Funding and grants

Grants, Funds, Recognizations and Challenges

Grants, Funds, Recognizations and Challenges that could help you to set up your Brand, Organization, and Business

There are many Grants and Funds that are willing to help you and your business in times of need. Be sure to check out their website for further information and guidelines.

The YES 2020 Social Entrepreneurship Program

Website: https://airtable.com/shr4ipL9GCbLHZjsK
Last date to apply: May 31st, 2020

If you’re a Kenyan social entrepreneur then this program is for you. The program will be scheduled in August 2020. It’s a six month funded social entrepreneurship program that is targeted for young social entrepreneurs who want to create an IMPACT on society through their work. 
You can learn more about the program at https://africayescentre.org/ to see if you’re the right fit for the grant.

World Bank Group – CES Global Tech Challenge: Solutions for Women

Last date to apply: June 1, 2020
Website: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/236291587590608818/global-tech-challenge-women-request-for-applications-04-22-2020-update.pdf

World Bank Group is organizing a global tech challenge for the organizations. The main aim of the World Bank Group is to connect low and middle- income countries with technology. This year it’s mision is to bridge the gender digital divide through technology. 
In their words, the challenge should address the four major areas: Platform, Digital Skills, Online content, Innovative business models.

Some examples in these areas are:


  • E-commerce platforms focused on reaching women and girls in emerging markets through their products and marketing strategies
  • Platforms that build communities for women entrepreneurs to discuss and network online
  • Women’s safety helpline platforms that enable reporting of sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and gender-based cyber violence in a secure and safe way

Digital Skills:

  • Applications that use personalized and adaptive learning to teach learners basic, intermediate, or advanced digital skills, or any combination thereof, using digital technologies.
  • Coding boot camps delivered online and blended programs that target and recruit women and girls to prepare them for a changing labor market. These may be either integrable within education curricula or provisioned as standalone services for on-the-job learning.
  • Products that impart education in advanced digital skills with complementary investments in and measurement of hard-to-measure socio-emotional skills such as collaboration, creativity, innovation, and learning.

Online content: 

  • Applications that impart technology-enabled early-grade reading content, focused on addressing regressive gender norms
  • Content solutions in local languages that address issues around sexual and reproductive health 
  • Locally relevant content on educational and career opportunities for women and girls in various stages of their career, including alternative and non-traditional careers in the country context

Innovative business models:

  • Innovative subscription models that may subsidize or alleviate the financial burden on women to own and use mobile devices (such as pay as you go) or other business models that target or include women in meaningful ways to sustainably access the Internet
  • Mobile subscription models that favor women-ownership and use of mobile internet on an ongoing basis 

​The applicants should show clear links between the proposed solution and development outcomes in world bank group client countries. They should have confirmed their solution in any context and with detailed evidence of its impact and potential. Apart from that, they should be able to identify the target audience providing their customizable solutions.

There are certain restrictions on organizations that can apply. For example individual, government, and un organizations are not eligible to apply in this challenge. Winners will be announced at CES 2021 (TBD) and will be given brand visibility as a global tech challenge winner.

Jack Ma’s Africa Business Heroes Competition 

Last date to apply: 9th June 2020 23:59:59 GMT
Website: https://africabusinessheroes.org/en/the-prize/2020/apply-now

African business heroes are entering the second year of their competition to identify, support, and increase the visibility of the African entrepreneurs. There is no restriction regarding age or sector. All they want is that entrepreneurs should have impacted society in a positive way and could solve the challenges in Africa. 
However, they have strict guidelines and eligibility criteria. Do read and double-check that before clicking on the submit button.

Some of the eligibility criteria are:

  • The applicant should be the Founder or a Co-Founder of the company.
  • The applicant has African citizenship or is the child or grandchild of an African citizen.
  • The Company is Africa-Based.
  • The business is registered and headquartered in an African country, and primarily operates in Africa
  • The company is in the post-Idea stage. Business is 3 years old or more and has at least 3 years of revenue history

After you have confirmed and are ready to apply, there are five sections in the application

  • Founder Profile
  • Business Profile
  • Business Deep Dive
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Video Introduction

You can always check their application guide if you have any questions or face any trouble while filling out the application.

The winners will be announced at the End of Nov in the Summit.

Zayed Sustainability Prize

Last date to apply: June 11, 2020
Website: https://zayedsustainabilityprize.com/en/about/zayed-sustainability-prize

Zayed future energy prize was first announced in 2008 by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The program was a tribute to his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his sustainability legacy. Since 2009- the first awards ceremony over 335 million have been directly or indirectly impacted by the sustainability solutions and school projects of the 86 recipients of the Prize winners.

Anyone could participate in the Zayed future energy price except
(a) Board members and employees of Masdar
(b) Anyone who has been involved in organizing, promoting, or judging the Prize.

MIT Solve Global Challenges 2020 for Entrepreneurs

Last date to apply: June 18, 2020
Website: https://solve.mit.edu/challenges/maternal-and-newborn-health

MIT solves the global challenge and is looking for technology-based solutions. The solutions should promote the well-being of women, new mothers, and newborns anywhere in the world. 

