SME Grants

SME Grants are an excellent way for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners to actualize their dreams.

Because, they help with paying salaries, reaching out to potential customers, buying stocks, and running ads. It’s just a simple way to move your businesses to the next level.

But, even though SME grants are “free,” you just cannot get them on a platter of gold. Simple registration on some website somewhere isn’t just enough to get you one.

The competition for grants is way over the roof because you’re not the only one in need of that free money.

However, A consistent amount of effort is required to apply for a grant.

Furthermore, you need to understand that, even after the hustle of submitting a proper application, there is no assertion you would get it.

Consequent;y, you also need to understand that:

  • Most grants are for existing businesses
  • Grants are not immediate; and
  • Only Interesting businesses are eligible.

Moreover, to increase your chances of getting one, I have put together a list of 10 SME Grants for Africans.

  1. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program

So, this program was founded by Mr. Tony Elumelu, a Philanthropist and Entrepreneur from Nigeria. It provides an annual SME grant aimed at empowering 10,000 African Entrepreneurs with $100 million yearly.

Furthermore, asides the funding, this program is designed to also mentor and train Entrepreneurs across the 54 African countries of the Continent.


  • To create 1 million new jobs and generate a revenue of $10 billion yearly to Africa’s economy through the selected young businesses.


  • All applicants must be legal residents of one of the 54 African Countries.
  • All businesses must be in existence for at least three years.

How to Apply

To apply for this Entrepreneurship program, follow this link:



  1. Shared Interest

Shared Interest is a lending society founded in the year 1990 in England.

However, Its growth has led to the establishment of satellite offices in Ghana, Peru, Kenya, and Costa Rica.

Also, it has other investments across Africa, especially in Kenya, Mauritius, and some other countries East of Africa.

Furthermore, Shared Interest has over 9,000 members based in the UK, with each member investing between £100 to £100,000. So, this makes available a shared capital of £29m.


  • To make finances available to Producers, Farmers, and Artisans in developing countries to share the risk.

How to Apply

Applications are sent to info@shared-interest.com


  1. Tshikululu Social Investments

Tshikululu Social Investments is a South African Corporate Social Investment (CSI) manager responsible for dispensing SME Grants to Africans.

Furthermore, it is responsible for managing the CSI funds of multiple organizations, especially the FirstRand Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank Fund, De Beers Fund, and so on.

In addition, Tshikululu goes as far as providing wide-ranging social investments and community grants for private entities in line with developing trends.


  • To provide SME grants for several industries ranging from arts and culture to health, community development, and several others.

Contact Information

Tel: +27(0)11 544 0300

Email: info@tshikululu.org.za

  1. VC4 Africa

This community is an exception as it tries to provide startup funding for African Entrepreneurs. However, VC4Africa is an online community which started as a LinkedIn group in the year 2008 and has grown to be one of the largest community with members in 159 countries.

Also, the platform is targeted at equipping Entrepreneurs through free online tools and mentorship opportunities.

Although VC4 Africa doesn’t give SME grants, they expose you to opportunities and link you to investors.


  • To build game-changing companies in Africa by linking investors to small businesses regardless of the industry.

To Join the Community

Sign up for a VC4 Africa account, following this link:


  1. Schwab Foundation

Schwab Foundation is a Social Entrepreneurship-based organization founded in the year 1998. Its headquarters is located in Cologny-Geneva in Switzerland, which makes it under the legal supervision of the Swiss Government.

However, the Schwab Foundation hunts for just social Entrepreneurs across the Continent and subjects them to severe scrutiny.

So, until this process is over, you are not considered eligible for the SME grant.


  • To advance social Entrepreneurship in different areas, including: health, education, environment, agribusiness, technology, etc.

Contact Information

Tel: +41 (0) 22 869 1212

Email: info@schwabfound.org

  1. Root Capital

Root Capital is a non-profit investment fund that came into existence in the year 1999. But, over the years, it has empowered over 400 businesses in Africa with SME Grants worth over $500 million.

Furthermore, this fund is out to positively impact rural businesses, communities, and families, socially and environmentally. However, it maintains a 100% payback policy for its investors.


  • To foster rural prosperity in poor and environmentally vulnerable locations in Africa by lending capital.
  • To deliver financial training and strengthen market connections for agricultural small and medium-sized businesses.

Contact Information

Kenya Office:

Mobile: +254 736.864892

Email: http://www.rootcapital.org/about-us/contact-us

  1. Savannah Fund

Savannah fund is also another exception to the existing-business rule because it provides startup SME grants to African Entrepreneurs.

However, it focuses on early-stage high growth technology startups in Africa. Further, since its inception in 2002, it has recorded 15 investments in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa.

In addition, these investments have, in turn, helped to generate a revenue worth over $8 million and produced close to 100 jobs.


  • To bridge the gap between venture capital investments and early startups in Africa.

Contact Information

Kenya Office:

3rd Floor, Bishop Magua Centre,

George Padmore Lane, m: Lab East Africa,

P.O Box 58275-00200

Nairobi, Kenya

For more details about application guidelines and format, click here

To apply to Savannah Fund’s Accelerator Programs, visit:


  1. Seedstars Africa

Seedstars Africa is a Swiss-based organization actively investing in over 53 countries across the globe, especially in the Middle East, South America, Asia, and Africa.

However, to set the ball rolling, Seedstars World annually organizes a very competitive competition for SME grants in emerging markets. This competition helps identify promising companies in need of technical help and capital.

However, a recent $330,000 investment in Nigeria was SimplePay, a third-party payment option that focused on solving the issues with payment gateways in Africa.


  • To build and support online businesses in Africa.
  • To fund web and mobile tech startups in Africa.


  1. Lundin Foundation

Lundin Foundation is an organization founded in the year 2005 by a Swedish family named Lundin. However, Its headquarters is located in Canada with its regional offices in Ghana and Kenya.

Also, several businesses and entrepreneurs in over 15 African Countries have benefited from SME grants funded by the Lundin Foundation.


  • To provide risk capital, grants, and technical assistance to unique social organizations across the globe.

Contact Information

Tel: 604-689-7842


  1. responsAbility

responsAbility Investments is an independent asset manager focused on sectors related to development in emerging economies. Furthermore, It was founded in the year 2003 with its headquarters in Zurich and local offices in Mumbai, Paris, Lima, and Nairobi.

Also, responsAbility currently has assets worth over $2.2 billion in 500 countries across the globe.


  • To provide financing to non-listed companies with models focused on the section of the population with lower income.

Contact Information

Tel. +254 709 803 000

Email: africa@responsAbility.com










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    However, I have tried to get in touch with you personally but to no avail. Please reply this.

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