women-led businesses

Do you have a project focused on supporting women-led businesses in Africa? Apply for funding through the Women Entrepreneurship Enabler's program  before 11 November 2022

Do you have a project focused on supporting women-led businesses in Africa? Apply for funding through the Women Entrepreneurship Enabler’s program  before 11 November 2022

The African Development Bank Group‘s (AFDB) Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative has launched its second call for proposals for the Women Entrepreneurship Enablers program. The program supports projects that enhance the viability and sustainability of formal women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and enables them to access financing opportunities to grow their businesses.

Through the initiative, AFDB is offering grants of up to $250,000 to organizations helping prepare African women-led businesses to drive the continent’s economies. The program targets women’s business associations, incubators, accelerators, women-led cooperatives, and civil society organizations that promote the development of women entrepreneurs on the continent.

Interested applicants should submit proposals demonstrating innovative approaches to building a supportive ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship aimed at improving access to finance for women SMEs. Applicants are expected to develop a comprehensive and sustainable capacity-building program to enable access to finance in partnership with financial institutions.

To be eligible for funding, applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Have projects implemented in more than two countries
  • Project duration should not exceed two years
  • Be based in Africa or provide evidence of partners with African entities
  • Be legally registered and operating for more than three years with strong financial and procurement procedures
  • Partnerships with public or private sector players are highly encouraged
  • Have experience in managing external funding and executing donor-funded projects

To apply, visit: AFAWA Applications


AgriPitch

Are you an Agripreneur startup in need of capital investment? Apply for the AgriPitch Competition before 4 November 2022

Are you an Agripreneur startup in need of capital investment? Apply for the AgriPitch Competition before 4 November 2022

The Africa Development Bank (AFDB) invites African youth Agripreneurs to the AgriPitch Competition. The competition aims to support Agripreneurs focusing on building the profitability of their businesses and becoming investment ready.

Selected Agripreneurs will be trained and mentored in an interactive and tailored two-week training program to prepare them for presenting their businesses to investors. Participants will access virtual training sessions covering product development, marketing, business management logistics, revenue channel identification, and investment readiness. Additionally, winning Agripreneurs will have access to a total grant pool of USD 140,000 at the end of the competition.

The competition is open for three categories of youth Agripreneurs, including early startups (at least 3 years), mature startups (more than 3 years), and women-empowered businesses. Interested participants must fulfill the eligibility criteria depending on their category.

For early startups, they must:

  • Be at the very early stage of developing ideas or concepts for Agripreneurship
  • Have a clearly defined prototype or proof of concept or a product introduced to the market

For mature startups, they must:

  • Have market traction with an existing product, technology, or service already in the market
  • Have a clear investment growth strategy or plan
  • Be a legally registered corporate entity

For women-empowered businesses, they must:

  • Meet eligibility requirements for either early startups or mature startups
  • Have a women founder or have women owning at least 51% of the business

To apply for the competition, visit: Application forms


education

Does your business address educational challenges? Apply before 1 December 2022 for an opportunity to win $20,000 and other benefits

Does your business address educational challenges? Apply before 1 December 2022 for an opportunity to win $20,000 and other benefits

World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative thinking, debate and purposeful action, invites applicants for the 2023 WISE Awards. The awards are a celebration of six successful and innovative projects addressing global educational challenges.

Interested applicants should have ongoing or existing projects in the field of education with the following qualities:

  • Have an excellent record of proven success
  • Be financially sustainable
  • Have a clear plan indicating the project’s future objectives and development
  • Be scalable
  • Be replicable in other contexts and regions of the world
  • Have a clear understanding and knowledge of:
  • Its innovative nature
  • Its distinctiveness within its sphere of action
  • The type and depth of its impact on its beneficiaries

Successful participants in the WISE Awards will be supported through different channels including:

  • Cash prize of USD 20,000 awarded to the winning projects.
  • Outstanding projects will be featured on the WISE website, showcased and shared with the WISE community via social media.
  • Special documentaries and videos will be produced to showcase the work of the winning projects.
  • Opportunity to be featured in WISE Books which explore current challenges and solutions facing 21st-century education.
  • Opportunity for winning projects to present and discuss their work at dedicated sessions during the global biennial summit in Doha, Qatar or WISE regional summits. In addition, projects are offered an opportunity to participate in global events organized in collaboration with WISE.
  • Opportunity for representatives of former winning projects to be involved in other WISE projects through mentorship, participation in the selection processes, and fellowship programs.

 

To apply for the WISE Awards, visit: Applications


successful entrepreneur

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur is both rewarding and challenging. There is no sure secret to what makes an entrepreneur successful, but there are certain characteristics entrepreneurs can cultivate to have the best chances of building a long-lasting and lucrative business. Learn more below.

Self-motivation: While having a good community to support you is important, successful entrepreneurs are usually self-motivated and do not need encouragement to take steps toward building a better business. They start the day with a defined set of tasks and goals, always keeping in mind their main business objectives. They view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow rather than as reasons to quit.

