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16 Organizations That Will Give You Money To Start And Grow A Business In Africa

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Friday, February 12th, 2016



(1) Acumen Fund

Acumen is a charity organisation incorporated in 2001 with seed capital from
the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and three individual
philanthropists. The Acumen Fund invests in entrepreneurs who have the
capability to bring sustainable solutions to big problems.

In May 2014, The Acumen Fund co-invested $1.5 million in Esoko Networks
Limited (“Esoko”), a Ghanaian-built technology platform that connects African
farmers to markets via mobile phones.
In October 2014, Acumen announced a $1.4 million investment in SolarNow, a
company that sells and finances solar home systems in Uganda.

Investment focus

Acumen is always looking for entrepreneurs who have new and innovative
models for tackling poverty and who also meet their investment criteria.
To qualify for investment, entrepreneurs must be located in, or have significant
operation or impact in East Africa, West Africa, India, Pakistan or Latin
Contact Information
+233 030 298 4098 (West Africa)
+254 736 073036 (East Africa)
To Apply for investment, follow this link:

(2) Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund is a US$ 207m fund capitalized by
multilateral and bilateral donors (the AECF donors) to stimulate private sector
entrepreneurs in Africa.
The AECF is supported by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Netherlands,
Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the International Fund for
Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Investment focus
The Fund awards grants and repayable grants to private sector companies to
support innovative business ideas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable
energy, adaptation to climate change and access to information and financial
The AECF makes its funding available through competitions. Private sector
companies are invited to compete for AECF funds by submitting their new and
innovative business ideas to a particular AECF competition. The best ideas are
awarded up to US$1.5m in grants and interest free loans.
Contact Information
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
10th Floor, ABC Towers, ABC Place
Waiyaki Way, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 269 9137/8/9
To apply for investment.

(3) Africa Media Ventures Fund

AMVF mobilizes capital and experience in the Netherlands to invest in
entrepreneurs in the media sector and small and medium-sized African media
It offers a combination of venture capital and business development support,
involving knowledge, experience, access to proven business concepts and
AMVF’s capital investment ranges from $20,000 to $200,000. Its investors are
experienced media entrepreneurs with a passion for Africa who are involved in
the management of the portfolio companies through visits and board

Investment focus

AMVF focuses on businesses that are active in the media and information
sector using mobile and/or online applications to provide content or services
to consumers or businesses.
Its target sectors include: Travel & Leisure, Entertainment, Jobs, Parenting,
Automobile, Real Estate, Food and Shopping.
The business must be located in Sub-Saharan Africa, preferably in Kenya,
Uganda, Tanzania or Ghana.
Contact Information
To send an email or apply for investment, follow this link.

(4) African Development Foundation

The African Development Foundation (ADF) is an independent Federal agency
of the United States government that was established to support African-led
development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and
technical support.
USADF connects community enterprises with capital and technical support. It
helps organizations and businesses in Africa to create and sustain jobs,
improve income levels, achieve greater food security, and address human
development needs.
In 2014 alone, the USADF gave out 336 grants worth over $50 million and
impacted over 1.3 million people in Africa.
Investment focus
The USADF focuses on Small holder Farmers, youths, women and girls, and
recovering communities. It provides grants of up to $250,000 directly to hard
to reach and underserved community enterprises that are ready to do their
Contact Information
1400 Street NW, Suite 1000,
Washington. D.C. 20005-2248, USA
P: 202-673-3916 | Tel: 202.673.3810
Tel: +254 20 269 9137/8/9
To apply for a grant, follow this link

(5) African Women’s Development Fund

The AWDF is the first pan-African women’s grant maker in Africa. Since the
start of its operations in 2001, AWDF has provided US$17 million in grants to
800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries.
The AWDF is an institutional capacity-building and programme development
fund, which aims to help build a culture of learning and partnerships within the
African women’s movement. In addition to raising money and awarding grants,
the AWDF will attempt to strengthen the organisational capacities of its

Investment focus

The AWDF only funds local, national, sub-regional and regional organisations in
Africa working towards women’s empowerment in six thematic areas:
Women’s Human Rights, Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods,
Governance, Peace and Security, Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV/AIDS,
Arts, Culture and Sports.
The AWDF only awards grants to organisations, not individuals. It awards
grants ranging from $8,000 up to $50,000.
Contact Information
Office: Plot 78 Ambassadorial Enclave, East Legon, Ghana
Email: or
Tel: + 233 302 521257
Fax: +233 302 521257
To apply for a grant, follow this link

(6) Agri-Vie

Agri-Vie is a private equity investment fund focused on food and agribusiness
in Sub-Sahara Africa. Since it started in 2008, it has invested over $100m in
Africa’s food and agribusiness sector.

