The European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) has launched a pilot initiative with the aim of fostering Africa / Europe cooperation in innovation. The Africa Europe Innovation Partnership initiative supports the creation of partnerships between tech hubs and incubators in different countries. Within the framework of the project, capacity building activities are proposed to increase knowledge of the European institutions and to support entrepreneurs and tech hubs. Finally, the project aims to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa and generate partnerships on new technologies between the EU and Africa. The main objective of the webinar is to present the existing EU funding programs which are accessible to entrepreneurs and tech hubs. A session of "questions / answers" is planned to answer all the questions that the subject could raise.The webinar focused on four main categories of EU programmes and actions:
- Horizon 2020 programme;
- European Investment Bank;
- Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid prize; and
- European development policy or EuropeAid.
For those who were not able to attend, the PPT presentation and a registration of the webinar can be found below in English. The French version can be found here.
This funding opportunity is for African start-ups and social enterprises.
For the African tech hubs, this funding scheme is a great opportunity for your portfolio start-ups to submit a proposal if they are addressing pressing social challenges in concordance with the African Union 2063 Agenda, specifically on education and health care challenges.
Seed funding value size: 100 000 USD
Eligibility Criteria: You need to be African or based in Africa to apply. You need to be a student or 35 years or below as of January 31 2020 to be eligible.
This funding opportunity is for European start-ups and SMEs.
We are pleased to share with you that the INNOWIDE 2nd Call for applications for the Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs) – is open for applications. The INNOWWIDE programme helps innovative European SMEs gain access to new international markets by funding viability assessment projects to be deployed in cooperation with local stakeholders around the world.
The population boom in West African countries is bringing more and more young people into a labor market that cannot yet absorb them. Many of these young people are now turning to entrepreneurship as a source of employment. This, however, often takes the form of subsistence and informal entrepreneurship.
Unlike growth and innovative entrepreneurship, this form of entrepreneurship is not capable of generating sustainable jobs and therefore cannot act as an engine for economic development.
Innovative entrepreneurship is proven to be a determining factor of growth: it stimulates productivity, creates jobs and helps improve citizens’ quality of life. So-called ‘growth entrepreneurs’ are the drivers behind this innovation and they contribute to their countries’ economic and social development. As Joseph Schumpeter once said, ”innovation is the driving force of economic progress, and entrepreneurs are the agents of innovation.”
Academic paper on the Introduction to supporting entrepreneurs through the lenses of academic research. Article writen by Didier Chabaud, Karim Messeghem, Sylvie Sammut and available in French language only.
After encouraging the creation of companies based on the results of public research, the challenge for public authorities is now more to grow these companies to benefit the national economy from their high potential. This article examines the role that support can play in the growth of these businesses. It draws on the analysis of ten years of operation of a public incubator, Languedoc-Roussillon Incubation, to propose avenues for action. Article is available in French language only.
Academic paper on the entrepreneur-support structure relationship through various theoretical models from management sciences
This contribution offers a modelization of the entrepreneurial accompanying relation with a focus on players'games and intersubjectivity which are constitutive elements of the accompanying relation. Critical configurations which restrict nascent entrepreneur's learning capability are described. The article is only available in French language.
Vital Capital Fund is a $350 million private equity fund that invests in opportunities which simultaneously enhance the quality of life of communities in rapidly developing nations, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, while also delivering attractive financial returns for investors.
Sectors: Urban community housing solution, Agriculture, Healthcare, Renewable Energy, Water and Education
Type of Fund & Amount
Investment ticket size of US$10-50 million
Ventures or businesses which present a strong potential for both significant positive financial returns, as well as social and/or environmental (S&E) impact
SFF is a philanthropic organization that gives opportunities and resources to people in rural Africa, allowing them to change their communities for the better.
Type of Fund & Amount
First-time grants to Grassroots Innovators and Systems Innovators range from $10,000-$30,000.
Grants are capped at $100,000 a year per partner
Only covers 20-30% of an NGO’s organization’s budget
Organizations that are more likely to be considered for a grant:
• Are small and early stage
• Have an annual budget ranging between $50,000 and $500,000
• Demonstrate at least two years of operations and successful fundraising to support such operations
• Have paid staff and a board of directors or advisory committee.
• Are legally registered as a nonprofit organization in the country of operation
The Ford Foundation is always open to new ideas, and it invites the submission of ideas through its short online form. The Foundation will review each one and be in touch within 45 days if it is interested in learning more. Before ideas are submitted, it is suggested to familiarize oneself with Ford Foundations seven program areas focused on challenging inequality: (1) Civic engagement and government; (2) Creativity and free expression; (3) Future of Work(ers); (4) Gender, racial and ethnic justice; (5) Just cities and regions; (6) Natural resources and climate change; (7) Technology and Society
Innovators, organizations, another with an innovative idea
SAB Foundation invest in entrepreneurs and social innovation, with a priority in benefiting women and youth, people in rural areas and people with disability. They focus on providing funding for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises.