They are seeking solutions that:

  • Increase the access to high-quality, affordable maternal and newborn care for women, new mothers, and newborns, which includes expanding the health workforce, improving service delivery and diagnostics, and lowering barriers to seeking care, including stigma.
  • Decrease the risk of disease among mothers and newborns, including by increasing vaccination rates and reducing infectious disease transmission from mother to baby;
  • Improve gynecological health for all women.
  • Support the mental and emotional health of women throughout pregnancy and after childbirth, through psychological and medical care, as well as community support.

Winners will receive a grant of $10,000 which will be funded by SOLVE. There are other prices in different categories which could be checked at https://solve.mit.edu/challenges/maternal-and-newborn-health/custom/prizes#challenge-subnav-offset

(UNECA)/Standard Bank Group African Women Leadership

Last date to apply: June 30, 2020
Website: https://www.standardbank.com/sbg/standard-bank-group/whats-happening/campaigns/african-women%27s-leadership-fun

The African women leadership fund initiative was set up by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Its aim is to create a social impact on women across the African continent.

The African leadership fund works in three phases:

  • Phase 1: AWLFI will invest in established women-owned fund management firms or in fund managers with the capability to take on segregated mandates. These Managers will operate in the listed space.
  • Phase 2: In the second round of funding, the AWLFI will look to invest in existing Private Equity Funds, thus enabling the fund to hold a combination of listed and private equity investments.
  • Phase 3: An incubation program to put new women fund managers on the map.

This fund is mainly for women entrepreneurs who are:

  • Established women fund managers in the listed or private market space who own, or partly own, an asset management firm
  • Women professionals working in existing and established firms with suitable fund management experience (experience can be as a co-fund manager) in the listed or private market space 

TWAS─Samira Omar Innovation for Sustainability Prize 2020 for Scientists from Developing Countries

Last date to apply: June 30, 2020
Website: https://twas.org/opportunity/twas-samira-omar-innovation-sustainability-award

The 2020 TWAS award will be awarded to a scientist national of an LDC, living and working in an LDC during the last two years immediately prior to her nomination, based on scientific achievements in any of the thematic areas below:

  • Clean and renewable energy
  • Green chemistry
  • Sustainable agriculture and agrobiodiversity
  • Plastic: degradation, pollution, and microplastics
  • Water purification and sanitation
  • Climate change: environmental effects, methane contribution, carbon capture
  • Transportation technologies: efficiency for smart cities
  • Waste management
  • Biodiversity: the sixth mass extinction, ecosystem services, habitat recovery and restoration
  • Ecological economics and planetary health

Check their website to know more about the application process.

The Global Fund for Children

Website: https://globalfundforchildren.org/how-to-become-a-partner/eligibility-criteria-selection-guidelines/

Things to keep in mind before applying.
The candidate should 

  • Know their community and live or work in the areas you serve

  • Aim to improve the lives of children and youth

  • Embrace discovery, learning, and getting better at what you do

  • Appreciate that you can’t make change alone and see yourself as part of a larger system

  • Address any of our thematic areas of education, freedom from violence and exploitation, gender equity, or youth empowerment

  • Have local nonprofit or charitable status and can accept international funds or have a fiscal sponsor that can

  • Protect children and youth with a safeguarding policy or agree to implement one

The Global fund for children are interested in those organizations which have the following characteristics: 

  • Your vision for change might affect all young people in your area, but you focus on children and youth who are excluded because of their race, gender, gender identity, social class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, where they live, or other factors
  • Young people have founded or lead your organization or have important roles in it
  •  You are eager to measure the outcomes and impact of your work and excited to get better at it; you have already seen positive change from the work you do
  •  You look at old problems in new ways, take smart risks, and are creative and flexible to respond to change
  • You understand the power of connections with many types of actors to make change and seek to grow your network
  • You believe young people can influence decisions affecting their lives and should raise their voices and claim their rights
  • You understand that advocacy is a powerful tool to change mindsets, norms, and policies and know what it means for you

They will not be able to support:

  • Local offices, affiliates, or projects of international organizations
  • Efforts to support or oppose candidates for public office
  • Evangelism or proselytizing, or programs that require adherence to or conversion to religious doctrine
  • Organizations that, in policy or in practice, discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation
  • Groups that conduct or support violent activities or violate criminal law

You can contact info@globalfundforchildren.org  to know more about them. 

African Women Leadership Fund 

Website: https://competitions.potential.com/awlf/

The African Women Leadership Fund (AWLF) is established by the Economic Commission for Africa. 

The aim of AWLF is to accelerate the growth of women-owned and operated funds and companies across Africa

AWLF has three programs: the Emerging Manager Seed Capital program, Fund of Funds programs, and Co-Investment programs. 

AWLF is for all those women who are:

  • Women fund managers, with a track record seeking to raise a fund
  • Women professionals working in existing funds, banks, NGOs, incubators, accelerators, multilateral, corporates and various public and private sector bodies
  • Women who have graduated with degrees in finance, business or other related areas
  • Women entrepreneurs who have a good understanding of venture-backed investments
  • Women angel investors who have had experience in investing in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or early-stage businesses.

Some Other Grants and Funds are:

Cartier Women’s Initiative 

Action Against Corona Norrsken Foundation

We-fi women entrepreneurs finance initiative

If you know any other Grant or Fund that hasn’t been mentioned here. Do let us know about them in the comments.

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