Category Archives: Opportunities

2018 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) West Africa Emerging Leaders Program

Are you a young leader who is making an impact in your society? The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is calling young African leaders to apply for the 2018 programme.

This initiative was launched by the United States Government, to train the next generation of African Leaders who will shape the future of African business and entrepreneurship, civil society leadership, and public sector management.

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The YALI Regional Leadership Centre (RLC) West Africa, Accra, offers you an innovative and game changing Online Emerging Leaders training program in the following courses:

  1. Business and Entrepreneurship: This track caters to the range of emerging or aspiring entrepreneurs who expect to take on leadership roles within the private sector or build their own business ventures on the continent
  2. Civil Society Management: This track is oriented to those who are or aspire to be civically engaged and serve the public through non-governmental organizations, community based organizations, or volunteerism
  3. Public Policy and Management: This track is tailored to those who work or aspire to work in any level of government (including elected positions), regional organizations such as the African Union or the West Africa Community, international organizations such as the United Nations, or other publicly minded organizations or think tanks

Applicants are invited to apply for the 6 Cohort of its Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center (RLC) West Africa Emerging Program.

Applicants must be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 35
  • From the countries below:
    • o Sierra Leone
    • o Ghana
    • o Nigeria
    • o Togo
    • o Ivory Coast
    • o Gambia
    • o Burkina Faso
    • o Liberia
    • o Cameroon
  • You must be able to read and write in English
  • You must have a valid ID (passport if you are outside Ghana)

Benefits:

  • Improve your leadership skills
  • Win a free tablet loaded with content
  • Obtain a certificate of completion
  • Become a member of the YALI Alumni Network
  • Join the United States graduates Alumni Network
  • Mentoring, Internships, and more!

Outstanding leadership training through global collaboration – The YALI RLC West Africa exceptional Emerging Leaders Online Program is created through the collaboration of leading universities and partners – ensuring that innovative, high quality and peer-reviewed courses can help you become a real Leader.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should  Click Here to Apply

Application Deadline: December 10th 2017

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Apply Now for Google Launchpad Africa Accelerator

Calling all African startuppers to apply for Launchpad Africa. Google has launched launchedpad Africa– an acceleration program that matches the best African startups with the best of Google. This includes Google’s people, network, advanced technologies to help African startups build great products.

The launch of the acceleration program comes after the tech giant’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced in his visit to Lagos that Google would launch its first accelerator outside of the US.

It’s exciting time for African startups as this opportunity comes right in time where new tech hubs are being formed – From Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa. Coincidentally, Google will be picking 10 startups set to start early next year in Lagos, Nigeria — from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The focus for companies is now on pan-African collaboration and this would be an opportunity to bring entrepreneurs together across the Continent to work together.

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If you’re wondering who the mentors would be, Google will select mentors from across Africa that can offer their time voluntarily.
Some of the mentors will be drawn from those that participated in Google’s weeklong bootcamps – Launchpad Start – run in Nairobi and Johannesburg, as well as in Lagos .

Google is now currently accepting applications for the first Launchpad Africa class, which will take place in Lagos, Nigeria starting in early 2018. For this first class, applications are open to tech startups that have already raised seed funding and are from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

You can now apply for Google Launchpad Africa accelerator here.

Google LaunchPad Program Details:

As part of the program, startups will receive:
• Equity-free support
• Access to Google’s engineers and intensive mentoring from over 20 teams
• Access to Silicon Valley experts and Africa’s top mentors
• Three months of workspace in Lagos
• PR training and global media opportunities
• Exposure though demo day events

Nominate an Inspirational Entrepreneur for AWIEF Awards

AWIEF Awards recognises and honours women entrepreneurs and business owners in African across various industries. These women are those who, through their businesses hand economic performance have contributed to the African growth and development over time.
The candidate can be from any African country and can be emerging and established entrepreneurship in the private and not-for-profit sectors.
 AWIEF Awards candidates are women who have demonstrated outstanding vision and inspiration, and have overcome challenges to make a significant social impact and/or become successful in their businesses.
The areas mostly covered in the award are innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and socio-economic development.
2017 AWIEF Awards will be presenting the following categories:
  1. AWIEF YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
    This Award goes to a young female entrepreneur and start-up under the age of 35 years, who has demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial spirit and skills to build and grow a successful and sustainable business or businesses, and is an inspiration to other young entrepreneurs.