Build your strength in this area by regularly defining tasks and goals for yourself and your team – each day or week. Think about how you can take your business to the next level rather than waiting for an opportunity to present itself. Reframe challenges as opportunities to deliver better products or services and meet customer needs.

Strong work ethic: Successful entrepreneurs tend to have a strong work ethic, and this drives how they manage their time. They are driven by a passion to work towards stated goals, even if it means working beyond regular working hours.

Build your strength in this area by developing a disciplined routine, embracing responsibility, and developing a mindset that demonstrates hard work through sacrifice and focus.

Creativity: Because of stiff competition in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, successful entrepreneurs are typically either creative themselves or good at hiring creative employees. The need for entrepreneurs to create unique ideas and provide user-friendly solutions for customers demands out-of-the-box thinking in everything from marketing to service delivery to product design.

Build your strength in this area by developing a curiosity mindset in your daily life, and networking with likely minded people in your field. Networking can help you discover new ideas and also get valuable feedback on your existing ones.

Robust leadership qualities: Most successful entrepreneurs are usually cited by their employees and communities as strong, compassionate leaders. Leadership skills help an entrepreneur develop talents in their team, drive efficiency, and ensure quality products and services delivery.

Build your strength in this area by regularly engaging with your employees to understand their challenges, successes, weaknesses, and strengths. This will enable you to know what actions to take to make them more productive.

Being a successful entrepreneur means being a dynamic individual with strengths across different areas. Assess yourself along the above-mentioned characteristics and identify where you can build your strengths. Click here for a quick entrepreneurial self-assessment and see where you can improve as an entrepreneur.


Are you a woman entrepreneur with a business that positively impacts the community? Apply for AWA Prize before 24 October 2022

Are you a woman entrepreneur with a business that positively impacts the community? Apply for AWA Prize before 24 October 2022

Enabel, a Belgian development agency, invites African women entrepreneurs to apply for the Awa Prize, a competition highlighting women entrepreneurs in Belgian development cooperation countries and their projects. The competition aims to celebrate women entrepreneurs who positively impact their communities through their businesses.

The competition awards entrepreneurs in four categories: startups, scale-ups, innovation, and people’s choice. Three entrepreneurs will be selected for each category to receive EUR 50,000 for first prize winners, EUR 10,000 for second prize winners, and EUR 5,000 for third prize winners to be spent on coaching based on their company’s needs. First-prize winners will be offered an opportunity to spend one week in Belgium networking in entrepreneurship circles.

Interested participants in the competition must fulfill the following:

  • Be a woman of legal age in her country of residence
  • Have a nationality of one of the participating countries
  • Be a co-founder and/or non-minority shareholder of a company registered for at least one year in the participating country

To participate, visit Awa Prize Applications to register.

 


African Management Institute

Apply for the AMI Set Up for Growth Program

African Management Institute

Apply for the AMI Set Up for Growth Program

The Africa Management Institute Rwanda invites applicants for the Set Up for Growth program, a one-month online entrepreneurship Bootcamp. The program is designed to help entrepreneurs assess their growth goals, identify critical strategic objectives and key results to support Growth, and monitor the performance of their businesses to adapt in real-time.

This Online Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Includes:

  • 120-minute virtual session
  • Access to the AMI learning platform & community
  • Access AMI’s downloadable practical business toolkit
  • Opportunity to engage with AMI business experts and join the AMI network of ambitious entrepreneurs

Interested participants should fulfill the following to apply:

  • Be a company leader (business founder, business owner, CEO, or managing director)
  • Have a business that has been operating for at least two years with a minimum of 2 employees
  • Generate a minimum monthly revenue range of RWF100,000 – RWF500,000
  • Have a smartphone and/or laptop with an internet connection to access online courses, AMI tools, and learning labs

To apply for the program, visit: Applications


climate change

Does your business tackle climate change and environment challenges? Apply to win funding and mentorship from the Lead2030 Challenge before 21st October 2022

Does your business tackle climate change and environment challenges? Apply to win funding and mentorship from the Lead2030 Challenge before 21st October 2022

One Young World, a global community for young leaders in collaboration with Deloitte, a management consulting company invite young innovators to apply for the Lead2030 Challenge for the SGD13. Successful participants will receive a grant of USD 50,000 from Deloitte, sponsorship to participate in the One Young World Summit 2023, and 12 months of mentorship from a team of Deloitte professionals and partners. The Challenge seeks to support scalable youth-led solutions that:

  • Reduce the impacts of climate change, and/or empower others to act on climate change
  • Address root causes of the climate change
  • Demonstrate ability to drive impact and potential to scale
  • Collaborate with others to accelerate or broaden impact
  • Utilize innovative approaches

Interested participants should have a solution that fits these criteria:

  • Be evidently aligned with the SDG13 challenge
  • Be founded by youth between 18-30 years of age
  • Have a clear knowledge of key stakeholders, beneficiaries and reasonable proposed outcomes
  • Have a positive impact such as generating educational incomes, creation of employment or developing skills
  • Have an impact that can be adequately measured or be measurable
  • Be able to achieve efficiency and survive independently through the resources they generate and/or the investments and donations they attract
  • Be able to demonstrate potential to grow impact after expanding in scope or size and/or into other regions
  • Must rely on proven or readily available technology (relevant to the solution)

To apply for the Challenge, visit: Applications

 


Bank of Kigali launched SME Center to serve Small and Medium Enterprises.  