The Social Innovation Awards are aimed at innovators/ /institutions/social enterprises with prototypes or early stage businesses that can solve a social problem in South Africa.
Type of Fund & Amount
Social Innovation Awards range from: R200,000 – R 1,300,000
Organizations and entrepreneurs
A global venture philanthropy organization aiming to create positive societal impact across developing and emerging countries. LGT invests philanthropic capital in social organizations and offers capacity building support to drive innovation and maximize societal return. LGT focuses on education, healthcare, energy, agriculture, and information and communication technologies. With their sector focus they also align with the UN’s SDGs.
LGT Impact invests growth capital in companies with scalable solutions to societal challenges. They focus on private equity investments in developing and emerging countries.
The Argidius Foundation is a Swiss-based charitable foundation that aims to help entrepreneurs to build profitable businesses and contribute to the sustainable development of their communities.
Their mission is to promote the growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in order to improve the lives of the poor through increased income generation.
They fund projects and organizations that:
• support business and revenue growth;
• are cost effective;
• involve innovation and reasonable risk;
• are scalable or replicable;
• reflect capable management and a sound approach;
• have social and/or environmental benefits;
• have a potential for poverty reduction;
• include robust partnerships beneficial for project implementation;
• have a sound exit strategy;
• have a potential to leverage Argidius’ funding.
GIF invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. Through grants and risk capital, it supports breakthrough solutions to global development challenges. There are three stages applicants can apply for:
Pilot: Your innovation is still in an early phase. You are testing core assumptions around operational, social and financial viability.
Test and Transition: Your innovation has completed initial testing and is now transitioning to larger scale. You have some information on your operational, social and financial viability. You want to solidify this before you scale.
Scale: Your innovation has solid operational, social and financial viability. You have strong evidence that my innovation improves the lives of those living on less than $5 PPP per day. Now you want to replicate your innovation in new countries and context, reaching millions of people.
Type of Fund & Amount
Pilot projects: The maximum per project is $230,000 USD.
Test and Transition: The maximum per project is $2.3 million, although the average investment size is smaller
Scale: The maximum per project is $15 million, although the average investment size is much smaller
Anyone may apply, including social enterprises, for- profit companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, international organizations, and researchers in any country
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries. GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and will be awarded in a manner that fits with ODA guidelines. For further information see: UK Research and Innovation: Global Challenges Research Fund.
Innovate UK has recently secured GCRF funding to extend activities initiated through the Department for International Development (DFID) funded Agri-Tech Catalyst.
The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is pleased to announce a call for GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards as a means to encourage UK research partners, including Universities and Research Technology Organisations (RTOs), to address AgriFood challenges in Africa. Up to £800k will be available to support a maximum of 20 awards, which will be committed over a series of competition rounds. The call for Round 1 is now open, with up to ten awards available. The deadline for applications is midnight Monday January 6th 2020.
The Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund (YEI Trust Fund) is a trust fund launched in November 2017 under the auspices of Jobs for Youth in Africa, a Bank initiative in line with the Bank's High 5 priorities.
The YEI Trust Fund is intended to help implement the goals of the Jobs for Youth in Africa initiative, which are to create 25 million jobs and equip 50 million young men and women of working age with the skills they need to help them join the formal sector, by 2025.
The Fund, which is managed by the Agriculture, Human and Social Development division in the Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department, received an initial contribution from Denmark and Norway in 2017. Today, the Fund has reached nearly USD 40 million and welcomed the Governments of Sweden, The Netherlands and Italy as additional donors to its pool of donors.
The new programme is to improve the capacity of research and innovation stakeholders, policy development and knowledge transfer. The ultimate goal of the programme is to have a structuring effect on the innovation-ecosystems and capabilities of ACP countries. Grants will be awarded to projects advancing solutions in the areas of: digital literacy and emerging technologies, skills development, synergies in the innovation ecosystem, technology transfer, research uptake, local and indigenous knowledge.
The aim is to foster coordination between actions taken in Africa and the EU to implement the recommendations of the EU-AU task force on digital economy, in particular in the area of research and innovation, through support to, engagement with, and monitoring of ICT-related activities and organisation of events in a critical mass of African countries.
