International funding opportunities for African Entrepreneurs

by Sylvie Tamanda

Entrepreneurship is a critical driver of economic growth and development, particularly in emerging markets such as Africa. However, access to funding is often a major challenge for African entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses. Fortunately, there are a variety of international funding opportunities available to support African entrepreneurs. In this article, we will highlight some of the most promising global funding programs and initiatives that African entrepreneurial projects, like your business, can consider applying for. Whether you are seeking seed capital to launch a new venture or funding to scale an existing business, there are numerous resources to help you succeed. So, let’s dive in and explore the possibilities!

Here are some international funding opportunities that African entrepreneurial projects like Your business’s, can consider applying for:

  1. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme: This initiative provides seed capital, training, mentoring, and networking opportunities to African entrepreneurs. It accepts applications annually from various sectors, including bakery and food processing. Click here The Tony Elumelu Foundation – Empowering African Entrepreneurs

  1. African Development Foundation (ADF): ADF offers grants and capacity-building support to African entrepreneurs through its Enterprise Expansion Programme. This funding is geared towards small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and can be utilised for business expansion and equipment purchases. Click here


  1. The United States African Development Foundation (USADF): USADF provides funding through its grant programmes, specifically designed to support African entrepreneurs. The organisation supports various sectors, including agriculture and agribusiness, which can include bakery businesses. Click here


  1. African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF): AWDF provides grants to women-led businesses across Africa. Your business’s, being a woman owned business, can explore funding opportunities through AWDF’s grant programmes, which aim to promote economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Click here

  1. The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity: This fund focuses on improving financial inclusion and agricultural productivity in rural areas. Although not specific to bakery businesses, Your business’s could potentially qualify for funding if the business is located in a rural area and contributes to local economic development. Click here Fund for Rural Prosperity – Mastercard Foundation (


  1. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank): Afreximbank offers various funding programmes to support African businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises. Your business’s can explore their funding options for equipment acquisition and business growth. Click here: African Export-Import Bank – African Export-Import Bank – Transforming Africa’s Trade (


  1. The Orange Social Venture Prize for Africa and the Middle East: This competition targets entrepreneurs using technology to address social and environmental challenges. While not limited to bakery businesses, if Your business’s utilises innovative technologies or has a social impact, you can consider participating in this competition for funding opportunities. Click here: International Women’s Prize – POESAM (


  1. The African Development Bank (AfDB) Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund: This fund provides grants, technical assistance, and capacity-building support to youth-led businesses across Africa. Your business’s can explore funding options through this programme. Click here: Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund | African Development Bank – Building today, a better Africa tomorrow (


  1. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office: UNIDO supports entrepreneurship and business development in Africa through its Investment and Technology Promotion Office. Your business’s can inquire about funding opportunities, especially in the area of technology adoption and capacity building. Click here: UNIDO | United Nations Industrial Development Organization


  1. The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC): The IFC provides financing and advisory services to private sector businesses, including startups and SMEs, in developing countries. Your business’s can explore potential funding options and investment opportunities through IFC’s programmes. Click here IFC – International Finance Corporation


  1. The Seedstars World Competition: This global startup competition offers funding and mentoring to entrepreneurs from emerging markets, including Africa. Your business’s can participate in the competition to gain exposure, access potential investors, and secure funding. Click here: Seedstars World Competition | Seedstars World


  1. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women: This organisation supports women entrepreneurs worldwide by providing mentorship, training, and access to capital. Your business’s can explore their programmes, including funding opportunities, tailored to support women-led businesses. Click here : Home – Cherie Blair Foundation for Women


  1. The African Entrepreneurship Award: This annual award programme supports African entrepreneurs by providing financial grants, mentoring, and training. It seeks innovative business ideas that can create positive social and economic impact. Your business’s can consider applying for this award to secure funding. Click here: African Entrepreneurship Award – Entrepreneur Futures Network


  1. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA): UNECA offers various programmes and initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and economic development in Africa. Your business’s can explore their resources and funding opportunities for small businesses. Click here: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa | Ideas for a prosperous Africa (


  1. The International Trade Centre’s (ITC) SheTrades Initiative: SheTrades supports women entrepreneurs by connecting them to markets and facilitating access to finance. Your business’s can engage with this initiative to explore funding opportunities and business support. Click here: Women’s economic empowerment | ITC (

Please remember that each funding opportunity may have specific eligibility criteria and application requirements. I recommend for you to thoroughly review each programme’s guidelines and tailor your application accordingly.

Additionally, it is recommended to seek local support organisations and business development centres in Ghana that can provide further guidance on available funding opportunities.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Send this to a friend