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How to Get Tech Grants Opportunities for Startups in Africa

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Are you a tech startup seeking funding opportunities for your business? Are there available grants for startups in Africa? Do you think you meet the requirements?

Grants are one of the ways in which tech startups sustain their ventures. 

One of the major advantages of tech grants for startups is that they require no repayment. Also, grant providers don’t request shares in exchange for the grant. 

In this guide, we will explore some available tech grants for startups in Africa. 

What Are Tech Grants for Startups?

Tech grants for startups are funding opportunities available to tech companies in their seed or Series A stages.  

Unlike loans, these grants are not to be repaid. Tech companies that meet the required criteria can apply without any application fees.

Grants are necessary for tech startups to build their ventures and innovations.

Some available types of tech grants for startups include: 

  • Competitive grants 
  • Continuation grants
  • Inclusive grants
  • Formula grants
  • Research grants, and more.

Also read: Latest List of Federal Government Loans and Grants in Nigeria 2024

How to Secure Tech Grants for Startups in Africa 2024

The competition in the tech space these days is high. Innovations are constantly emerging. Thus, securing tech grants for startups is a highly competitive process.

Your application must be excellent and detailed to make an impression on reviewers, amidst the numerous other applications. 

In this section, we’ll take you through some tactics that can help you secure a grant for your tech startup.

#1 – Register Your Startup with Regulatory Bodies

Registering your startup under the adequate agencies gives your business extra credibility. 

It sets your company apart as one serious about sustaining its venture. It also displays your compliance with relevant laws. For instance, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) makes it mandatory for enterprises in Nigeria to register under them. 

Tech giants may even directly require a Certificate of Incorporation or proof of Business Name Registration.

#2 – Apply for Tech Grants for Startups That Are Best Suited to Your Business Goals 

As tempting as grants may be, you must understand that you are not mandated to apply for all. 

Rather than burning time on grant applications that have a less than 10% chance of you getting, apply for grants that you have a higher chance of securing. 

Some grants favour women applicants, others favor tech startups that are creating sustainable technologies to mitigate climate hazards, etc. The best way to increase your chances of securing a grant for your tech startup is to apply for grants seeking to fund your focus areas of work. 

Also read: 12+ Small Business Loans for Startups and How to Get Them in 2024

#3 – Determine Your Qualification

Grants usually have several requirements that applicants must meet before they can put in their application. 

Before starting any application, check if you meet the eligibility criteria. Most funders are usually strict on these criteria. There is no point proceeding if you do not meet any, or all, of the set eligibility criteria. 

#4 – Draw up a Solid Business Plan: 

Presenting a business plan with your application sets you out as one who knows their future path. 

While investors may not request a business plan, it is important to include a well-structured one nevertheless. 

State your business vision, mission, goals, marketing strategies, etc. in the plan. This leaves a good impression. It convinces your financier of the steps you would take to get ROI. 

#5 – Connect Your Innovations to the Sustainable Development Goals

The sustainable development goals are a top priority for nations around the world. 

2030 is barely six (6) years away, and eager to fund ventures that draw us closer to the global goals. 

Therefore it is important to align your business plan with at least one of the global goals. Explain, in detail, how your work is contributing to the attainment of such goal(s). This is more likely to catch the attention of reviewers. 

#6- Brag About Your Business

If you are required to write a letter of motivation, a cover letter, an essay, etc., don’t hold back on talking passionately about your business. 

Brag about your venture’s competitive advantage, uniqueness, revenue model, traction, etc. This assures your investors that your business is profitable, and that they have nothing to lose.

Also read: Top 32+ Accelerators and Incubators for Startups in Nigeria

#7 – Don’t be Afraid to Seek Professional Assistance

Enlisting the services of a business consultant,  accountant, etc., is highly recommended. 

Don’t be afraid to go for it. Their expertise gives your application a touch of professionalism and assertiveness that you may not know how to evoke. 

Top Tech Grants for Startups in Africa 2024

Investors are constantly seeking new and sustainable technological innovations to fund. 

This is because technology is the future of our world. From AI, to robo assistants, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, and more, technology is shaping human interactions in the 21st century.

As a result, there are always opportunities to progress technology. 

Below are some of the top tech grants for startups in Africa today: 

  • The Mozilla Technology Fund, a $50,000 grant for tech startups focused on researching and developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. 
  • The WomHub Africa Innovation Fellowship for women innovators in Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing, or Mining (STEM).  

Also read: Starlink To Offer Satellite Internet Directly To Phones

Advantages of Tech Grants for Startups

Grants can totally change and improve the operations of startups. 

Tech grants for startups are particularly important, as tech innovations are usually highly capital-intensive. Most startups will require some form of support to see their ventures through the seed stage. 

Below are some advantages of tech grants for startups: 

  • Tech grants for startups do not need to be repaid. 
  • Tech grants for startups in Africa usually offer a huge capital, which can see your innovation through until launch.
  • Tech grants for startups in Africa usually provide mentorship and networking platforms along with the prize sum. This offers you an opportunity to connect with like minded individuals, who may end up becoming partners or even investors. 
  • Winning a grant sets your business apart as a reliable one. It gives you business credibility. This is likely to pave the way for even bigger grants, partnerships and sponsorships.
  • Tech grants for startups do not require shares in exchange for the grant, so you still have total control of your business. This is unlike some individual investors who would require some shares in your company in exchange for their capital investment. 

Also read: Top 21 Climate Tech Startups Creating Waves in Africa

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do Tech Grants for Startups Require Repayment?

No, tech grants for startups do not need to be repaid.  

What is the Black Founder Startup Grant in Africa?

The Google Black Founder Startup Grant provides $150K in non-dilutive capital to black founders’ businesses. Winners will get $100K in Google Cloud credits.

What are Some Top Grants for African Entrepreneurs 2024?

Some top grants for African entrepreneurs in 2024 are Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship grant, African Women’s Development Fund, Seedstars World, and Innovation Prize for Africa.

Conclusion: Ready for Your Tech Loan?

Applying for a tech grant might be a bit tedious. 

However, it is rewarding at the end of the day. 

Tech grants for startups provide numerous benefits to tech companies, and it would all be worth it. 

Follow us on X or Twitter, @SiliconAfriTech for more informative reads.

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Oluwajuwon Oladiti
Oluwajuwon Oladiti

Oladiti Oluwajuwon is an ardent reader and a voracious writer who is passionate about informing the public with first-hand, authentic information. His writing expertise has spanned over 5+ years, an odyssey that began in 2018. Over the years, he has crafted pieces across multiple domains, including religion, education, politics, and tech. There are two principles at the core of his writing: information must be genuine and accurate, and there is nothing erudite about speaking in terms people don't understand. While maintaining technicality, messages must be passed in a way that resonates with the readers.

Oluwajuwon is also a software engineer who specializes in backend development with Python, and he has an unwavering passion for music, pop genre especially.

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