. 
  • Must be based and operating in Rwanda. 
  • Women entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to apply.  

Apply here.  

ESP provides consulting and strategic advisory services to diverse clients, including governments, businesses, and development partners in Africa. It focuses on supporting innovative models and offers leadership training and entrepreneurial boot camps. ESP aims to enable innovative, scalable, and profitable enterprises to build prosperity. 

 


Are you interested in business consulting services to address a business challenge related to going digital? Register for the Digital for Impact programme before 13th September 2021!

Are you interested in business consulting services to address a business challenge related to going digital? Register for the Digital for Impact programme before 13th September 2021! 

The London Business School, in collaboration with the Growth Movement, a United Kingdom-based social enterprise, seek to support SMEs in Rwanda to address challenges post-COVID19 through their Digital for Impact programme. The programme will connect SMEs in Rwanda with top student consultants from the London Business School for business advisory services. Through the programme, SMEs in Rwanda will be assigned five business consultants to support them with tangible business solutions and recommendations to grow and pivot their enterprises. Additionally, SMEs will have the opportunity to network with London Business School’s extensive network of alumni and corporate partners and will earn a programme certificate from the institution. To be eligible for this opportunity, the business should:  

  • Be located in Rwanda or Uganda 
  • Have five or more employees Be fluent in English, have access to great internet and computer 
  • Be able to access virtual communication tools like Zoom, Webex, and others 
  • Have a digital-related opportunity or challenge 
  • Be dedicated to improving your business and outline a specific business challenge or project for the duration related to the “Digital for Impact” theme 
  • Be committed to completing all the sessions with your business consultant team 

For more information about the programme: LBS Programme. 

To apply for this programme:  Application Form 

 


Interested in enhancing your business’ digital footprint? Apply for the Digital Launchpad program today!

Interested in enhancing your business’ digital footprint? Apply for the Digital Launchpad program today! 

 

Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD), in partnership with Africa118, is inviting entrepreneurs to apply for the digital launchpad program. The program will support over 3,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in six African countries including 250 in Rwanda with access to training in financial literacy, digital marketing, and investment readiness as well as support with e-commerce and access to financing. The Digital Launchpad project targets SMEs with less than 50 employees and limited digital marketing expertise with a particular focus on businesses involved in export, agribusiness, and fisheries and agriculture, among others.  

 

Why should you join the program?  

By joining the program, your enterprise will benefit from the following support:   

  • Receive in-depth digital skills and financial literacy training 
  • Engage in digital marketing campaigns to grow your business 
  • Develop a professional website and a business profile to improve your online visibility 
  • Access to professional emailing services on Google workspace 
  • Participate in expert business mentorship and coaching 
  • Receive assistance in building business networks 

 

Who is eligible?  

The program is open to SMEs that meet the following criteria:   

  • Legally registered businesses in either Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, or Ghana 
  • Employ less than 50 staff 
  • Possess limited digital marketing expertise 
  • Confirm availability to attend the scheduled training, coaching acceleration, and mentorship activities 
  • Demonstrate the willingness to contribute 50% of the cost ($200) for services offered in year 2 and 100% of the cost ($400) for assistance in year 3  
  • Commit to participate for the entire 3-year program duration from 2021 to 2023 

NB: The program will give priority to women and youth-owned businesses.  

 

How to apply

Eligible enterprises can apply here.  

Applications are received on a rolling basis. 

 

For more information contact:  

Phone: +254 729 905156 

Email:  digitalaunchpad@africa118.com 

Visit: https://digitalaunchpad.africa118.com 

 


Interested in bringing your business online? Make-IT Africa launches a playbook to support your transition 

Interested in bringing your business online? Make-IT Africa launches a playbook to support your transition 

Make-IT Africa has launched a new resource, the Business Model Playbook, to support entrepreneurs in the process of bringing your businesses online. Globally, digitization has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading many businesses to launch products and services on digital platforms, begin accepting and sending cashless payments, and marketing to new and existing customers using digital tools like social media. Customers are becoming more familiar with these digital interactions, and if managed well by the business, it can be a win-win for customers and entrepreneurs alike. Unfortunately, it may be hard to know where to start in the process of bringing your business online.  

While Make-IT Africa, an initiative from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), works to promote digital innovation among West and East African entrepreneurs primarily in the digital sector, the playbook can be used by all kinds of businesses looking to bring their businesses online. It explains in detail the different business models that entrepreneurs can use to digitize their products and services and provides specific examples of the models used by popular platforms such as TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Google, and Facebook.   

In addition to helping you understand what kinds of models exist for bringing your business online, the playbook also aims to help you determine how to get there – how to integrate with a platform provider. This includes a toolkit that provides insight into how to adjust existing business models and test assumptions with different business tools like a business model canvas and a strategic roadmap to support you as you map and prioritize objectives and next steps.  

To access the full version of the digital business model playbook, visit Business Model Playbook 


Interested in advertising your business on social media? Start here!

Interested in advertising your business on social media? Start here!  

 

A common mistake many business owners make when exploring into the world of social media for the first time is failing to define clear goals. With COVID-19 pushing more businesses online and platforms being flooded with other brands, it’s more important than ever to identify what you want to achieve so that you can take the needed steps to see your brand thrive online! 

 

Social media platforms popular among businesses include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They can be used to drive business growth by increasing brand awareness (the number of people who know about your business), enhancing your brand reputation (improving their view of what you offer) and growing your revenue (by leading to new sales).  

Your objectives for promoting your business on social media should be SMART: 

 

  • Specific: Setting a specific and clear goal to ‘reach 200 new followers’ is more useful than having a goal of ‘increasing followers’ and can help you track your progress.  
  • Measurable: ‘Increase revenue’ is not a goal unless you have a metric to measure your success. Some social media metrics include the number of likes, followers, and shares you reach on a particular platform (see below for more on these). 
  • Attainable: Your goals should be challenging but be within reach. If you currently have 500 followers, a realistic target would be to reach 600 followers within two months, not 2000. 
  • Relevant: Understand how your goal will benefit your business and make sure it meets your needs. If your business is targeting professionals, it may make more sense to advertise on a platform like LinkedIn. If it targets everyday consumers, Facebook and Instagram may be more appropriate.   
  • Timely: Include a deadline for your goals so that you keep motivated and know when to see your success.  

Once you have set objectives, the next step is to begin posting! Once you do that, you’ll want to measure the success of your social media performance. This will help you understand what kinds of posts are most popular and on which platforms.  

Some common metrics you’ll want to track include:  

  • Social Sharing: When a user reposts or sends your content/post to their networks and connections. 
  • Impressions: Impressions are the number of times a post from your page is displayed. 
  • Post Reach: the number of people who saw your post in their newsfeed. 

You may want to think about using social media platforms not only to advertise but also to understand where you can do better. A few ideas include asking social media users to rate from 0 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your product or service or to ask about their level of satisfaction with a particular product or service (such as whether they are “Very unsatisfied”, “Unsatisfied”, “Neutral”, “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied”). This kind of information can help you make tweaks that can bring your business to the next level.