(1) Acumen Fund
Acumen is a charity organisation incorporated in 2001 with seed capital from
the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and three individual
philanthropists. The Acumen Fund invests in entrepreneurs who have the
capability to bring sustainable solutions to big problems.
In May 2014, The Acumen Fund co-invested $1.5 million in Esoko Networks
Limited (“Esoko”), a Ghanaian-built technology platform that connects African farmers to markets via mobile phones.
In October 2014, Acumen announced a $1.4 million investment in SolarNow, a company that sells and finances solar home systems in Uganda.
Acumen is always looking for entrepreneurs who have new and innovative
models for tackling poverty and who also meet their investment criteria.
To qualify for investment, entrepreneurs must be located in, or have significant operation or impact in East Africa, West Africa, India, Pakistan or Latin America.
+233 030 298 4098 (West Africa)
+254 736 073036 (East Africa)
To Apply for investment, follow this link:
(2) Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund is a US$ 207m fund capitalized by
multilateral and bilateral donors (the AECF donors) to stimulate private sector entrepreneurs in Africa.
The AECF is supported by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The Fund awards grants and repayable grants to private sector companies to
support innovative business ideas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable
energy, adaptation to climate change and access to information and financial
The AECF makes its funding available through competitions. Private sector
companies are invited to compete for AECF funds by submitting their new and innovative business ideas to a particular AECF competition. The best ideas are awarded up to US$1.5m in grants and interest free loans.
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
10th Floor, ABC Towers, ABC Place
Waiyaki Way, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 269 9137/8/9
To apply for investment.
(3) Africa Media Ventures Fund
AMVF mobilizes capital and experience in the Netherlands to invest in
entrepreneurs in the media sector and small and medium-sized African media
companies. It offers a combination of venture capital and business development support, involving knowledge, experience, access to proven business concepts and network.
AMVF’s capital investment ranges from $20,000 to $200,000. Its investors are experienced media entrepreneurs with a passion for Africa who are involved in the management of the portfolio companies through visits and board membership.
AMVF focuses on businesses that are active in the media and information
sector using mobile and/or online applications to provide content or services
to consumers or businesses. Its target sectors include: Travel & Leisure, Entertainment, Jobs, Parenting, Automobile, Real Estate, Food and Shopping. The business must be located in Sub-Saharan Africa, preferably in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania or Ghana.
(4) African Development Foundation
The African Development Foundation (ADF) is an independent Federal agency of the United States government that was established to support African-led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support.
USADF connects community enterprises with capital and technical support. It helps organizations and businesses in Africa to create and sustain jobs,
improve income levels, achieve greater food security, and address human
development needs. In 2014 alone, the USADF gave out 336 grants worth over $50 million and impacted over 1.3 million people in Africa.
The USADF focuses on Small holder Farmers, youths, women and girls, and
recovering communities. It provides grants of up to $250,000 directly to hard
to reach and underserved community enterprises that are ready to do their
1400 Street NW, Suite 1000,
Washington. D.C. 20005-2248, USA
P: 202-673-3916 | Tel: 202.673.3810
Tel: +254 20 269 9137/8/9
(5) African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF)
The AWDF is the first pan-African women’s grant maker in Africa. Since the
start of its operations in 2001, AWDF has provided US$17 million in grants to
800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries.
The AWDF is an institutional capacity-building and programme development
fund, which aims to help build a culture of learning and partnerships within the African women’s movement. In addition to raising money and awarding grants, the AWDF will attempt to strengthen the organisational capacities of its grantees.
The AWDF only funds local, national, sub-regional and regional organisations in Africa working towards women’s empowerment in six thematic areas:
Women’s Human Rights, Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods,
Governance, Peace and Security, Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV/AIDS,
Arts, Culture and Sports. The AWDF only awards grants to organisations, not individuals. It awards grants ranging from $8,000 up to $50,000.
