Now that you already understand what kind of business you are passionate about, you have also done your business plan, market research, swot analysis e.t.c its time to put in some money into your new venture. It is important to note that without you putting in some funds it would be totally impossible for you to get money from anywhere. Nobody anywhere would give you funds to grow your ideas without you not having invested any amount in the venture.

The first person to believe in your ideas should be the closest person to you and it might include your spouse, immediate family, friends, and relatives.


Below you would find sources where you can raise funding for your business in Africa.

Friends and Families

You can always raise seed funding from your friends and families as you progress into building your business. They are by far the closest people to you and it would be easier for you to convince them about your business and what you hope to achieve. Bear in mind that all debts must be paid back if they are lending you and do not confuse family with business. Remember the business of business is business so it would be important you keep up with the promises you make before collecting the funds. If your family easily trust you with funds, it would be easy for  them to lend you as well as for outsiders to do the same.

Financial institutions

You can always approach a financial institution to help with seed funding for your business. If you are a member of a corporative society or a thrift society you can access funding through this source. You can also walk up to a bank, microfinance bank, online fin-tech company to seek funds depending on the kind of services they offer tailored to your needs. Banks can offer loans to businesses and start-ups which usually incur charges and interests over the period of the loan. In addition, monthly repayments of the loan are required when a loan is taken. Monthly repayments and interest repayment could be a difficulty for start-ups without a steady revenue or profit.

When considering the loan option for funding, start-ups should consider the percentage interest offered and also proposed repayments.

You have to make sure your monthly profits can cover monthly repayments. Shop around to get the best offer you can.


Grants are non-repayable funds or products disbursed by one party (grant makers), often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, to a recipient, often (but not always) a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual. You can always apply to receive grants from the government of your country or any recognizable organization in your country. You must have a good business justification and a sound business plan to be able to easily access grants.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur Program

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program is the flagship entrepreneurship program of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, founded by the entrepreneur, respected investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu. The pan-African program is inspired by the Founder’s: Inclusive economic philosophy of Africapitalism, based on the belief that a vibrant African-led private sector is the key to unlocking Africa’s economic and social potential, commitment to drive African economic growth through the fostering of African entrepreneurship, mission to institutionalize luck and create an environment where home-grown pan-African companies in various sectors can flourish.

The recently launched $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) is an annual program of training, funding and mentoring, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

The fund expects that the 10,000 start-ups and young businesses selected from across Africa will ultimately create one million new jobs and add $10 billion in annual revenues to Africa’s economy in the coming years. Successful stories from the 1st stream have emerged and a lot of business are already doing great things including ours. The fund currently in its second stream already funded over 1000 businesses across Africa which we are one of the beneficiaries.

Seedstars Africa

An internationally based swiss venture that has actively been involved in the progress of companies based in Africa. 2016 marked the year where Seedstars traveled virtually all countries in Africa to organize pitch events to discover new talents around Africa for their final pitching event in Switzerland for a $500,000 grand price. Seedstars has partnered with major African ventures and tech hubs to help identify the best of all talents and business on the continent.

Seedstars global body promote, connect and invests up to $1 in emerging market startup through its exclusive startup competition in over 65 countries.Through Seedstars World, its popular, highly competitive and exclusive startup competition for startups in emerging markets, the company is able to identify promising companies to support with capital and technical help.

Seedstars recently invested $330,000 in SimplePay, a young Nigerian third-party payment processing company that has created a solution which will likely disrupt payment services in Nigeria and Africa. In 2015 South African won the global Seedstars competition.

Echo VC

Echo VC partners is an experienced seed & early stage technology focused venture capital fund focused on financing and cross-pollinating leading technologies, terms and business models in sub-Saharan Africa, North America and Southeast Asia.

As stage-agnostic investors with a combined network of local and global connections, we bring a disruptive approach to investing at the technology intersection of consumer, media, data, & devices and leverage knowledge transfer from Silicon Valley as a driver to seed growth across borders.

Echo Vc Mission is to

  • Seed and Syndicate Africa’s Entrepreneurial Inspiration
  • Identify, Mentor and Invest in World-Class Teams – Connecting Dots & Lines
  • Impact (Earth-Mover) Outcomes: Infrastructure, Lubricants, Glue, Content, Commerce, Services, Digital Media, Economic Lift
  • Networking Cross-Border Knowledge and Mentorship


Grofin is a pioneering development financier specializing in financing and supporting small and growing businesses (SGBs) across Africa and the Middle East. It combines patient capital and specialized business support to grow emerging market enterprises. By generating employment, strengthening value chains and building markets, Its investments bring about inclusive growth and improved living conditions in low and middle-income countries. Till date, GroFin operations has added $469M to local economies, 62,450 jobs sustained, 825 SME transactions and $500M in funding commitments.

African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF)

The AWDF is the first pan-African women’s grantmaking foundation that supports local, national and regional women organizations working towards the empowerment of African women and the promotion and realization of their rights. Since the start of its operations in 2001, AWDF has provided $17 million in grants to 800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries.

The AWF is not affiliated with any regional, government or international agency, it’s an autonomous initiative set up by three African women actively working on social justice and women right issues. Most funding is disbursed as a grant since it was launched in 2001, AWDF has provided grants up to $26.2M to different women group till date.

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 organizational capacities of its grantees.

