For you to start a business, you need finance. This is a common reason why most entrepreneurs from Africa see as a hindrance for them to start a business of their own. However, I don’t believe in this reasoning. The first thing an entrepreneur needs to start a business is not the finance, but a business idea. How do you expect to get finance when you don’t even have a business idea? However, if finance is your problem, I have listed below some funding opportunities that you can win if you already have a business idea.

It is a common response I get from people who come to me for coaching. “I need to start a business, but I don’t have the capital”. When you ask them to present to you their business idea so you can help them on how they can source for finance, they start to babble.

In effect, 3 out of 5 people who come for coaching doesn’t even have a business idea. Yet they are looking for capital. I believe money is needed to grow a business and not really to start it. There are some businesses out there that you can start with little or no capital at all.

Download my e-book – 10 Businesses You Can Start in Africa With No Money

There are many ways you can raise funds for your business idea. What you should note is that it is rare to find any of such methods that would not ask you the stage at which your business is. I also wrote this article on How to Get Free Funding For Startup: Startup Competitions For 2017. Some of the competitions you find in it are organized yearly.

One of such methods to get finance is by engaging in competitions. But before you go in for any competition, you must already have a business idea that is put in place. Most of the time, it should be an idea that is already functional and you need finance to grow it. I am going to list some competitions that you can venture into this 2018. I will be updating this post as soon as I get more funding opportunities for you. Below are a list of the latest competitions that have been published:

The Food Connection Challenge 2018

This one is for active agri and food sector SMEs based in Nigeria or Benin that have storage-related issues, cleaning, processing, handling, grading and transporting of processed agricultural products. SMEs in these two countries are called upon to submit innovative ideas that will help reduce post-harvest losses. The winner will receive funding from the Postharvest Network of up to 20,000 Euro maximum. Application started on April 9th and will end on May 18th 2018. Registration is done online. Check out the details and apply now.

Innovate for Life Fund 2018

Innovate for Life Fund offers an opportunity to innovative entrepreneurs towards follow up investments. Application is ongoing and will end on June 15, 2018. The selection process will be in August 2018 and an Accelerator program from September to December 2018. If you are an innovative entrepreneur and find this interesting, checkout the requirements and apply.

The MEST Africa Challenge

This concerns founders of technology startups that are operating in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya. Registration for the MEST Africa scale-up pitch competition finalists will be competing for a $50,000 equity investment and other support to help them reach the Pan-African scale. Application began on April 3, 2018 and will end on April 22, 2018. Follow this link to check out the details or to appy.

This list of funding opportunities for entrepreneurs in Africa will be updated as soon as we get additional competitions or awards. Always come back to check. Don’t forget to subscribe for our newslater for updates and download a free e-book on businesses you can start in Africa with no money.