The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Next 100 African Startups Initiative for promising African start-ups (Funded to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt)

Application Deadline: October 21st, 2018

The Next 100 African Startups Initiative is a program, launched in partnership between the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will select up to 100 promising African start-ups to participate in the Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh on December 8-10. Selected startups will be given the opportunity to connect with international investors and financial institutions, government officials, and policymakers from the African continent.

Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has grown rapidly over the past decade, thanks to growing momentum among its entrepreneurs and increased collaboration between a number of key regional entities. This has resulted in a significantly enhanced ecosystem and more funding opportunities. The Africa 2018 Forum, which takes place in Sharm El-Sheikh from December 8-9, under the patronage of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, offers an opportunity to take this burgeoning ecosystem a step further.

The initiative’s aim is to unlock the region’s entrepreneurial potential by showcasing Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and start-ups, and creating markets for early stage businesses. The program targets Africa-based startups that have already demonstrated some level of success, either by generating revenue or by developing a working prototype. The selected startups and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network with, and be connected to, top business and political leaders.

The initiative builds on MIIC strong efforts to stimulate the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem and help its young people explore new and innovative ways to create better futures for themselves and their communities. This support is provided through networks, innovative financial instruments, as well as regulations and policies that eliminate barriers and integrate Egyptian entrepreneurs into regional and global markets.

This is in addition to the launching of nation-wide initiatives, such as “fekretak sherketak” that aims to identify promising entrepreneurs, and enable them to transform their business ideas into successful realities through the provision of training, mentoring, as well as funding. Moreover, Falak Startups was also established to enable and empower the next generation of Egyptian entrepreneurs through a 4-month acceleration program that provides them with comprehensive all-round support. This ensures they are equipped with the tools and resources needed to enhance their business models and hone their entrepreneurial skills, in order to thrive and compete in the global economy. To ensure Egypt’s young entrepreneurs are able to keep up with the pace of the changing global financial and technological landscape, EFG-EV was launched to offer tailored services to startups operating in the fintech sector. MIIC is also exerting efforts to position Egypt as a regional entrepreneurial hub, to tap into the continent’s vast potential and catalyze on Egypt’s leading regional role, and as such is planning to launch an Africa Entrepreneurship Program.


  • Travel and accommodation expenses for startups will be covered by IFC if needed.

Selection Process:

Companies will be selected based on the following criteria:

Stage of operation

The company must either be generating revenue with demonstrated early success, or have a working prototype or a product on the market.

Previous funding

Typically, the company would have already received one or two rounds of funding and is now seeking Series A or Series B funding in the coming year

Positive impact

The company must have the potential to make a substantial long-term impact on African business and society as well as a commitment to improving the region.


The company should have well-formulated goals and plans for development.


The company must have visionary leadership with the capacity to drive it towards success.

Independent company

The company must not be a subsidiary or a joint venture.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the IFC Next 100 African Startups Initiative


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