To reinforce cooperation and strategic partnership with selected countries in Africa to support the strengthening of existing digital innovation hubs (DIHs) in Africa and to facilitate the collaboration between EU and African DIHs in order to strengthen a common EU-Africa innovation and start-up ecosystem
19 November 2019 - 22 April 2020
Type of fund & Amount
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around EUR 1 million for a duration of three years would allow this area to be addressed appropriately.
Proposals should be submitted by a partnership complementing each other with a particular focus on the participation of relevant Member States or associated countries digital Innovation/tech Hubs, as well as African digital Innovation/tech Hubs. Due to the specific challenge of this topic, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, proposals shall include at least one participant from a low or middle income country in Africa.
Capacity-building projects in the field of higher education are transnational cooperation projects, based on multilateral partnerships, primarily between higher education institutions from Programme and eligible Partner Countries. Erasmus+ provides the opportunity for organisations from eligible Partner Countries, mainly higher education institutions (HEIs), to promote cooperation through actions that: -improve the quality of higher education and its alignment with labour market needs, -improve the level of skills in HEIs through new education programmes, -strengthen the capacity of management, governance, and innovation, as well as internationalisation, -build the capacity of national authorities to modernise their own higher education systems, and -foster regional integration and cooperation across different regions of the world.
5 November 2019 - 05/02/20
Type of Fund & Amount
The level of grants awarded as well as the duration of projects vary depending on factors such as the type of project and the number of partners involved.
Any public or private body active in the fields of education, training, youth and sport may apply for funding within the Erasmus+ Programme. In addition, groups of young people who are active in youth work, but not necessarily in the context of a youth organisation, may apply for funding for learning mobility of young people and youth workers as well as for Strategic partnerships in the field of youth.
INNOWWIDE – Viability assessment of collaborative and INNOvative business solutions in WorldWIDE markets, is a Horizon 2020 project that aims to fund at least 120 European innovative SMEs and start-ups to conduct Viability Assessment Projects (VAPs) in markets outside of Europe. INNOWIDE will implement two calls with a total budget of 7,2M€, and is expected to fund 120 VAPs (60.000 €/VAP). The calls will target markets of developing countries, large emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, etc.) and developed countries. The VAPs will be selected through a competitive selection procedure
The first call has already closed. Waiting for the launch of the second call.
Type of Fund & Amount
The INNOWWIDE financial support rate is fixed at 70% of eligible costs with a fixed grant of €60,000 Euros for each assessment project.
For-profit innovative SMEs, including young companies and start-ups, from any sector looking to compete and start business in new and emerging markets around the world. You must be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associated country. The project must specify a partner entity (subcontractor) from the VAP focus country or countries
Short-term exchanges of research and business staff - Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) 2020
The RISE scheme promotes international and inter-sectoral collaboration through research and innovation staff exchanges, and through sharing of knowledge and ideas from academia to industry (and vice-versa). The purpose is to strengthen existing and build new networks of international and/or inter-sectoral cooperation and foster a shared culture of research and innovation that welcomes and rewards creativity and entrepreneurship and helps to turn creative ideas into innovative products, services or processes. Researchers and innovators from universities, research institutions, enterprises and non-profit organizations from Africa can team up with European partners in the calls for proposals published by the European Commission (EC) under its Research and Innovation programme 'Horizon 2020' (2014-2020).
6 December, 2019 - April 28, 2020
Type of Fund and Amount
Funding to cover salary for exchanges
Researchers and innovators from universities, research institutions, enterprises and non-profit organizations from Africa can team up with European partners in the calls for proposals published by the European Commission (EC) under its Research and Innovation programme 'Horizon 2020' (2014-2020).
Handbook on European Funding Opportunities for African start-ups & entrepreneurs. Capacity upgrading module 1 developed in the framework of the “Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership”
This booklet has been developed in the framework of the capacity upgrading activities delivered as part of the “Support to EU-Africa Innovation Cooperation” project financed by the European Commission. The project intends to connect the technology and innovation ecosystems in Africa and Europe in order to align disruptive innovation creating better opportunities of growth and scale-up for entrepreneurial ecosystems on both continents.
A number of capacity upgrading sessions are developed as part of the project in light of enhancing the abilities of the African start-up and entrepreneurial eco-system to engage in collaborative activities with their EU counterparts. Capacity upgrading activities are also meant to strengthen the African innovation eco-systems on the basis of mutual exchange and learning with European counterparts. The first training module specifically looks at the landscape of EU funding opportunities specifically designed to support the strengthening of African incubators/accelerators, start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Evaluation of the EU Support to Research and Innovation for Development in Partner Countries (2007-2013)
This evaluation examined the support the European Commission’s DG for Development and International Cooperation (DEVCO) provided to Research and Innovation (R&I) in partner countries during the last EU budget period (2007-2013). During these years DEVCO did not have an explicit policy document to support R&I and yet the study identified programmes worth over EUR 1 billion that included some aspect of R&I work. The evaluation looked at four specific sectors and found that within these sectors there was considerable interest in R&I and that such elements were often included in support programmes under each one.
