Supporting innovative african entrepreneurs
In May 2018, during the Vivatech Digital Rendez-vous, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced a French commitment of EUR 65m for African start-ups and the launch of the Digital Africa initiative.
Digital Africa funds
Under this initiative, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is making the EUR 15m Digital Africa seed fund available to innovative African start-ups. This support and financing mechanism covers 45 African countries. It allows:
- Start-up support structures (incubators, accelerators and hubs) to build their capacities and become more professional,
- Start-ups to access financial support of up to EUR 300,000.
This financing mechanism for African start-ups in their seed phase complements all the tools available to accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The management of the Digital Africa seed fund is delegated to AFD Group’s local partners. They are all experts in supporting and financing digital technologies. Acting as a “window”, each partner offers a specific program and activates their own financial instruments to implement the fund locally.
- Podcast : “The bold”
EUR 15mcommitted to support African digital start-ups by 2022
See and/or download documents
Our support solutions
Capacity building for hubs, incubators and accelerators
Via local partners
AFD supports incubators, hubs and accelerators that promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
Afric’Innov and AfriLabs. These two professionalization and capacity building programs help you support innovative start-ups.
If you are a hub, incubator or an entrepreneur seeking support and financing, you can directly contact our local partners.
Find out more :
Consult the list below to see the local partner incubators and find out more about the available services (financing, mentoring, training, etc.).
Financing for digital start-ups in the seed phase
Via local partner funds
AFD Group is an active partner that combines long-term financing and technical and strategic assistance.
With its Digital Africa seed fund, AFD is supporting four programs to assist and finance digital start-ups right from the start of their activity.
Catalyst programFinancing of up to EUR 60,000 alongside the investment of a business angel
Catalyst is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to increase the capital reserve available for promising African entrepreneurs in the growth phase, and to support the start-up ecosystem, including hubs and the business angel networks. For growing start-ups, Catalyst provides additional financing (up to EUR 60,000) alongside the investment of a business angel.
The Catalyst program is led by the ABAN and Afrilabs consortium. The African Business Angel Network (ABAN) is a pan-African non-profit association. ABAN was set up in early 2015 to support the development of networks of investors across the continent.
Venture Building program0% loan of up to EUR 25,000
The GreenTec Capital Africa Foundation offers an ad hoc financing facility for start-ups that join its program to prepare support for Venture Building, in the form of a repayable loan with a 0% rate of up to EUR 25,000. Candidate SMEs will be analyzed to assess their development potential in order to validate the relevance of financial support.
There are two forms of support :
- Following a preselection process, entrepreneurs will have access to operational experts who will help them prepare a 6 to 12-month action plan for their development.
- Based on the results of the period to prepare the support, the Foundation will be able to allocate a loan to start-ups whose repayment potential has been validated.
Catalyzing Digital Start-ups Operating in Africa programFor financing of up to EUR 300,000
The program offers to provide technical assistance and catalytic partnerships to 10 to 15 digital start-ups with a high investment capital impact (in the form of an equity investment, convertible debt or a SAFE investment of up to EUR 300,000), so that they can develop solutions for underserved populations on fragile and border markets. Mercy Corps relies on the operational capacities of Suguba, which will implement investment preparation programs.
I&P Afrique Technologies programAverage financing of EUR 20,000 to EUR 300,000
The program supports 10 to 15 African digital start-ups and gives them access to appropriate financing and expertise. IPAT will provide the selected companies with funding (in the form of repayable advance) ranging between EUR 20,000 and EUR 300,000.
The funded start-ups benefit from capacity building via external technical assistance. This support can focus on technological issues or concern typical issues for start-ups (strengthening accounting, marketing support, training teams, etc.).
The program is led by the association I&P Entrepreneurs et Développement, which supports African entrepreneurs.
Our local partners
|wdt_ID||Name of partner||Partner type||Location||what financing/services are available ?||Eligible companies||Contact|
|1||ABAN||Business angels network||Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Kenya, Algeria, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, Uganda, South Africa, Mauritius, Tunisia, Ghana, Chad, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Botswana, Namibia, Gabon, Malawi, Gambia, Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso, Republic of Congo||Seed financing, mentoring||Start-ups tech||https://abanangels.org/|
|2||Accion Quona Inclusion Fund||Venture capital Fund||Egypte, Kenya, Nigeria, Afrique du Nord||Financial services||Fintech startups and MSMEs||https://quona.com/|
|3||Accion Venture Labs||Private Equity Funds||South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, São Tomé and -Prince, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe||Early stage investment 200 - $500K||Fintech Startup||https://www.accion.org/how-we-work/invest/accion-venture-lab|
|4||Afkar||Incubator||Tunisia||Support, co-working spaces, networking, etc.||Start-ups||https://afkar.co/|
|5||AfriLabs||Incubator/Accelerator||Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire/ Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Niger, Dijbouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Somalia, Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Malawi, Madagascar, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Congo||Support, co-working spaces, networking, etc.||Start-ups tech||https://www.afrilabs.com/|
|6||Agence d'encadrement et de développement des PME||Non-bank financial institution||Senegal||Financing, support, networking, etc.||SMEs and startups||https://adepme.sn/|
|8||Association Entrepreneurs & Développement||Private Equity Funds||Sénégal, Côte d'Ivoire/ Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroon, Ghana||Seed financing, technical support||Start-ups tech||http://www.ietp.com/fr|
|9||Bond’innov||Incubator||France,Africa||Support, financing, co-working spaces, networking, etc.||Innovative start-ups/SMEs (health, biotechnology, environment, etc.)||https://www.bondinnov.com/|
|10||Carthage Business Angels (CBA)||Business angels network||Tunisia||Support, networking, etc.||Start-ups||http://www.cba.tn|
|11||Cathay Africinvest Innovation||Venture capital fund||Mali, Côte d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tunisia, Senegal, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Nigeria, Guinea, Burkina Faso, North Africa||Financing in early stage and growth $1 à $10M||Startups||https://cathayinnovation.com|
|Partner type||Location||what financing/services are available ?|