Kenya unveils business acceleration program Startup Savanna for early-stage entrepreneurs

KENYA – The government of Kenya through the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, has launched Start-up Savanna, an international business acceleration program that will link Kenyan startups to global angel investor and business support resource networks.  The program opens a platform where local startups can be facilitated to access a global network of events, accelerators and incubators, mentors, investors, and corporate partners which in the end will attract much-needed technical expertise and funds to enable them to scale their operations within and beyond Kenya. Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary for…

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Energy start-ups from Rwanda and Zambia secure funding from an impact investor Opens-LCEF

ZAMBIA – Rwanda’s Munyax Eco and Zambia’s WidEnergy have secured investment from female-focused fund Opens-LCEF, an impact investor that provides catalytic capital to early-stage social enterprises in  emerging markets. Open-LCEF has a portfolio of 17 investments across 11 countries, seven of which operate in East Africa, and has established the Restart East Africa initiative to address the issue of female underrepresentation in the renewable energy sector. Supported by the DOEN Foundation and the Good Energies Foundation, Restart East Africa supports innovative impact organisations which have been impacted by COVID-19 or…

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ASIP Accelerator picks two iconic women to its advisory board to help scale Africa’s best startups

AFRICA – Telecel Group’s Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator powered by Startupbootcamp AfriTech has announced the creation of an industry advisory board to attract highly regarded executives with a passion for supporting African startups.  The founding members of the board are two accomplished female leaders who bring 55 years of combined experience – Eleanor Azar and Dale Mathias have been appointed as Director and Advisor to the Board respectively. ASIP offers several programs to support earlier stage African startups whose innovative ideas are making a profound difference in their…

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Kenyan start-ups lead their peers in Africa with record funding – Disrupt Africa

KENYA – The entrepreneurial spirit amongst the Kenyan start-ups has manifested itself  going by the large funding rounds from international investors and institutions they have attracted. Between 2015 and 2020, for example, investments in the country increased to US$241 millionSh26 billion from US$193 million, representing a 27.3 percent of the continent’s total investment. Nigeria came second with US$151 million followed by South Africa US$144 million, Egypt US$143 million, Ghana US$20.4 million and Morocco at US$10.2 million. “This is the largest amount of funding ever achieved by a single country. The…

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Japan’s NINJA Accelerator in Kenya picks 5 startups for its first cohort

KENYA – Five Kenyan startups have been picked by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other partners to receive customised international mentoring, expertise, coaching, and investor relations in readiness for a Demo Day. The “NINJA Accelerator in Kenya”, powered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in partnership with Double Feather Partners (DFP), Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support (DTVS), Deloitte Tohmatsu Financial Advisory (DTFA) and GrowthAfrica, has selected the five high-potential Kenyan ventures for its first cohort that takes place over the course of three months with a Demo Day scheduled…

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Investment firm Goodwell unveils US$60m fund to support high growth SMEs in Africa

AFRICA – Amsterdam-based investment firm Goodwell, which has investments in Copia, MFS Africa, Good Nature Agro, Tomato Jos, and Nomanini has launched a US$60 million investment fund for entrepreneurs in Africa. Dubbed Goodwell V, the fund will channel capital from private investors, family offices and foundations to fast-growing, scalable small and medium-sized companies and is expected to launch in the second half of 2021. According to Goodwell Director of Communications Nico Blaauw: “We are convinced that businesses led by local entrepreneurs are the key drivers of inclusive growth in Africa. Therefore, the…

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Kenya-based Savannah Fund launches US$25m Africa tech seed fund

KENYA – Seed capital fund Savannah Fund, has announced a US$25 million fund that will invest in early-stage startups across Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and disruptive companies in high-growth sectors.  Savannah Fund is one of the earliest Sub-Saharan Africa-focused tech venture capital firms, starting its investment activities in 2012 when it launched its first accelerator programme in Kenya.   In 2016 and led by Mbwana Alliy and Paul Bragie, it transitioned completely to seed and Series A investments, and has to date invested in 31 companies across…

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Proparco, Digital Africa launch support fund for African start-ups impacted by Covid-19

AFRICA – Proparco, a French private investor, has partnered with Digital Africa, a multi-platform documentary project, to launch Bridge Fund, their support fund for African start-ups impacted in their development by Covid-19. The Bridge Fund is a co-investment worth €5 million (US$5.9m). It was designed to meet the financing needs of African start-ups whose economic impacts have caused the cancellation or delay in fundraising. To be eligible for the Bridge Fund, candidate innovative tech companies will have to prove that they have been in existence for at least 18 months…

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