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List of Billionaires and companies that would fund your business in Africa- Nigeria

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The African continent is filled with astonishing business opportunities and capital is highly needed to establish these businesses. The main obstacle that eliminates the business ideas and projects of the millions of people in Africa is lack of funds.

Lack of funds is a major stumbling block to entrepreneurs all over the world but particularly common in strong business environments such as Africa.

Startups are largely written off because a lot of people claim it is impossible for them to fund their businesses. While these group of people state it clearly that no one wants to invest in businesses based in Africa, this article aims to prove otherwise because there are lots of investment firms and private investors still in the business of investing millions in Nigerian businesses yearly.

Lack of funding is not the only problem entrepreneurs face, lack of awareness on the part of entrepreneurs is also a big issue. Many entrepreneurs who need funding are not aware of the numerous funding options available to them.

They have no idea of the places to search for it or how to get it. There has been an inflow of capital into Africa from the USA, Europe, Middle East and even China. Sometimes, this inflow comes from within Africa too.

Some of the on-going funding programs and billionaires that fund Nigerian Businesses will be outlined in this article.

List of Billionaires and companies that would fund your business in Africa- Nigeria


  1. Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative

The aim of this organization is to “advance human potential and promote equality”. The Chan-Zuckerberg initiative was founded by Mark Zuckerberg who is the founder of Facebook, and his wife Priscilla Chan. Over the years, Zuckerberg has invested quite millions of dollars in various organizations such as:

  1. a) The Bridge International Academies – An educational franchise that runs numerous affordable private elementary schools in East Africa. The Chan-Zuckerberg initiative invested $10 million dollars in this project.
  2. b) Andela – This organization trains African engineers and programmers, and then outsources them to top technological companies overseas. The initiative invested $24million in this project.

During Mark Zuckerberg’s trip to sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, he paid short visits to startup innovation hubs in Nairobi and Lagos. He signifies a large amount of succesful Western entrepreneurs investing in Africa.

  1. Seedstars World

This is a Swiss-based organization that carries out competitions. It sets out to help startup business in Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa. They are present in 35+ countries.  The annual competition begins with a continental tour in which participants from a minimum of 25 cities across Sub-Saharan Africa compete in local competitions. The winners from each country are taken to Switzerland to compete for the grand prize which is $500,000 in equity investment and other prizes. They have invested in projects such as:

  1. a) Simple Pay – A young Nigerian third-party payment processing company. They invested $330,000 in 2014.
  2. b) Giraffe – A South African based business that provides cheap automated recruitment solutions. They won the grand prize of $500,000 in equity investment funding in 2016 when they competed against 63 other start ups from 55 countries.
  3. Investment AB Kinnevik

A Sweden-based investment which was founded in 1936 and one of the largest investment companies in Europe, the firm has invested in a lot of businesses in Africa. Their noticeable investment on the African continent includes Jumia, Konga, Iroko Partners, Millicom and so many others. About 8 percent of their portfolio comprises of African businesses.

Its main focus is on entrepreneurs and businesses in the following sectors: Communications, Ecommerce and Marketplaces, Entertainment and Financial Services amongst others.

  1. Innovation Prize for Africa

It is an annual grant provided by the Africa Innovation Foundation to inventors and innovators with ground breaking ideas and solutions that are capable of making a positive impact in Africa. Each year, 10 nominees are randomly selected after undergoing a tedious process overseen by expert judges. The three best innovations are selected and they each share a prize of $150,000 and a $5000 voucher.

This foundation is only interested in five priority areas which are Agriculture and Agribusiness; environment, energy and water; health and well-being; ICTs; manufacturing and services.

  1. Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program

This program is funded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation with a $100 million dollars. TEF (TEEP) is owned by Mr. Tony Elumelu; a successful Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist. The program selects 1,000 entrepreneurs from all over Africa yearly for training, mentoring and funding program.

TEEP Fund is focused on citizens and legal residents of all 54 African countries and applications are made by anybody for profit based businesses that have been in existence in Africa for a minimum of three years including new business ideas. All participants receive a $5,000 investment in their business.

  1. Omidyar Network

It is a philanthropic investment firm that is made up of a foundation and an impact investment firm. It was founded by Pierre Omidyar; the founder of eBay. The firm opened its branch in Africa in 2013 and has invested a whooping sum of $50 million in several ventures through grants and equity investments.

It invested $1.8million in Bridge International Academies in 2009, $400,000 to BudgiT in 2014 and $1.2million in in 2015. The firm focuses on businesses that have high social impact potential.

  1. International Finance Corporation

The IFC as it is widely called is a development finance institution and a member of the World Bank Group. It is the biggest global development institution focused mainly on the private sector in developing regions of the World. It seeks to expand existing enterprises and so companies seeking to establish their venture can directly submit an investment proposal.

The IFC invested $3 million in Madagascar’s SMTP Group in 2015 and a sum of $7.5 million equity in Zoona in 2016.

  1. African Women’s Development Fund

The AWDF is the first pan-African women’s grant maker in Africa. It started in 2001 and has provided $17 million in grants to 800 women’s organization in 42 African countries. It is an institutional capacity-building and programme development fund and aims to develop not just a culture of learning but of partnerships within the African women’s movement.

Asides raising money and awarding grants, the AWDF aids in strengthening the organizational capacities of its grantees. It does not award grants to individuals but organizations and the grants awarded range from $8,000 to $50,000.

  1. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

It is a private foundation owned by Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. Launched in year 2000, it is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the World. It maintains three offices in Africa and they are situated in Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa. The foundation has a presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia and Burkina Faso.

In 2016, a grant of $4.48 million was awarded to Sidai Africa in Kenya and in June 2017, a grant of $2.4million was awarded to Sanergy.

  1. Helios Investment Partners

It is a private equity and venture capital firm that invests in Africa with a focus on Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. It was founded in 2004 and the firm invests between $15 million and $200 million in an individual transaction. Its main focus is on businesses in telecommunications, media, financial services, power, utilities, travel, leisure, distribution and Agro -allied sectors.

In 2010, they invested $92 million in Interswitch and invested $10 million in OffGrid Electric in Tanzania.

  1. Norfund

Funded by the state budget of Norway, it is an investment fund for developing regions of the World. The fund involves itself in three main sectors which are; clean energy, financial institutions, and food and agri-business. It provides equity and loans from $4 million and takes a maximum of 35percent ownership stake in any business it invests in.

Founded in 1997 by the Norwegian Government, as of 2016 it had invested up to $1.95 billion in 770 companies. In 2016, Norfund gave $2.2 million loan to Associated Foods in Zimbabwe and in 2017, they provided $2.75 million loan to Nyama World in Malawi. It also has three branch offices in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa.

Try to make use of this information we have provided, be rest assured that we will keep updating this list to best inform you.

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