  2. AWIEF TECH ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
    This Award goes to a woman entrepreneur who has used science or technology to create an innovative new business, offering new knowledge, service or product for solving extant problems.

  3. AWIEF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
    This Award goes to a woman who with her business has made significant social impacts in the community and has proffered solutions to social, cultural, technology, environmental or financial challenges with her innovative product or service delivery.

  4. AWIEF GLOBAL BRAND ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
    This Award goes to a woman entrepreneur or business owner who has created a world-class product and global consumer brand to take advantage of the powerful and rapidly-growing African middle class and the global luxury consumer market.

  5. AWIEF AGRI ENTREPRENEUR AWARD
    This Award goes to a woman who has achieved significant recognition and business success in the field of agriculture and agribusiness with a great impact on food security in her community or country.

  6. AWIEF EMPOWERMENT AWARD
    This Award goes to a woman who has greatly contributed and invested in inspiring, mentoring and empowering other women entrepreneurs.

  7. AWIEF LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
    This Award goes to an established woman entrepreneur and business owner, a role model who has displayed exceptional business leadership in her field, excellence and outstanding business performance and achievements over time. This Award also recognises the substantial contribution made to job creation, the economy, the community and society at large.

Follow this nomination guideline if you’re interested in the award:

  • Nomination should only be made relating to achievements made by a female entrepreneur and national of an African country, with a registered business and operation in one or more African countries.
  • Nominees can be nominated or self-nominated.
  • You can nominate a woman entrepreneur for more than one category but you must complete different nomination forms.
  • You may be asked to support or verify the evidence you supply as part of the nominations you make.
  • Three nominees will be shortlisted for each category and invited to the AWIEF Awards on Friday 6 October 2017 in Cape Town.

DEADLINE FOR NOMINATION: 19 JUNE 2017

You can nominate a candidate for AWIEF Awards: Click here for more information and to nominate!

Fintech Startups! Apply to Barclays Africa and Techstars 13 Week Accelerator Programme South Africa

Loads of opportunities for fintech startups! What exactly is an accelerator programme in the context of startups and where can you find one? How can you apply? We haven’t got a full list of all the startup accelerator programmes out there but this is for sure something you should consider if you’ve got great ideas.

An accelerator in sum is a three month intensive programme which is believed to assist participating start-ups advance their businesses significantly. An accelerator is built on four points; seed investment, co-working space, mentoring and a demo day. The most popular programmes are by Savannah Fund, She Leads Africa, Merck Accelerator and Barclays Accelerator.

Barclays and Techstars have pulled forces to unveil the Barclays Accelerator programme, an initiative aimed at uncovering the next M-Pesa or Paypal by working with exceptional fintech entrepreneurs innovating Africa’s financial services industry.

Barclays Africa and Techstars will be looking out for 10 qualifying fintech startups, to take part in a 13-week programme beginning in May next year, based out of the Rise fintech innovation hub in Woodstock, Cape Town. South Africa is fast becoming a fintech hub but fintech in Kenya is not to be taken foregranted.

Yasaman Hadjibashi, business, data and technology executive at Barclay Africa explains what leading the innovation agenda for the bank means: “Africa has tremendous untapped potential to not only pioneer its own creative solutions for its unique contexts but to also create solutions that the rest of the world can adopt for their own contexts.”

According to the Disrupt Africa African Startups Funding Report 2015, 29% of investment in African tech startups goes to those focused on fintech, suggesting a substantial opportunity for innovative ventures in the sector.

What to expect: Selected startups will be given the opportunity to enter or expand their presence in the African marketplace via Barclays Africa Group’s customer, product, and technology teams. Leveraging the global footprint of Rise, the selected startups will also have the chance to scale globally through Rise sites in London, New York, Mumbai, Tel Aviv and Vilnius. The Accelerator offers companies an advantage over others by providing a proven curriculum, and lifelong access to the Techstars global network of mentors, investors and venture capitalists.

How to Apply: Click this link to apply https://www.f6s.com/barclaysaccelerator-africa

Deadline: February 5th, 2017 for this opportunity to take their venture to new heights.

For more information, please visit: http://www.barclaysaccelerator.com/#/cape-town/ or contact emily.skinstad@techstars.com

Image Credit: Techstars

Application Open to $10k Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) Entrepreneurship Award

Applications are now open to the Africa Finance and Investment Forum (AFIF) Entrepreneurship Award 2017, offering African-based startups a financial contribution of US$10,000 for a project of good impact.