Bank of Kigali launched SME Center to serve Small and Medium Enterprises.  

The SME Response Clinic spoke with Darius Mukunzi, Head of SME Banking at Bank of Kigali, about how the bank is currently serving small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Bank of Kigali is the largest commercial bank in Rwanda, serving more than 200,000 SMEs across the country. In July 2022, it launched the SME Center, a facility that provides tailored financial and advisory services to business owners looking to grow their enterprises.

To serve the segment, Bank of Kigali uses relationship managers and officers stationed at the SME Business Center and at each bank branch. These staff members are responsible for helping the bank to better understand SME customer needs, enabling Bank of Kigali to tweak products and services in line with those needs as they evolve in the market. Importantly, the Business and Credit departments within the SME Center work closely, which facilitates decision-making, thereby reducing the time it takes SME customers to obtain financial products from the bank.

Bank of Kigali also leverages government facilities to acquire new SME customers and provide loans to SMEs at favorable rates. The bank was involved in disbursing the government’s Renewable Energy Fund and is currently also participating in disbursing the Economic Recovery Fund (Hatana 2) and Export Growth Fund. Bank of Kigali is also working on a strategy to serve SMEs with non-financial services, planning to provide capacity building focused on topics like financial literacy for SMEs and taxation. The Non-financial services will also introduce Business Clubs and Supply Chain linkages in the near future.

Visit the Bank of Kigali’s SME Center in Kigali, CHIC Building, second floor, to learn more about the bank’s offer for the segment.


Are you an African tech start-up interested in training to make you investment-ready? Apply for the SAIS Investment Readiness Program before 31 October 2022

Are you an African tech start-up interested in training to make you investment-ready? Apply for the SAIS Investment Readiness Program before 31 October 2022

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), through its “Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-up (SAIS)” project, invites applicants to the Investment Readiness Program (IRP). The SAIS Investment Readiness Programme (IRP) offers African tech start-ups from the agriculture, food, and livestock sectors a year-long tailor-made support program to make them investor ready and scale up their business.

The program seeks to support start-ups in agribusiness, agritech, animal farming, clean technology and energy, crop farming, e-commerce, edtech, fintech, food and beverage, food production, and logistics. Interested applicants must fulfill the following to apply:

  • Be registered and operating in Africa with a certificate of registration
  • Have a clear and convincing business model
  • Have a clear problem statement, digital solution, customer segment, and revenue stream
  • Have a founding member on a team of at least two people who work full time
  • Founding and management team should have entrepreneurial and technical experience in their area of operation
  • Must have a viable digital product that impacts customers’ incomes
  • Must have a product that has a positive impact on the African AgTech, FoodTech or livestock (vertical sectors that have an influence can be accepted like e-commerce, fintech, logistics and edtech
  • Must have launched digital products at least six months before the application period
  • Be able to demonstrate traction (customer base and revenue)

Participating start-ups will benefit from the following:

  • Access to online training (tailored)
  • Add-on: Programme for Female Leaders
  • Access to the GIZ network
  • Access to additional services
  • Integrating you into a local hub (optional)
  • Regular sessions of personalized coaching with local and international experts

To apply, visit: SAIS IRP Applications

 


Are you a start-up with innovative solutions to climate adaptation and resilience challenges? Apply for funding in the YouthAdaptations Solutions Challenge before 4 October 2022

Are you a start-up with innovative solutions to climate adaptation and resilience challenges? Apply for funding in the YouthAdaptations Solutions Challenge before 4 October 2022

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Climate Investment Funds (CIF), invites applicants to the Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge program. (YouthADAPT Challenge). The Challenge is an annual competition and awards program for youth-led enterprises seeking to boost sustainable job creation through support for entrepreneurship and youth-led innovation in climate change adaptation and resilience across Africa.

In this edition of the Challenge, 20 innovators will emerge as winners at an award show and will have access to post-award support in the forms of:-

  • 100,000 USD grant for each winner
  • Capacity Building and Training
  • Mentorship and Coaching

Interested applicants should fulfill the following to apply

  • Be youth-led, with applicants aged between 18 and 35
  • Have innovations delivering climate adaptation or resilience solutions addressing real-life challenges
  • Be Legally registered and operating in Africa
  • Be able to show revenues for at least two years

Admissible solutions can represent:

  • An adaptation solutions business that has not been scaled and is not in widespread use
  • An existing resilience and adaptation solutions business or product
  • A commercially viable means to raise awareness or scale uptake of specific adaptation solutions.

To apply for the Challenge, visit: Applications