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    USAID offering $4m for solar startups in Africa

    The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a US$4 million funding initiative aimed at supporting innovative solar companies across sub-Saharan Africa.
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    Disrupt Africa reported in November USAID made eight investments – as part of the “Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development” programme – into companies disrupting household solar power worldwide, with two recipients based in Africa.

    A further funding opportunity has now been announced, with US$4 million to be made available to startups developing innovative technology solutions and business models across the household solar value chain in sub-Saharan Africa.

    However, USAID will only be making investments based on a fund-matching model. Funding will go to early growth stage companies which can show a 2:1 private investor match; meaning that startups must be able to show a private investor is willing to commit twice the amount – on either an equity or debt basis – being requested from USAID.

    The organisation said it expects funding granted to range between US$500,000 and US$1.5 million per company.

    To be considered, applicants must be early growth stage companies active in one or more African markets; and should be developing and scaling innovative solutions that will have broad reach across the sub-Saharan household solar market with the potential for high market impact.

    Concept papers will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 30.  Those interested are encouraged to contact the Scaling Off-Grid Energy team  describing their solution and listing interested investors, prior to submitting a concept paper.


    Disrupt Africa
    Disrupt Africa is a one-stop-shop for all news, information and commentary pertaining to the continent’s tech startup – and investment – ecosystem. With journalists roaming the continent to find, meet, and interview the most innovative and disruptive tech startups, Disrupt Africa is a true showcase of Africa’s most promising businesses and business ideas.

    Our readers can keep up-to-date with the quirky world of tech hubs and accelerator programmes; and our reporters provide live coverage of the all-important tech and entrepreneurship events across Africa.

    For our startup, entrepreneur, and investor friends alike, our mission is to provide practical information and advice from across Africa’s varied vibrant markets, and to promote engaged and thought-provoking discussion about the exciting ecosystem we belong to.
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