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French Government Digital Africa Startup Challenge for African Startups 2019

The third edition of Digital Africa is dedicated to reducing inequalities between men and women on the African continent. The competition is aimed at female-run start-ups and start-ups which offer innovative services that promote gender equality.

Application Deadline: 19th October, 2018

Eligible Countries: Francophone and Anglophone Africa France

To be taken at (country): France

About the Award: Equality between women and men is a central feature great of the french Five-Year Plan, and constitutes a strategic focus for the AFD. On this basis, AFD is committed to ensuring that 50% of its annual commitments are dedicated to gender equality: Its interventions are structured around five major issues:

  1. Ensuring access to basic services;
  2. Combating violence against women
  3. Guaranteeing access to training and employment opportunities;
  4. Ensuring women’s participation in decision-making and project governance;
  5. Only in the context of CSO projects: Change the representations that underpin gender inequalities.

Type: Entrepreneurship

Eligibility: Eligible projects for the Digital Africa 3 Challenge are those that take into account the specific constraints and issues of women, and facilitate the access to:

  • education, vocational training, mentoring and tutoring services.
  • health services (including sexual health and reproduction),
  • employment and professional opportunities, including women’s participation in sectors that traditionally employ men,
  • financial services and other markets
  • information about rights and access to judicial services
  • mobility and transport

Will also be considered projects that contribute to:

  • the deconstruction of gender stereotypes (eg media)
  • the fight against gender-based violence
  • the development of practices that do not discriminate against women (eg in the professional world, at school, etc.).

The challenge will be open to all entrepreneurs who have developed innovative solutions for Africa on this topic.

Selection Criteria & Process: 

  • The Panel will choose the 40 best applications for the expansion stage using the following criteria: – team suitability – relevance of the solution – feasibility – sustainability – replicability – impacts on development, growth, employment
  • Startups are invited to submit entries in one of the eligible issues above.
  • The jury will choose one African startup and one French startup from each category. As well as these eight winners, one African startup and one French startup will be chosen via a public vote.
  • The final selection will include four African startups and four French startups, all chosen by the jury. Two additional startups will be chosen by an online public vote.

Number of Awardees: 10

Value of Contest:

  • Award-winning startups will receive financial and technical support.
  • All winners of this third edition of the Digital Africa Challenge will benefit from unprecedented visibility and privileged access to a global network of partners, customers and investors. They will integrate a community that brings together the best talents of digital innovation, in Africa and for Africa, sharing experiences and practices.

Maximum Value of €30,000 for each winner

10 Winning Startups will be invited to France (Flights + Accommodation covered)

How to Apply: It is important to go through the Application Requirements on the Contest Webpage before applying

Visit Contest Webpage for details

Award Provider: AFD (Agence Française de Développement – French Agency for Development)

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