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Start-ups told to grab ‘Funguo’ grant opportunities

Start-ups told to grab ‘Funguo’ grant opportunities

TANZANIAN impact-driven Startups in the innovation sector have been invited to apply for an equity-free responding grant launched by Funguo which aims to scale up their businesses and employment opportunities. According to the Funguo innovation Programme under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a total of 1.5bn/- will be disbursed to successful start-ups, out of 7bn/- allocated for the next three years depending on the number of applicants. Speaking during the first launch of the application window for grant funding held in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, Funguo Programme Manager UNDP Tanzania Mr Joseph Manirakiza invited people to apply for the funding with effect from 14 June to 31 July this year, adding that successful applicants will be awarded a grant ranging between 50m/- and 200m/- per grantee. He further highlighted some of the criteria for the start-ups to apply, including eligible start-ups that need to be impact-driven, legally registered in Tanzania, majority-owned by Tanzanians, and have demonstrable market traction. He added that eligible applicants will need to prove how innovative they are, their business viability and their potential to scale. “Start-ups with prospective investors looking for support on financial de-risking through additional early-stage funding will stand a higher chance of being funded if they meet other selection and eligibility criteria. Women-owned and led impact-driven startups will be given special consideration” he said More so, he said the programme looks for startups that have a clear rationale for why grant financing is needed, and how the catalytic startup funding can help them unlock their potential. On the other hand, the Director-General of Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Dr Amos Nungu said that the programme seeks to fill the market gap for funding by supporting startups that may otherwise struggle to find appropriate forms of financing.

Dr Nungu noted that Funguo will reduce stumbling blocks and gaps that hinder innovative impact ventures from scaling in three key areas: innovation financing, innovation service delivery, and innovation enabling environment

“The goal is to support ventures to scale up to reach millions of people,” Dr Nungu said.

For his part, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Tanzania and East Africa Community (EAC), Amb Manfredo Fanti said the matter of supporting start-ups and young innovators done by Funguo is in the line with EU general strategies, which is to stimulate inclusive growth, private sector and job creation as well as fostering economic integration and trade development.

Funguo is jointly funded by the European Union Delegation to Tanzania, the UK Government, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Funguo is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with UNCDF and works closely with the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH).

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Author: SAMWEL MWALONGO

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