The 97Fund has launched a $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund (the “Fund”) in partnership with The Innovation Village. The Fund invests in solutions in Uganda that address challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or prepare Uganda for a post COVID-19 environment. The 97Fund is managed by Ortus Africa Capital and is a Ugandan domiciled open-end investment vehicle that invests in high-growth early-stage companies in Africa. The COVID-19 Relief Fund has been seeded initially with $1 million from The Innovation Village as part of the Young Africa Works Program supported by Mastercard Foundation. The Innovation Village is Uganda’s launch pad for leading innovators and entrepreneurs that serves as an ecosystem builder deepening the application of technology in powering socio-economic prosperity.

What sort of businesses will the Fund support? What kind of support is available?

Job creation and contribution to livelihoods are key metrics for the Fund, so it targets companies with solutions related to the pandemic in industries such as healthcare, tourism, education, finance, collaborative working, supply chains and logistics, and those in the digital economy with a particular focus on digital marketplaces. The Fund offers $2,000 – $10,000 as an equity-free grant, with an opportunity for follow-on funding from the 97Fund and or co-investment partners as well as access to workspace and mentorship.

Am I eligible? How do I apply?

Interested businesses are encouraged to apply via this link: Entrepreneur Application Form: The 97 Fund

Received applications are taken through a screening process to identify workable and scalable solutions to current and potential challenges caused by COVID-10. A selection are invited to present at a demo day before being presented to an Investment Committee. The selected solutions are awarded a combination of funding and technical assistance. So far, the Fund has received applications from over 130 entrepreneurs, held three 3 demo days, and identified 22 solutions to put to the Investment Committee.

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