Office: Plot 78 Ambassadorial Enclave, East Legon, Ghana
Email: AWDF@awdf.org or email@example.com
Tel: + 233 302 521257
Fax: +233 302 521257
Agri-Vie is a private equity investment fund focused on food and agribusiness
in Sub-Sahara Africa. Since it started in 2008, it has invested over $100m in
Africa’s food and agribusiness sector.
Its investments in Africa include: Dew Crisp (South Africa), Africa Juice
(Ethiopia), Fairfield Dairy (South Africa), New Forests Company (Tanzania),
Hygrotech (South Africa), Kariki Group (Kenya) and Vida Oils (Mozambique). Agri-Vie focuses on the following areas: food and beverages , convenience foods (including fresh-packed and prepared foods), protein products including poultry, aquaculture and beef; value-added dairy products, including yoghurts, desserts, cultured milk; health & wellness products; forestry and timber products; agricultural inputs including seeds, bio-friendly fertilisers and crop- protection; food logistics – cold chain, warehousing, distribution; and renewable energy.
Tel +27 (0)21 913 5662
Fax +27 (0)21 913 8954
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
(7) Bamboo Finance
Bamboo Finance is a commercial private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in emerging markets. It has offices in Luxembourg, Geneva, Bogota, Nairobi and Singapore. Launched in 2007, the firm seeks to demonstrate that private capital can be profitably deployed as a tool for effective change around the world. To date, Bamboo Finance manages about $250 million; representing two global funds and a combined portfolio of 46 investments operating in 30 emerging market countries.
Bamboo finance usually invests in businesses that satisfy the following
conditions: The business must provide essential goods and/or services affordably to low income communities unreached (or underserved) by existing businesses. The usage of its products/services should result in improvements in quality of life and/or efficiencies that translate into increased income or reduced expenses?
Tel: +41 22 544 2070 (Switzerland)
Founded in 1924, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a charity organisation based in the United Kingdom and manages over £3 billion on behalf of charities worldwide.
Through CAF Venturesome, the social investment arm of the organisation, it
provides affordable financial support to charities, social enterprises and
community groups when grants may not be available and access to traditional
financial institutions is difficult.
CAF Venturesome offers financial support of between £25,000 and £250,000
(or up to £350,000 in certain circumstances) to help with specific challenges
faced by entrepreneurs, organisations and businesses. This support usually
comes in the form of unsecured loans, underwriting and equity-like investment to organisations.
CAF is interested in businesses and organisations that have a clear charitable
purpose and social impact.
Founded in 1948, CDC is the UK’s Development Finance Institution (DFI) wholly owned by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). It is the world’s oldest DFI with a history of making successful investments in businesses which have become industry leaders.
CDC actively supports businesses throughout Africa and South Asia, and its
portfolio of investments is valued at over £2.5bn (year end 2013).
In November 2013, CDC announced a US$18.1m investment into Feronia, an
agricultural production and processing business focused on palm oil
plantations and arable farming in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The CDC equity investments team typically looks to invest in established
businesses with revenues of $10m+ and a track-record of profitability. CDC will consider start-ups or green-field projects only where there is a strong sponsor (individual or company) who will co-invest alongside CDC and has a strong track-record and delivery capability.
Its main focus areas are: Infrastructure (especially power), Manufacturing,
Health, Education, Food-processing and Construction.
(10) Echo VC Partners
Echo VC Partners is a seed and early stage venture capital firm that is focused
on financing and cross-pollinating leading technologies, teams, business
models and knowledge across North America, Africa and South-East Asia.
In Africa and SE Asia, the firm focuses on the underserved seed/early-stage
venture and growth capital technology investment opportunities.
Echo VC Partners focus on the following sectors for investment: Consumer
Internet and Services, SmartGraph and SmartData, Mobile, Digital Media,
Content and Advertising, E/M-commerce, Software, Tech-enabled Services and Enterprise Infrastructure.
Average investment size ranges from $25,000 to several million dollars
depending on the stage of opportunity and capital needs of the business.