The 2017 edition of Africa Finance & Investment Forum and to empower sustainable development and economic growth, innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa, AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017 will be given to African startups as an offering of financial contribution and exposure / visibility to African Small Business Enterprises making an impact.

Application Deadline: 19th December, 2016

Eligible Countries: African countries

To be taken at (country): AFIF 2017 will be hosted by the Strathmore University (Nairobi)

About the Award: AFIF 2017 will attract over 300 delegates from all over Africa, Europe, America and Middle East. A pre-conference training will be held on “A Road-map for Entrepreneurship Growth” (13th -16th February 2017). The training will be addressed exclusively to AFIF 2017 participants and will be divided in two linguistic groups (English and French).

A special emphasis is laid on entrepreneurship and innovation especially on access to finance in key sectors such as energy, water, ICT, health and agriculture.  What role will Africa play int he 4th industrial revolution? Questions like this will be addressed in AFIF 2017. The 2015 award winner was Lazaro Mwakipesile, founder of Raphael Group Tanzania,who specialise in food grains processing and distribution.

“The AFIF Entrepreneurship Award aims to spotlight leading innovation private sector projects happening today in Africa. This is the moment when entrepreneurs can showcase their remarkable achievements, where partners and participants get to know about outstanding projects which are pushing boundaries in their community and country and where other entrepreneurs can be inspired and receive much-needed know-how,” says Inês Bastos, senior project manager at EMRC and head of AFIF 2017.

Type: Entrepreneurship

Value of Program: The prize will be given to an existing African small-medium business, who will receive a US$10.000,00 cash prize, year-long media promotion support in and out of Africa, free participation in the AFIF 2017, including the pre-conference Training.

Duration of Program13 February 2017 – 16 February 2017

How to Apply: Application must be sent to EMRC (sa@EMRC.be) by December 19th, 2016.

Visit Program Webpage for details

Award Sponsor: Rabobank Foundation.

Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa Pledges $7 Million for Innovation in Africa

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) is committing US$ 7 Million in innovation grants to catalyse pioneering research to achieve health and development outcomes.

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The African Academy of Sciences and the NEPAD Agency’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) made this commitment today in order to fund innovative ideas and research through the Grand Challenges Africa programme to accelerate scientific breakthroughs that will improve Africa’s health and developmental outcomes.

This commitment has been achieved with the help of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide the Grand Challenges Africa Innovation Grants. It will focus on finding local solutions to solve existing and pressing challenges in the Continent and ultimately reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Grand Challenges Africa Innovation Grants will run for the next five years and comprise of the Grand Challenges Africa Innovation Seed Grants (GCA-ISG) and provide funding for scaling up innovations.

“Solutions for Africa’s challenges do exist within the continent. As an African grantmaking body, we are laser focused on tapping the best minds on the continent to develop innovative local solutions to our health and development challenges,” stated Dr Tom Kariuki, AESA’s Director.

How it Will Run:

The Grand Challenges Africa Grants will request for ideas that can be developed eventually into ground breaking research and innovations. A sum of up to US$100,000 in Grand Challenges Africa Innovation Seed Grants (GCA-ISG)  will be provided for two years to each of the up to 40 projects that will be funded over the five-years that the scheme will run.

Who Can Apply:

This fund is targeting innovators resident in Africa with any level of experience, working in any discipline in colleges, universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-governmental and non-profit organisations.
Innovations which receive the US$100,000 seed grants and show promise for scaling up will be eligible to apply for additional funding of up to US$1 million.

Areas of Interest:

Solutions and strategies to help Africa meet the SDG 3 target for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). These cover key areas of:

  • New technologies to enable rapid identification of exposures that lead to poor outcomes in pregnancy, birth and in the first month of life – these could be exposures to communicable and non-communicable.
  • Precision medicine approaches and techniques to identify microbes and other exposures in Africa that may increase susceptibility to non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc.) in mothers and children under 5 years of age.
  • Creative approaches to engage the public, and inspire policy and decision makers to increase investment in African Research & Development.

