Welcome ‘the Brilliant Entrepeneur’ – finding funding opportunities for African woman

In 2014 Yvette van Dok and Karen Kammeraat founded the Brilliant Entrepreneur and kicked off with a full programme in Uganda. The root for their collaboration stems from 2008, with the organisation of a trade mission for women entrepreneurs from Peru and Bolivia. The wide experience of Yvette and Karen with different organisations and programmes for women entrepreneurs inspired them to initiate an accelerator programme that really works. An accelerator that integrates personal and business development through training, matchmaking, mentoring and individual coaching.

Yvette and Karen form the core of the team of trainers. Where needed, the team is expanded with trainers in the talent-in-business and advisers in specific subjects, such as pitching, informal investment, strategic management, quality management, intercultural orientation, HR, CSR, networking, etc.

We from the Global Bizz Network are proud to announce that we will work together with the Brilliant Entrepreneur as we share the same values and both want to provide a platform for SME’s. Each on own own way. But complementary to each other.

While in Europe, the US and a number of other countries, support measures are installed to assist small and large companies , their employees, and people who lost their jobs, this is certainly not the case in African countries. From informal workers, up to SMEs and larger local companies, they are all dependent on their creativity, their persistency and courage, their community and grants and loans from local and international institutions.

the Brilliant Entrepreneur would like to lend a hand by mapping the grants and other support mechanisms that are available to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, and more specifically for women entrepreneurs. the Brilliant Entrepreneur focuses on the countries where they are currently active, being Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. However, most of the international grants are on regional or continental level, so these are also interesting for SMEs from other African countries.

the Brilliant Entrepreneur came across two interesting grant opportunities, the AgroMinds Africa Challenge and D-Prize.

AgroMinds Africa Challenge 2020

This competition is designed for Idea, Early and Growth Stage agribusinesses in Africa with an: 1. Ability to improve food security, create employment and boost local incomes, 2. Ability to demonstrate potential for post revenue business model, and 3. Ability to demonstrate for market traction. The deadline is 30 June 2020. Here you can find more information about the chalenge and how to apply.


D-Prize focuses on distribution of proven poverty interventions. The world has already invented products and services to end poverty. Yet millions of people still don’t have access. The competition is divided into the following sectors: Water, sanitation and hygiene, girls’ education, agriculture, energy, global health, education, governance and infrastructure and custom. They will award the most promising application with up to USD 20,000 to launch a pilot version. The deadline for application is 22 June 2020. Find more information here.

BeChangeMaker Africa 2020

BeChangeMaker provides access to high quality learning content, tools and technology for startup acceleration, dedicated coaching, mentoring and customized support, as well as the opportunity to tap into a diverse global network of potential supporters and investors. HP LIFE, a programme of the HP Foundation, provides 32 FREE online learning courses for entrepreneurs, innovators, and small business owners worldwide. In order to apply you need to be a team of 2 to 5 persons, aged 18 – 35 years, with a good idea for a social enterprise that contributes to tackling global challenges. Read here how to apply.

Grand Challenges Africa Transitions to Scale for Innovations

Are you a company, NGO or institution in Africa with an innovation that can help your country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? But do you find it a challenge to scale up your innovation? Then it will be interesting to have a look at this grant opportunity: https://www.aasciences.africa/calls/grand-challenges-africa-round-11-transition-scale-innovation-call-2

Small & Growing Business Fund

This is a Fund by the finance institution GroFin. They indicate that they support SMEs through the COVID crisis, with finance and beyond finance. They provide loan capital between USD 100,000 and USD 1.5 million.

10,000 women

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 women initiative is already running for a while. The good news is that the whole course is now available online for free. The initiative provides women entrepreneurs around the world with business and management education, mentoring and networking, and access to capital. Read here what it contains and how it works.

Growing database

The plan of the Brilliant Entrepreneur is to continue to find and share new opportunities for funding and other support for you. Follow them on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date and to add your ideas! You can also contact them through email if you have additional ideas for funding and support.

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