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Opportunities young entrepreneurs can leverage in 2024

In Rwanda’s rapidly evolving business landscape, young entrepreneurs are seizing diverse opportunities to innovate and drive economic growth. From tech startups leveraging digital advancements to agribusiness ventures transforming traditional farming practices, the youth are at the forefront of pioneering new business models.

This dynamic environment, supported by government initiatives, mentorship programs, and an ecosystem of incubators and accelerators, is fostering a generation of visionary leaders ready to tackle local challenges with global solutions.

Here are a few opportunities entrepreneurs should be watching out for so far in 2024:

Africa Business Heroes Grant

Entrepreneurs can win up to $300,000 in grant funding, mentorship, and global exposure through Africa Business Heroes.

ABH aims to identify, support, and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their local communities, working to solve the most pressing problems, and building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

The initiative aims to be as inclusive as possible. Applications are open in English and French to entrepreneurs from all African countries, all sectors, and all ages who operate businesses formally registered and headquartered in an African country, and that have a 3-year-track record.

Every year, ten finalists will be selected to compete in the ABH grand finale pitch competition. These finalists also receive extensive exposure through the high-quality video narratives ABH produces about their stories and their ABH journeys. The finalists ultimately compete for a share of US $1.5 million in grant money.

Deadline: 09/06/2024

Apply here:

Mastercard Foundation Agribusiness Challenge Fund

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is the second phase of a program from the Mastercard Foundation. The first phase was the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity, an eight-year program established in 2014. That Fund supported 38 participants from 15 countries in Africa innovating and scaling financial products and services targeting the rural population with a large focus on agriculture. One major highlight is the Fund enabled over 5.3 million people to have access to financial products and services, exceeding an initial target of 1 million.

As a result of this success and the learnings gathered, the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity, a new, seven-year, US$ 126 million Fund was established in 2023. This Fund aims to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the agriculture, climate adaptation, and digital economy sectors in 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The main objective of the Fund is to unlock enterprise growth and catalyze, scale up, and sustain the creation of dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for young women and men.

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund is a rolling call for proposals open from 18 March 2024 to 22 November 2024, with three application harvest periods in between.

Learn more here:
Apply here:

NBA Triple Double Accelerator

NBA Africa’s Triple Double Accelerator program aims to support African startups on the continent that develop solutions that support the ecosystem of sports, from events to digital marketing, artificial intelligence and even ticketing.

Deadline: 22/05/2024

Learn more and apply here:

ESP x Mastercard Foundation Bootstrappers Community

To all entrepreneurs in Rwanda operating in the tourism and agriculture industry, ESP in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation through the Grow 2 Scale initiative, has opened applications for the Bootstrappers community.

ESP works with entrepreneurs at all stages to foster their businesses into commercially successful, disruptive businesses.

Deadline: 29/05/2024

Apply here:

Jasiri Growth Accelerator

The Jasiri Growth Accelerator is designed to provide comprehensive support to existing businesses with substantial growth potential, assisting them in reaching crucial growth milestones and preparing them for investment. This program targets startups from Rwanda and Kenya that have pioneered market-creating innovations, which are businesses dedicated to solving complex challenges and delivering valuable goods or services to a broad previously underserved audience.

To be eligible for this accelerator, these businesses are required to have achieved product-market fit. Early-stage businesses often face fundraising challenges due to inadequate traction. Market-creating innovations, by their nature, demand substantial investment for development. This accelerator supports ventures by bridging the crucial funding gap that exists for them.

Deadline: 31/05/2024

Apply here:

2024 “We Can Work” Narrative Competition

The “We Can Work” Narrative competition is a platform for young individuals with disabilities to express themselves creatively. Whether you’re a writer, audio producer, videographer, visual artist, or photographer, this competition welcomes all forms of storytelling.

Applications are now open for the 2024 “We Can Work” Narrative Competition. Are you a young storyteller between the ages of 18 and 35 with a disability? Do you hail from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana, or Nigeria? If so, we invite you to showcase your creative talents in the “We Can Work” Narrative competition!


Winners of the competition will receive exclusive access to events and career mentorship sessions.
Additionally, there are opportunities for paid internships and online features to further amplify your voice and talents.

Application Deadline: June 28, 2024

More here:

D-Prize Challenges Competition win up to 20,000$ for your idea

Are you a bold leader with a dream of starting an organization to eradicate poverty? You can win up to $20,000 to start an NGO or social venture to fight poverty through distribution.

D-Prize funds entrepreneurs to start new ventures in developing countries. We fund ideas across sectors including agriculture, energy, health, and water.

This year, we’ve also added a new challenge: reading glasses!

Learn more and apply by July 14 at:

Great Lakes Creative Producers Lab 2024

The Great Lakes Creative Producers Lab—a 5-day program to boost your network and production skills through hands-on workshops, mentorship sessions, and more.

Producers are eligible for the program if they:

Have accumulated three years of professional experience within the film industry. Are nationals of a country from the following: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Can communicate in English in a professional context. Have produced at least 2 short films or 1 feature film. Have a feature project in hand and the legal right (by way of ownership or option or attachment agreement) to produce the script

The ideal applicant should demonstrate the following attributes: Entrepreneurial spirit, self-motivated, collaboration, and willingness to contribute to their peers

To be eligible, the producer cannot be the author and/or director of the submitted project.

More here:

GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition

The 2024 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition invites agrifood entrepreneurs from across Africa to showcase their startup business ventures. Judges will be looking for innovative founders and co-founders aged 18-35 with the vision to establish sustainable scalable businesses, drive resilience, increase food security, and create jobs in the agri-food sector. Applications are open from 8 April to 10 June 2024 at

This year’s competition will recognize and celebrate African entrepreneurs whose business solutions address the pressing need for efficient local production of nutritious food, with business models that embrace scale and innovation, while also helping to mitigate climate and broader environmental challenges. The top competitors selected this year will have the opportunity to shine at the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize final pitch competition, set to take place during the prestigious Africa Food Systems Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, from 2 to 6 September.

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