Calling All Content Creators to Join Amplify’s Africa’s First Paid Fellowship

aKoma Media, a content platform and storytelling company focused on Africa has launched the inaugural session of Amplify, a media and content creation program in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation.
Amplify wants to develop of young, dynamic multimedia content creators who will craft compelling stories about Africa. Successful new joiners will be immersed in a six-month holistic and individualised instruction program that starts to fill a much-needed media and storytelling talent pipeline in Africa, providing access to job opportunities. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend and digital hardware as part of their program benefits.

aKoma CEO and co-founder, Zain Verjee is spearheading Amplify which will launch in Kigali (Rwanda), Lagos (Nigeria), and Nairobi (Kenya) in September 2016. “Amplify is a great platform to find and nurture talented Africans who want to create amazing content, acquire and develop creation skills, and distribute their work globally.” The former CNN anchor adds that aKoma sees Amplify as an added weapon to “develop an exclusive network of multimedia storytellers who will be able to tell universal stories about Africa, and armed with the skills to work for major media outlets, freelance, or start their own storytelling shops.”

aKoma is seeking applications for their inaugural class. Written, photo and video content creators based in Nairobi, Lagos and Kigali are the targeted applicants for the programme. aKoma is looking for the most committed candidates who are up for a fun but challenging experience. The Fellowship selection process will be rigorous, and a total of only twenty-five Fellows will be chosen.

The programme is founded by CNN alumni Zain Verjee and Chidi Afulezi who have both enjoyed a prolific career iin media and technology, aKoma is an open source content platform and storytelling community where a combination of user generated and original content about Africa and its diaspora are created, published and shared with the world.

 Visit aKomanet.com for more information.

This innovateAFRICA $1-million Fund Is Targeting Innovative Media Businesses In Africa

Africa’s largest fund for newsroom experimentation is offering $1m in support for digital innovators.

In this new media age we’re living in, we can all agree that the way journalism operates has changed and keeps changing as new technologies emerge. Needless to say that journalists have followed the same cycle and figured new ways of publishing their content, either by blogs, social media pages or even through online publishing platforms.

Do you think you have something fresh and innovative to add to the ever-evolving media industry? You can share your unique solution by applying for the US$1-million innovateAFRICA Fund, which aims to support digital innovations and “leapfrog technologies”.

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The programme, which is open to both individuals and mainstream organisations, will offer the following to successful applicants:

  • Deliver mentorship
  • Seed funding
  • Technology support

“innovateAFRICA will provide grants from $12 500 to $100 000 for projects judged to have the best chance to strengthen and transform African news media. Grantees will also receive technical advice from civic technology laboratories across the continent, along with startup support and one-­on-­one mentoring from the world’s top media experts,”

A strong media remains amongst the most effective ways for giving citizens both information and a voice

Some of the ideas that the organisers are expecting to see range from audience engagement, new digital news distribution models and new revenue models as well as proposals looking at journalism’s role as a civic watchdog.

“African media are experimenting with digital journalism, but the steadily worsening market situation facing mainstream media often has a chilling influence on the really big ideas. innovateAFRICA is meant to help newsrooms leapfrog obstacles, by giving the types of support that neither media companies nor traditional donors can provide themselves,” said Code for Africa director Justin Aranstein.

“Citizens need reliable and actionable information to make informed decisions. A strong media remains amongst the most effective ways for giving citizens both information and a voice, and we are therefore keen to help journalists be as digitally savvy as possible,” Aranstein continued.

In regards to digital innovation, innovateAfrica would want to see proposals that use “internet, mobile platforms, data-driven journalism, computer-assisted reporting, digitally augmented reality or virtual reality, camera drones or the Internet of Things (sensors), and other electronic means.

Here’s How To Apply:

Visit the innovateAFRICA website, which will start receiving application from 1 September.

Deadline for all entries is at midnight Central African Time on 1 December.

“Proposals may be submitted by digital news pioneers from anywhere in the world, but entries must have an African media partner who will help co-­develop and test the innovation and who will deploy the project for African audiences. Winners will be selected by an international panel of judges, comprised of “digital journalism and civic technology experts”.

Finalists will be down-selected via a public voting stage then shortlisted by technology and digital engagement experts.

Finalists are set to be announced on 20 December 2016 and winners will be revealed on 31 January 2017.

Image Credit: innovateAFRICA Facebook page

Have You Built An Awesome Application? Apply For Apps Africa Innovation Awards

Africa’s leading technology news portal, AppsAfrica.com is now accepting nominations for the best innovations suitable for the AppsAfrica Innovation Awards. With over 200 entries and 21 African participating countries, the awards saw 10 winners.

AppsAfrica provides strategic operational planning services for mobile and tech ventures launching in Sub-Saharan Africa. The AppsAfrica.com Innovation Awards does not only celebrate ventures who win the award with global publicity but it also gives an opportunity to network with over 500 industry peers and investors.