At its fourth edition, this report provides an analysis of recent development in the African banking sectors and specific structural topics of relevance. It combines in house research with contribution from leading market experts from commercial banks operating in the region, IFIs and other institutions.
The Africa Investment Facility (AfIF), set-up in 2015, is the newest of the EU’s regional blending facilities. The blending facilities are innovative financial instruments that use EU development grants to leverage additional funding from European and regional development financial institutions and the private sector. They help implement key infrastructure and private sector support projects that are critical to sustainable development in partner countries worldwide.
AfIF, which is funded mainly from different programmes under the European Development Fund (EDF), but also under the EU's Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), provides various kinds of grant funding for development projects:
To be able to apply to a European program, your project must be organised and carried out with partners. Once you have identified a certain number of potentially interesting partners, it is useful to have various exchanges by telephone to introduce your organisation and present your project in order to help you find the most receptive partners.
Throughout these early exchanges, you will want to gather as much information as possible: size of organisation, contact person who would be appointed project manager, technical expertise, motivation of your contact, etc...
To help you to make your final choice, create a partner profile for each organisation contacted. In a second step, you will forward your project outline to the most interested potential partners and the most strategic for your organisation, whilst explaining the role of coordinator and partner.
All professional organisations of the public, voluntary, and private sectors are eligible for a European grant. As a start-up, there are several suitable European funding programmes. Setting up a specific approach and taking the time to analyse the calls precisely will help you identify the right opportunity and verify your organisation's eligibility.
Before submitting a financial application to Community institutions, you must be in a position to design a well-structured pre-project.
Designing a « project sheet » shall help you to:
The report details the Facility’s operational activities in 2016 and provides a comprehensive overview of the 16 projects funded. In 2016, AfIF provided a total of over 288 million in contributions to important infrastructure projects across Africa.
Validation LEAR appointment form:
This document will be automatically generated by the Participant Register once all the information required for the LEAR appointment will have been filled in. You should print it on the organisation’s letter headed paper, have it signed by the legal representative and the LEAR and then upload it in the Participant
Validation LEAR appointment form:
This document should be printed on the organisation’s letter-headed paper, signed by the legal representative and uploaded in the Participant Register with the financial documents. Originals should be kept on file for controls.
Validation LEAR appointment form:
This document will be automatically generated by the Participant Register once all the information required for the LEAR appointment will have been filled in
This document is aimed at informing potential applicants for Horizon 2020 funding. It serves only as an example. The actual Web forms and templates, provided in the online proposal submission system under the Participant Portal, might differ from this example.
Project Reporting template:
This document is aimed at informing potential applicants for Horizon 2020 funding. It serves only as an example. The actual Web forms and templates, provided in the online reporting system under the Participant Portal, might differ from this example. Periodic and final reports must be prepared and submitted via the online reporting system under the Participant Portal.
Grant agreement preparation template:
To be downloaded and filled by the linked third party.
This document throws more light on the 3 priorities of the H2020 programme related to Excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges.
Provides information on Sections III.5, III.6, IV.1 & IV.2 on how to submit a proposal; admissibility and eligibility checks; evaluation of proposals and operational capacity check; Grant Preparation.
ERC rules for submission & Evaluation
Guidance on List of issues applicable to particular countries including the country, type of issue, and response to the issue
The AGA — Annotated Model Grant Agreement is a user guide that aims to explain to applicants and beneficiaries the General Model Grant Agreement (General MGA) and the different specific Model Grant Agreements (‘Specific MGAs’) for the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for 2014-2020 (H2020)
Toolkit for Business Incubators in developing countries and training materials consisting of the following modules:
- Business Incubation Definitions and Principles
- Planning an Incubator
- Marketing and Stakeholder Management
- Financing an Incubator
- Managing the Incubator
- Monitoring, Evaluation and Benchmarking
- Implementing a Mentoring Program
- Deals and Financing for the Incubator Clients
- Technology Commercialization Through Incubation
- Setting up Virtual Services
- Agribusiness Incubation
Analysis of the business incubator and their ecosystem.
Report concerning promotion of best practices for business incubators in growing new businesses. In particular, the report analyses which activities and services are of most added-value to startups.
One of the main deliverable of the Cleantech Incubation Europe (CIE) INTERREG IVC project is this handbook aiming to share best practices from the incubation of cleantech start-ups across Europe to foster entrepreneurship and the green economy.