(11) Echoing Green
Since its founding in 1987 by the leadership and investment of the leading
global growth equity firm, General Atlantic, Echoing Green has provided more than 600 social entrepreneurs working in sixty countries with $36 million in start-up funding, customized support services, and access to a global network. These social innovators have gone on to launch, and now lead, some of today’s most important social enterprises throughout the world.
Echoing Green is interested in supporting social entrepreneurs with
breakthrough ideas to address stubborn and deeply-entrenched problems in
Founded in 1997, Endeavor is a non-profit organization dedicated to High-
Impact Entrepreneurship; identifying and supporting the continued growth of a select group of entrepreneurs in emerging market countries (like in Africa). Investment focus Endeavor selects and supports extraordinary emerging-market entrepreneurs who have the potential to transform industries, communities, and even countries. It selects individuals of all ages, ethnicities and educational backgrounds, delivering a meritocratic message to the developing world: that through hard work, creativity and values-driven leadership, individuals living anywhere, from any background, can turn an entrepreneurial idea into a world-class venture.
Endeavor screens thousands of entrepreneurs each year and selects those with exceptional, high-impact potential. Through a rigorous, multi-step selection process (12-18 months), candidates pass a series of local and regional interviews before presenting to panelists from its global business network at International Selection Panels held four to five times each year.
(13) eVA Fund
The eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) was launched in January 2010 and is
dedicated to mobilising capital and experience in the Netherlands/Europe to
invest in small and medium-sized African internet related companies.
eVA Fund exclusively provides funding to startups in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of its investments include: Nomanini, Verviant, Umuntu Media, and MoboFree.
The eVA Fund focuses on and invests only in companies that use technology
within Africa to build world-class platforms that deliver local content for Africa. This includes startup businesses in the following areas: internet and/or mobile applications, platforms, e-commerce and solution-providers (i.e. not in infrastructure and hardware).
(14) Fanisi Venture Capital Fund
Fanisi Venture Capital Fund is a $50M fund which makes direct investments
(private equity and venture capital) in businesses with potential for substantial growth. Fanisi Capital was founded in 2009 by the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) and Amani Capital Limited. Some of its investments in Africa include: Hillcrest International Schools (Kenya), Sophar Pharmaceuticals (Rwanda), Ngare Narok Meat Industries (Kenya) and Haltons Pharmacy (Kenya) among others.
The Fund focuses on a segment of the market that has to date been outside
the reach of most venture capital funds in the East African market (Kenya,
Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda). Fanisi makes direct investments in high growth businesses across diverse industry sectors with emphasis on: Agri-Business, Healthcare, Energy & Natural Resources Services, Retail & Consumer and Education. It focuses principally on companies that are post-revenue with profits or are on a clear path towards profits.
(15) FMO Entrepreneurial Development
Bank FMO is the Dutch development bank that finances entrepreneurs, companies, and projects from developing and emerging markets. Founded in 1970, FMO is a public-private partnership, with 51% of its shares held by the Dutch government, and 49% held by commercial banks, trade unions and other private-sector representatives.
FMO has funded several projects across Africa. It supports entrepreneurs,
companies and projects with equity, loans and guarantees; capital market
transactions; mezzanine and other tailor-made solutions; and long-term and
short-term project financing.
FMO provides support to sectors that it believes can have the highest long-
term impact. These include: Financial Institutions, Energy and Agribusiness,
and Food & Water.
(16) Ford Foundation
Established in 1936, The Ford Foundation provides grants to organizations in
the United States, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Since its
founding, the Ford Foundation has distributed more than $16.3 billion in grants worldwide. The Foundation receives more than 40,000 proposals annually and makes over 1,400 grants. The Foundation’s assets are valued at more than $10.3 billion.
The Ford Foundation’s grants focus on initiatives aimed at reducing poverty
and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge, creativity and achievement.
The Foundation makes a very limited number of grants to individuals, generally restricted to fellowships for advanced study.