Its investments in Africa include: Dew Crisp (South Africa), Africa Juice
(Ethiopia), Fairfield Dairy (South Africa), New Forests Company (Tanzania),
Hygrotech (South Africa), Kariki Group (Kenya) and Vida Oils (Mozambique).
Investment focus

Agri-Vie focuses on the following areas: food and beverages , convenience
foods (including fresh-packed and prepared foods), protein products including
poultry, aquaculture and beef; value-added dairy products, including yoghurts,
desserts, cultured milk; health & wellness products; forestry and timber
products; agricultural inputs including seeds, bio-friendly fertilisers and crop-
protection; food logistics – cold chain, warehousing, distribution; and
renewable energy.

Contact information
Tel +27 (0)21 913 5662
Fax +27 (0)21 913 8954
E-Mail :

(7) Bamboo Finance

Bamboo Finance is a commercial private equity firm specializing in investing in
business models that benefit low-income communities in emerging markets. It
has offices in Luxembourg, Geneva, Bogota, Nairobi and Singapore.
Launched in 2007, the firm seeks to demonstrate that private capital can be
profitably deployed as a tool for effective change around the world. To date,
Bamboo Finance manages about $250 million; representing two global funds
and a combined portfolio of 46 investments operating in 30 emerging market

Investment focus

Bamboo finance usually invests in businesses that satisfy the following
 The business must provide essential goods and/or services affordably
to low income communities unreached (or underserved) by existing
 The usage of its products/services should result in improvements in
quality of life and/or efficiencies that translate into increased income
or reduced expenses?
Contact information
Tel: +41 22 544 2070 (Switzerland)

(8) CAF

Founded in 1924, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a charity organisation
based in the United Kingdom and manages over £3 billion on behalf of charities
Through CAF Venturesome, the social investment arm of the organisation, it
provides affordable financial support to charities, social enterprises and
community groups when grants may not be available and access to traditional
financial institutions is difficult.
CAF Venturesome offers financial support of between £25,000 and £250,000
(or up to £350,000 in certain circumstances) to help with specific challenges
faced by entrepreneurs, organisations and businesses. This support usually
comes in the form of unsecured loans, underwriting and equity-like investment
to organisations.
Investment focus:
CAF is interested in businesses and organisations that have a clear charitable
purpose and social impact.

(9) CDC

Founded in 1948, CDC is the UK’s Development Finance Institution (DFI) wholly
owned by the UK Government’s Department for International Development
(DFID). It is the world’s oldest DFI with a history of making successful
investments in businesses which have become industry leaders.
CDC actively supports businesses throughout Africa and South Asia, and its
portfolio of investments is valued at over £2.5bn (year end 2013).
In November 2013, CDC announced a US$18.1m investment into Feronia, an
agricultural production and processing business focused on palm oil
plantations and arable farming in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Investment focus:

The CDC equity investments team typically looks to invest in established
businesses with revenues of $10m+ and a track-record of profitability. CDC will
consider start-ups or green-field projects only where there is a strong sponsor
(individual or company) who will co-invest alongside CDC and has a strong
track-record and delivery capability.
Its main focus areas are: Infrastructure (especially power), Manufacturing,
Health, Education, Food-processing and Construction.

(10) Echo VC Partners

Echo VC Partners is a seed and early stage venture capital firm that is focused
on financing and cross-pollinating leading technologies, teams, business
models and knowledge across North America, Africa and South-East Asia.
In Africa and SE Asia, the firm focuses on the underserved seed/early-stage
venture and growth capital technology investment opportunities.
Investment focus:
Echo VC Partners focus on the following sectors for investment: Consumer
Internet and Services, SmartGraph and SmartData, Mobile, Digital Media,
Content and Advertising, E/M-commerce, Software, Tech-enabled Services and
Enterprise Infrastructure.
Average investment size ranges from $25,000 to several million dollars
depending on the stage of opportunity and capital needs of the business.

(11) Echoing Green

Since its founding in 1987 by the leadership and investment of the leading
global growth equity firm, General Atlantic, Echoing Green has provided more
than 600 social entrepreneurs working in sixty countries with $36 million in
start-up funding, customized support services, and access to a global network.
These social innovators have gone on to launch, and now lead, some of today’s
most important social enterprises throughout the world.

