Shift Fund opens applications for second-round funding for entrepreneurs

Shift Fund opens applications for second-round funding for entrepreneurs

Enygma Ventures’ subfund, Shift, has opened applications for the second round of funding for entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa who have existing businesses or new business ideas.

The Shift Fund which was launched in April this year through a partnership between Enygma Ventures and Startup Circles.

The new fund came as a response to the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic and targets entrepreneurs and innovators in Southern Africa who are passionate about creating new solutions that address challenges facing Africa during and after the pandemic.

Co-founder of Enygma Ventures, Jacob Dusek said, “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 program with Startup Circles since June. Several of these entrepreneurs will receive pre-seed funding and two companies will receive seed funding this coming month.”

Operating Partner for Enygma Ventures, Lelemba Phiri said, “We want to encourage more women entrepreneurs to apply to our Shift fund for we understand the challenges many women experience in accessing funds, support, and mentorship. We believe women hold the keys to unlocking Africa’s economic potential and we are committed to investing in our women.”

Entrepreneurs and innovators with existing businesses and those still at the idea stage are encouraged to apply here.

However, successful applications will go through a vetting process which will determine if they will receive a scholarship or seed funding or both.

Established businesses that are selected will go into Enygma Ventures’ investor readiness program to receive seed equity investment while Early-stage idea companies will receive a scholarship to Startup Circles’ acceleration program where successful graduates will receive a $25 000 pre-seed equity investment.

CEO of Startup Circles, Sandras Phiri said, “It is truly fantastic seeing the caliber of innovative ideas that entrepreneurs and innovators across the African continent are coming up with. The rate at which people are joining our community, engaging with us, our mentors, investors and with each other shows that Africa is fertile ground for incubating and launching new businesses that will, in due time, change the way people view and invest in the continent.”

Startup Circles is an online platform that helps entrepreneurs quickly move from ideation to validation, to startups, and to become investor-ready.

Applications are currently opened and will close on 31 August 2020.