Global institutions supporting startups and technology entrepreneurship in Africa


The lack of business capital is often lamented as a major reason why African startups haven’t seen success at the same scale of other tech ecosystems.  But of late, Africa has seen major strides in terms of investment poured into startups with well over $500 million in venture capital for the year 2017. Similarly, there has been an upsurge in the number and size of start-ups that have sprung out of the continent, with cities like Nairobi now regarded as tech hubs.


A host of institutions recognize Africa as a hotbed for talent and home to a large potential market. This has seen these institutions create programs that support African startups, as the eye the market and talent all over the continent. A quick sampling of programs currently supporting African startups:


“A host of institutions recognize Africa as a hotbed for talent and home to a large potential market.”



Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, recently selected Nailab to run the Netpreneur prize, which offers funding to African entrepreneurs. The Netpreneur Prize – named for empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs, and focusing on small business growth, grassroots innovation and women founders – will award US$10 million to 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years. Starting in 2019, the Jack Ma Foundation will host an annual pitch competition, with ten finalists selected from across the continent to showcase their talent and business ideas and compete for US$1 Million in prize money. All ten finalists will receive grant funding from the Jack Ma Foundation, as well as access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practices and resources. –Nailab



The Microsoft 4Afrika initiative set a template for corporate engagement within Africa. The company sought to increase internet connectivity and encouraging entrepreneurship. Microsoft has partnered up with various startups in order to further this mission.



Facebook has been heavily involved in improving internet accessibility across Africa through, and has sponsored multiple hackathons throughout Africa aimed at alleviating local problems.



Founded by a Swiss-Angolan entrepreneur, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), a Swiss-based organization that promotes innovation and sustainable development for Africa. The African Innovation Foundation mobilizes innovators across the continent to release untapped potential in Africa, enhancing the way Africans live, work, and learn. The Foundation also awards the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), an annual award that provides $150,000 to individuals who develop and deliver market-oriented solutions to African challenges. The IPA honors and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa.


For a more comprehensive list of institutions working to stimulate the African startup scene, visit here.

wisinomad is building partnerships with organizations that foster sustainable development of entrepreneurship across Africa. And through its remote working and co-living. wisinomad seeks to bring knowledge sharing that has potential to benefit African entrepreneurs and participants alike.


To learn more about wisinomad, visit, and send in your application



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