9 Zambian companies that give startup capital

In an economy like ours where unemployment in Zambia is high, especially youth unemployment, we need more Zambian corporates investing in entrepreneurship, as it has shown to be the key to sustained economic growth. Until you have an unemployed youth or a young graduate in your home or amongst your family members struggling to find employment you will never know just how hard it is for youths to find employment in this country. If you have indeed a business idea at hand that you are passionate about and you require capital to get started or to grow your venture, you will need to know more about efficient ways to do that, here we list down 9 organizations in Zambia that you should consider in your search for capital.

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1. Youth Development Fund in Zambia

The overall objective of the Youth Development Fund is to lend finance to viable projects by young Zambian entrepreneurs, The Ministry of Youth and Sport has since 2010 been implementing the Youth development fund, and has disbursed approximately K94,820,796.

2. The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) in Zambia

is a government body which was established by the CEE Act whose mandate is to promote broad based and equitable economic empowerment of citizens that are or have been marginalized or a disadvantaged and whose access to economic resources and development capacity has been constrained due to various factors such as race, sex, educational background, status and disability in Zambia.

3. The Awesome Foundation Lusaka in Zambia

This organization supports any/all types of awesome ideas. They support ideas that are both on paper and those that have launched.  Awesome projects include initiatives in a wide range of areas including arts, technology, community development, and more. Many awesome projects are novel or experimental, and evoke surprise and delight. The foundation gives away a 600 USD grant every month. The deadline is the last Monday of every month. To qualify for the 600 USD you need to answer 3 questions :

1.Tell us about your awesome project?

2.How will you use the money?

3.Tell us a little about yourself ?

4. Kukula Capital in Zambia

is a leading venture finance and private equity firm in Zambia. The company operates under two main business areas: Fund Management and Advisory. The name Kukula is associated with growth in the local dialects of Zambia. Kukula Capital invest in Zambian growth companies with capital and expertise. It has invested in ventures such as : Jabulani Sawmills Ltd, its core business is Sawmilling of timber and production of value-added wood products such as wood boards and furniture. The expansion was financed with a royalty loan of USD 270,000.The investments has been used to establish a state of the art wood board factory which has created 10 new jobs.The company supports a replanting program to ensure sustainable forestry and operates an orphanage with 18 children.

5. VC4Africa in Zambia

VC4Africa is the largest online community of entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to building game changing companies on the African continent. Entrepreneurs have access to free online tools, mentor ship opportunities and private deal rooms. The community has members in 159 countries and meetups have been hosted in more than 50 cities around the world. If you’re a start-up looking for Funding for your venture or An Investor looking to Invest in the worlds fastest growing continent this is the platform for you.

6. African Women Development Fund in Zambia

The AWDF is the first pan-African women’s grant maker in Africa. Since the start of its operations in 2001, AWDF has provided $17 million in grants to 800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries. The AWDF only awards grants to organisations, not individuals. It awards grants ranging from $8,000 up to $50,000.

7. The Tony Elumelo Foundation For Entrepreneurship program in Zambia

The recently launched $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) is an annual program of training, funding and mentoring, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs. Founded by Mr. Tony Elumelu, the successful Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist, the fund seeks to identify and support 1,000 startup entrepreneurs from across the continent each year over the next decade. The fund expects that the 10,000 start-ups and young businesses selected from across Africa will ultimately create one million new jobs and add $10 billion in annual revenues to Africa’s economy.

8. Seedstars Africa in Zambia

is a member of Seedstars Group, a Swiss-based venture builder that is active and invests in 35+ countries around the world especially in emerging markets in Asia, South America, The Middle East and Africa. Seedstars recently invested $330,000 in SimplePay, a young Nigerian third-party payment processing company that has created a solution which will likely disrupt payment services in Nigeria and Africa.

9. 88mph in Zambia

is a Seed Fund and Accelerator that started in 2011 and currently operates out of hubs in Nairobi (Kenya), Cape Town (South Africa), and Lagos (Nigeria).88mph funds only tech companies, with a particular emphasis on web and mobile products and services. It currently has more than $1.5 million in funds for investment in African tech start-ups. Its main focus is to attract the best entrepreneurs, invest seed cash, and bring them to a point where their businesses can grow independently, or be adequately evaluated by angels and Venture Capital firms. According to human resource experts, out of every 100 unemployed youth above 90 youth are looking for white-collar jobs. Every other youth you speak to wants to work in a bank because they are convinced that if one wants the good life which includes a BMW and a house one must work in a bank or a white-collar job. It may not be true that a person simply needs money and connections in order to be a successful entrepreneur. It’s all about good strategy and improvising with what you have. Really, the [best tool] is creativity. If you are a creative person, then you are going to figure it out. We are hopeful that youths will change their mindset and take up entrepreneurship as a career. Do you know any other places entrepreneurs can get financing for there ventures from? please share your thoughts in the comment section!

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10 thoughts on “9 Zambian companies that give startup capital”

    • I never imagined there are such caring companies here in Zambia in addition to CEEC. To come up with a business idea one needs good educational background or some practical experience both of which a number of people including youth lack. To my view people need not only be encouraged to apply but also be trained to think of entering business for and think to TRAIN FOR SELF EMPLOYMENT RATHER THAN AS IT IS USUALLY PERCEIVED to train to be employed. On the other hand the elderly especially male are magi nalised in accessing financial assistance since all male are categorised to be wasteful. There are certain things that youth could start themselves. On the other hand the youth must at one point or another depend upon what are handed over to them by the elders. I hereby would like to suggest that the male be considered on the ground that they are scrutinized in terms of character, educational background, experiences and or current or previous community involvement to see how far money could be useful to the community.


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