2020 can best be summed up as a year of the good, the bad, and the way forward depending on how you look at it! Despite all the tragic experiences faced by nearly everyone across the globe, there are still reasons, no matter how minute, to be grateful. Right?
Although it’s two days to 2021, already there is a prevailing feeling of excitement marked with fearful anticipation that after the ordeals of this year, things just have to be better. At least a change from what this year brought in its wake.
Also, when you consider milestones touched by Africa’s female founders in terms of funding, it won’t be out of place to be optimistic that there would be even more to come.
If you are a female founder looking to launch your startup, the good news is that there is an increasing number of funding options available to women entrepreneurs in the African tech ecosystem.
Consider some of the women-focused angel investors, investment firms, and organizations that provide funding for female founders in Africa, giving you something to look forward to, come 2021.
About: ATG is an early-stage gender-lens investor group aimed at supporting women entrepreneurs in Africa. Headquartered in South Africa, the firm focuses on industries ranging from agriculture, infrastructure development, social impact technology to manufacturing and raw material processing among others.
Investment size: Between $10000 – $50000
About: Based in South Africa, Dazzle Angels is a female-focused angel fund led and funded by successful women entrepreneurs whose aim is to bridge the funding gap, creating a leveling playing field for female founders.
Designed to build early-stage businesses, Dazzle Angels invests in women-founded/led early-stage tech startups with interest in edtech, fintech, agritech, healthtech, tourism, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Investment size: Between $25000 – $50000
About: Described as an all-female angel investors group by Forbes, Rising Tide Africa is an early-stage investor in tech startups founded/co-founded by women, promoting the prosperity of the female economy in Africa.
Based in Nigeria, Rising Tide Africa is a part of a global movement of The Rising Tide Programme for Africa where a group of women angel investors leverages their power, network, capital, and passion to attain financial independence for women in Africa.
Investment size: Between $50 000 and $500 000
Venture capital funds
About: Enygma Ventures is a South African investment fund focused on early-stage startups owned by women. Led by award-winning entrepreneurs with 40 years of combined experience growing and scaling businesses, the firm is uniquely driven towards empowering women and enabling them to build sustainable businesses.
Investment size: Between $500 000 and $1 million
About: Headquartered in Kenya, this investment fund aims to drive women’s economic empowerment across Pan-African countries.
Investment size: Between $50 000 and $1-million
About: Janngo Capital Startup Fund is a venture capital investor based in Abidjan which provides funding to startups from seed through growth stage across Africa.
One of its commitments as a member of the Goalkeepers Community and the Global Future Council is to support at least 50% of startups founded, co-founded, or serving women.
Investment size: 50000 euros – 5 million euros
About: A venture capital based in South Africa, Khula Lula seeks to provide access to micro-financing and scale for African women tech startups.
Investment size: Between $10 000 and $25 000
Grants from Organization/initiatives
About: Based in Ghana, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a foundation that offers grants to support women’s organizations at local, national, and regional levels, thereby empowering women as well as promoting their civil and human rights.
Grants: Up to $50 000
About: This is a pan-African woman economic empowerment organization committed to actively boosting and developing innovation and entrepreneurship in women.
To achieve its objectives, AWIEF based in Nigeria and South Africa hosts accelerators, empowerment programs, yearly conferences, exhibitions and awards, and networking events.
Grants: Up to $5000
About: The AWLF is an investment fund directed at boosting the growth of women-owned and operated companies across Africa.
Set up by the Economic Commission for Africa under the supervision of the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and the Chairperson of the African Union, the initiative provides grant funding to female founders, enabling them to scale their businesses.
About: Translated as the Fund For Congolese Women funds is a small and upcoming local organization that fund grassroots organizations that lack access to financial support from investors.
Grants: Up to $5000
About: An initiative of Rwandan-based organization, Invest2Impact is a competition that seeks to support 100 women-led businesses in East Africa with funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities.
The prize money which is US$20 thousand goes to an outstandingly innovative startup that is creating solutions to climate change problems as well as promoting a green economy, among three other categories.
Grants: Between $10 000 and $25 000
About: This is a Kenyan initiative that provides financial backing for impactful activities that support the inclusion and participation of women and girls in STEM.
Grants: Up to $5000
About: This foundation supports early-stage agritech startups, youth-led enterprises, and off-grid energy businesses in Africa, providing them with seed capital and local technical aid.
Grants: Up to $250 000
About: As the name implies, the Kenya-based organization offers quick and timely response grants and technical support to organizations promoting women’s rights, women’s human rights defenders, and activists who make use of strategic opportunities to advance women’s rights in Africa.
Grants: Up to $100 000
About: Women Fund Tanzania is a registered trust fund that empowers women, enabling them to realize their full potential and be actively involved in the transformation within their local communities.
Grants: Up to $50 000
This list of funding opportunities is by no means exhaustive as there are other initiatives, groups, venture capital firms, and angel investors that recognize and support female-led startups.
As more investors realize the value of providing funds for female founders in the coming year, we hope to see a significant reduction in the funding gap that currently exists in Africa.
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