Get your business funded! Grants for African entrepreneurs.

If you are a woman who has an innovative idea for a business, or are a young entrepreneur looking to scale up operations in Africa, you must be on the look-out for investment. Here are a few organisations who encourage entrepreneurship in Africa and other developing nations through financial grants and other support. Check them out!

  1. African Women’s Development Fund (

One of the first pan-African foundations to work towards women’s rights and empowerment, the African Women’s development Fund has been in existence since 2001. Since then, AWDF has provided $17 million in grants to 800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries.The fund’s vision is to ‘ensure that women live in a world where there is social justice equality and respect for women’s rights. AWDF supports African women by mobilizing financial, human and material resources for them. 

  1. Tony Elumelu Foundation (

Launched in 2015 by business magnate and owner of Transcorp plc Tony Elumelu,

the foundation has $100 million for 10,000 African entrepreneurs. The foundation was started with a strong vision to “establish the pre-eminent pan-African entrepreneurship, program and create 10,000 start-ups across Africa within the next 10 years that generate significant employment and wealth’’, and supports entrepreneurs across sectors of agriculture, fashion and design, light manufacturing, ICT and so on.

  1. CDC

UK’s Development Finance Institution CDC is committed to supporting businesses in Africa. CDC is the largest single investor in private equity funds in Africa, supporting 58 funds investing in 32 out of the 54 countries on the continent.

  1. African Development Foundation

An independent US Government agency, the African Development Foundation was set up to support African-owned enterprises across the continent. Providing seed capital and local technical support to early-stage energy, agriculture and youth-led enterprises, USADF gave grants amounting to $80 million last year. 

  1. Acumen Fund

A charity organization that invests in high impact businesses, Acumen Fund has made significant investments in Africa over the years. The fund invests in entrepreneurs who have the capability to bring sustainable solutions to the world’s problems such as poverty, energy, health and sanitation.

  1. 88mph

A seed fund and accelerator, 88MPH currently operates out of hubs in Nairobi (Kenya), Cape Town (South Africa), and Lagos (Nigeria). Started in 2011, they fund only tech start-ups and have more than $1.5 million in funds for investment in Africa.

  1. GroFin Fund

A development sector fund, GroFin invests in micro, small and medium businesses in Nigeria. Making capital available to small business owners for up to a period of six years, the fund provides the necessary investment to boost business growth.

  1. Shell LiveWire

Global petroleum major Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria funds young entrepreneurs from the ages of 18 to 30 through their global Shell liveWIRE program. The social investment program not only invests in businesses and potential business ideas, but also guides and supports young entrepreneurs through mentorship and training.

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