“Our mission is always to promote and honour the fantastic innovation across the mobile and tech ecosystem in Africa. We had diverse entries from 21 countries and both the finalists and winners are a testament to how technology is being used to disrupt business models, empower people and drive positive social impact across the continent,” 

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These 10 categories are considered in the award:

  • Disruptive Innovation Award
  • Best Social & Messaging Award
  • Best African App Award
  • Enterprise Solution Award
  • News & Entertainment Award
  • Educational Award
  • Fintech Award
  • Social Impact Award Brand On Mobile Award
  • Women In Tech Award

According to the press release, the awards are judged by an expert panel based on their knowledge and experience within the industry as well as their influence and contributions to tech and business on the African continent.

Two Nigerian companies took home awards last year; check out the other apps involved:

  • Opera’s Web Pass (Nigeria) which took home the Disruptive Innovation Award
  • Bookly (South Africa) took home the award for Best Mobile Innovation
  • GeoPoll (Kenya/USA) received the award for Non-Data Mobile Innovation
  • Tuluntulu (South Africa) took home the award for Best African App
  • VCpay (South Africa) received the award for Fintech Innovation
  • GiftedMom (Cameroon) was awarded the Health Innovation Award
  • mPaper (Tanzania) received the award for EEducational Innovation
  • CodeX (South Africa) which took the Social Impact Award
  • Gamsole (Nigeria) received the Best Entertainment Award
  • Emefa Kpegba of OMobileFunding (Togo) took home the award for Women in Tech

Entries Deadline: 10 September 2016

Winners will be announced in October 2016. The event will be held in Cape Town.

More information about the event can be found here.

Apply Now For This Seedstars World Competition For Startup Entrepreneurs 2016

Seedstars World offers exclusive and global startup competition to promote, connect and invest up to $1.5mn for Entrepreneurs in emerging markets in 60 countries.

Application Deadline: December 31, 2016 (see specific deadline for African cities below)

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: Africa, Asia, Latin America, CEE and MENA

To be taken at (country): Switzerland

Area of Interest: Entrepreneurship in any field

Seedstars World have been ongoing for the fourth year and it reaches over 65 countries across Asia, Africa, LatAm, CEE and MENA to find the best seed-stage startup.

They are lookingfor companies that are less than two years old, MVP ready, think global and with less than $500k raised so far. These companies can apply to become the 2016 Global Winner!

Selection Criteria:

  • Maximum 2 years since founding date
  • Maximum USD 0.5m funding
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

How It Works:

At each Local Event, the top 10-15 pre-selected startups are invited to pitch in front of an expert jury and quality audience to determine the winner. The event brings together key entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and institutions from the local ecosystem combined with a unique global Seedstars World flavour. The winner of each Local Event gets a free trip to the Final Event and loads of cool tech prizes.

The winner of each Local Event will be invited to Switzerland to represent his startup and country at the global finals. The Final Event is a week long adventure consisting of a bootcamp, international conference and investor forum. It’s an amazing chance to meet with investors, build a global network and grow your business.

Award Value:

  • Equity investment: There is a prize package consisting of USD1mn in equity investment and more in cash and in-kind prizes. You’ll be exposed to VCs, corporates and angels searching for investment opportunities. Maximum USD 0.5m funding
  • Coverage & Prestige: All Seedstars World events are heavily covered by local and international press with around 500 articles on Seedstars last year. Represent your country at the worldwide Seedstars Summit in front of an international audience.
  • Partnerships & Family: Join the close knit Seedstars Family of talented entrepreneurs in 65+ countries. Find potential partners and business opportunities through the community and at the various events.
  • Learn & Grow: We hand pick top-quality mentors from all over the world with experience in relevant industries. Benefit from the knowledge of corporate leaders, serial entrepreneurs, accelerator directors and investors.

Duration of Scholarship: 2 days for the Local Event + 7 days if you are selected for the Seedstars Summit (includes: online application, preparing for pitching event, coaching, traveling and attending the events).

Application deadline: Go to Seedstars website below to see specific deadline for each African city.

For Lagos, click here

How to Apply

  • Step 1: Make sure you have a venture profile published on VC4Africa platform with your most recent pitch deck attached.
  • Step 2: Apply to one of the 15 local events in Africa through the online form.

Apply from VC4Africa website

Visit Seedstars Webpage for details

Note that you must be prepared to talk about your startup in public. Pitch and application documents must be in English or you must provide a translator. Your startup can be from any sector but must be for profit.