Applications open for Southern Africa-focused Shift Fund

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Applications have opened for Enygma Ventures’ sub-fund Shift, which focuses on entrepreneurs in Southern Africa who are passionate about driving innovative solutions to address Africa’s challenges both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

A partnership between Enygma Ventures, a ZAR100 million (US$6.8 million) fund launched late last year with a focus on investing in women entrepreneurs in the SADC region, and Startup Circles, the Shift Fund was launched in April.

The aim of the ZAR20 million (US$1 million) fund is to support African startups, entrepreneurs and innovators that are building solutions for the post-pandemic world.

“Our first call for applications to the Shift Fund was incredibly successful – we received over 900 applications and the entrepreneurs selected have been participating in an acceleration programme with Startup Circles since June. Several of these entrepreneurs will receive pre-seed funding and two companies will receive seed funding this coming month,” said Enygma Ventures co-founder Jacob Dusek.

A second round of applications have now opened here, and will close on August 31. Both entrepreneurs and innovators with existing businesses and those still at the idea stage are encouraged to apply. Established businesses that are selected will go into Enygma Ventures’ investor readiness programme to receive seed equity investment, while early-stage idea companies will receive a scholarship to Start up Circles’ acceleration programme. Successful graduates will then receive a US$25,000 pre-seed equity investment.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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