Top funding sources for African female tech founders, startups

Women entrepreneurs in the tech sector in Africa can tap an increasing number of options when it comes to getting funding for their business.

From angel investor groups to acceleration programmes, to organisations providing grants, here’s a list of a few options for African women to try, when looking towards growing their tech startup.

Access Bank Womenpreneur Pitch-a-ton: In 2006, Access Bank began a journey into the world of women and Banking on Women. After working through the Gender Empowerment Movement to invest in women for eight years, the programme evolved into a robust plan to provide women with banking solutions that meet their diverse career and lifestyle requirements named The ‘W’ Initiative. The Nigerian competition offers prize money of up to $10 000 for winners.



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GreenHouse Lab: GreenHouse Lab is a three-month accelerator focused solely on early-stage, female-led or female focused technology startups across Africa, as well as African run start-ups domiciled overseas with products that are scalable in African markets. The Nigerian based accelerator invests between $50 000 and $100 000 in startups that participate in the accelerator.

USADF: The US African Development Foundation (USADF) invests directly in community enterprises, providing seed capital and local technical support to early-stage agriculture, off-grid energy, and youth-led enterprises in Africa. It provides grants of up to $250 000.

The African Women Leadership Fund (AWLF): Established by the Economic Commission for Africa under the leadership of the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and the Chairperson of the African Union, the AWLF is an innovative impact investment fund which aims to accelerate the growth of women-owned and operated funds and companies across Africa. It provides grant funding.

Awief: The African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (Awief) is a pan-African women economic empowerment organisation which nurtures and actively promotes women innovation and entrepreneurship through its development programmes, accelerators, and networking events, including the annual Awief conference, exhibition and awards. The organisation, which is based in Nigeria and South Africa, gives out grants of up to $5000.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative: The Cartier Women’s Initiative is an international business programme created in 2006 by Cartier in partnership with Insead Business School to identify, support and encourage businesses led by women entrepreneurs. The organisation is based in France and provides grants of between $25 000 and $100 000.

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