The AWDF only awards grants to organizations, not individuals and makes grants in three cycles each year. Applicants can always send in their request for grants any time of the year.  It awards grants ranging from $8,000 up to $50,000.

Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm. That create opportunities for people to improve their lives by investing in market-based efforts that catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar invest in entrepreneurs who are developing innovative solutions that enable meaningful peer-to-peer interaction, provide efficient access to life-enhancing products and services and facilitate the availability and exchange of trustworthy information.

Some of the startups that the company has invested in include Andela which trains software developers in Africa; mobile money transfer service, Zoona which operates primarily in Zambia and caters for unbanked and low-income consumers, an hotel booking platform as well as online marketplace Giraffe, that uses mobile technology to connect medium-skilled workers to job opportunities.

From inception until the end of the first quarter of 2016 Omidyar Network has committed more than $84 million to Africa. From that total, more than $44 million has been committed to 45 nonprofit organizations, through 67 grants; and more than $40 million has been invested in 15 for-profit companies, through 28 investments.

Out of these investments, 38 percent were made through our Governance and Citizen Engagement initiative, 25 percent through our Education initiative, and 19 percent through our Financial Inclusion initiative.


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 mission is to support the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia. The also aim to create jobs and make a lasting difference in people’s life in some of the world’s poorest places.

CDC actively supports businesses throughout Africa and South Asia, and its portfolio of investments is valued at over £2.5bn (year end 2013). CDC’s portfolio of investments is valued at £3.4bn (year end 2014) and includes 1,331 investee businesses. Last year these companies together employed over 1,100,000 people and paid £1.5bn in local taxes.

In November 2016, CDC announced a US$50m investment into AIG(Africa Internet Group) which origin began in Lagos Nigeria.

Sawari ventures

Sawari Ventures is an international venture capital firm that invests in people turning visionary ideas into market-leading companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Sawari believes in the transformative power of entrepreneurial thinking that innovation can spark curiosity, speak to personal passions and inspire new markets.

Sawari Venture’s earlier venture capital fund has made nine investments in Egypt since 2011, while Accelerator, its investment management subsidiary, have funded 75 start-ups, totaling around $10 million.

African Development Foundation (ADF)

The overarching objective of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction.

The Bank Group achieves this objective by:

Mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs; and Providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.

At the end of 2015, the Bank had made USD 112 billion of loans and grants since 1967, through some 4370 operations. In 2015, it disbursed some USD 8.8 billion in 240 operations.


88mph is a Seed Fund and Accelerator that started in 2011 and currently operates out of hubs in Nairobi (Kenya), Cape Town (South Africa), and Lagos (Nigeria).

88mph funds only tech companies, with a particular emphasis on web and mobile products and services. It currently has more than $1.5 million in funds for investment in African tech startups and has not made investment since the end of 2014. You can subscribe to their blog and you can receive funding as soon as the commence investing again.

Investment AB Kinnevik

Kinnevik AB is a Swedish investment company that was founded in 1936 by the Stenbeck, Klingspor and von Horn families. Kinnevik is an active and long-term owner and its investments are made primarily in technology-based services aimed at consumers. Kinnevik holds significant stakes in about 30 companies operating across five continents in more than 80 countries, with a particular focus on growth markets. The largest holdings are Zalando, Millicom, Tele2, Rocket Internet, Global Fashion Group and MTG.

It invests and focuses on entrepreneurs and businesses in the following business segments: Communications, E-commerce & Marketplaces, Entertainment and Financial Services & Others. Investment AB Kinne Vik has invested in several businesses around Africa including, deal day and

Fusion Capital

Fusion Capital is a Real Estate Developer and Private Equity Firm designed around the needs of local businesses in the emerging economies of East and Central Africa with presence in Nairobi, Kigali, Kampala and Dar es Salaam.

Fusion capital is focused on the opportunities of the East African marketplace, with plans to expand to the great lakes region and beyond. In its first real estate investment in Rwanda, fusion capital financed the construction of a $34 million shopping complex by Kigali Heights, a local real estate developer.

Jacana Partners

UK-based pan-African private equity company Jacana Partners merged with Kenya-based InReturn Capital. Under the new brand ‘Jacana Partners’ a $75 million private equity fund is launched, targeting entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in West and East Africa. Both Jacana Partners’ CEO Simon Merchant and Ezra Musoke of (former) InReturn Capital are Investor Members of VC4Africa, the biggest online community connecting African entrepreneurs and investors.

Jacana Partners have invested over $20 million in 20 portfolio companies in East and West Africa. So far, the companies have created over 1,300 jobs.”

Adlevo capital

A Mauritius-based private equity fund manager, Adlevo Capital was founded on the belief that meaningful development in sub-Saharan Africa will be driven by the application of technology to business processes across all sectors. Adlevo makes equity and equity-linked investments in rapidly growing private companies in various stages of development. These companies derive their competitive advantage from the development and exploitation of technology or technology-driven processes. Adlevo has invested in Paga, Interswitch and Solo Phones.


Funding is the lifeblood of every business and like blood flowing in a healthy body, pumping funds into a business , gives it a real chance of turning it into a success. Sourcing for funding, investment, and cash flow are the major challenges start-ups face at their inception. This article has presented you with a variety of practical avenues to source for funds and investments for your business. These listed investment options are by no means all options available for start-ups or businesses. There are other viable options out there.