Investment focus:

Echoing Green is interested in supporting social entrepreneurs with
breakthrough ideas to address stubborn and deeply-entrenched problems in
the world.

(12) Endeavor

Founded in 1997, Endeavor is a non-profit organization dedicated to High-
Impact Entrepreneurship; identifying and supporting the continued growth of a
select group of entrepreneurs in emerging market countries (like in Africa).
Investment focus
Endeavor selects and supports extraordinary emerging-market entrepreneurs
who have the potential to transform industries, communities, and even
countries. It selects individuals of all ages, ethnicities and educational
backgrounds, delivering a meritocratic message to the developing world: that
through hard work, creativity and values-driven leadership, individuals living
anywhere, from any background, can turn an entrepreneurial idea into a
world-class venture.
Endeavor screens thousands of entrepreneurs each year and selects those with
exceptional, high-impact potential. Through a rigorous, multi-step selection
process (12-18 months), candidates pass a series of local and regional
interviews before presenting to panelists from its global business network at
International Selection Panels held four to five times each year.

(13) eVA Fund

The eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) was launched in January 2010 and is
dedicated to mobilising capital and experience in the Netherlands/Europe to
invest in small and medium-sized African internet related companies.
eVA Fund exclusively provides funding to startups in sub-Saharan Africa. Some
of its investments include: Nomanini, Verviant, Umuntu Media, and MoboFree.

Investment focus

The eVA Fund focuses on and invests only in companies that use technology
within Africa to build world-class platforms that deliver local content for Africa.
This includes startup businesses in the following areas: internet and/or mobile
applications, platforms, e-commerce and solution-providers (i.e. not in
infrastructure and hardware).

(14) Fanisi Venture Capital Fund

Fanisi Venture Capital Fund is a $50M fund which makes direct investments
(private equity and venture capital) in businesses with potential for substantial
growth. Fanisi Capital was founded in 2009 by the Norwegian Investment Fund
for Developing Countries (Norfund) and Amani Capital Limited.
Some of its investments in Africa include: Hillcrest International Schools
(Kenya), Sophar Pharmaceuticals (Rwanda), Ngare Narok Meat Industries
(Kenya) and Haltons Pharmacy (Kenya) among others.

Investment focus

The Fund focuses on a segment of the market that has to date been outside
the reach of most venture capital funds in the East African market (Kenya,
Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda).
Fanisi makes direct investments in high growth businesses across diverse
industry sectors with emphasis on: Agri-Business, Healthcare, Energy &
Natural Resources Services, Retail & Consumer and Education. It focuses
principally on companies that are post-revenue with profits or are on a clear
path towards profits.

(15) FMO Entrepreneurial Development

FMO is the Dutch development bank that finances entrepreneurs, companies,
and projects from developing and emerging markets. Founded in 1970, FMO is
a public-private partnership, with 51% of its shares held by the Dutch
government, and 49% held by commercial banks, trade unions and other
private-sector representatives.
FMO has funded several projects across Africa. It supports entrepreneurs,
companies and projects with equity, loans and guarantees; capital market
transactions; mezzanine and other tailor-made solutions; and long-term and
short-term project financing.
Investment focus:
FMO provides support to sectors that it believes can have the highest long-
term impact. These include: Financial Institutions, Energy and Agribusiness,
and Food & Water.

(16) Ford Foundation

Established in 1936, The Ford Foundation provides grants to organizations in
the United States, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Since its
founding, the Ford Foundation has distributed more than $16.3 billion in grants
The Foundation receives more than 40,000 proposals annually and makes over
1,400 grants. The Foundation’s assets are valued at more than $10.3 billion.

Investment focus:

The Ford Foundation’s grants focus on initiatives aimed at reducing poverty
and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge,
creativity and achievement.
The Foundation makes a very limited number of grants to individuals, generally
restricted to fellowships for advanced study.

3 Responses


    A lady motswana request for grant support for a start -up capital for multi residential completed by transport service and small -medium commercial agriculture (Smart Garden).

    ‘Investment focus:

    The Ford Foundation’s grants focus on initiatives aimed at reducing poverty and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge, creativity and achievement ‘

    The grants will be used to support business and reduce poverty and also support food security and food self – efficiency ,therefore balanced diet to fight against epedemic diseases.

    Thank you.

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  3. Great idea. And many of the businesses i had not even heard about.
    You know, you know just like this one should be open to explore on business portals like IndiaBizClub

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