Invest2Impact Competition 2019 for Women-led Businesses in East Africa (Win a share of USD85,000 in prizes)

Invest2Impact Competition 2019 for Women-led Businesses in East Africa (Win a share of USD85,000 in prizes)

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Applications are open for Invest2Impact Competition 2019. The competition is looking for 100 women-led businesses in East Africa to support with a range of access to funding programmes, business support, and multi-national networking. Invest2Impact is a programme of the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) of Canada, France, the United Kingdom and United States, in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, as part of the global 2X Challenge.

Invest2Impact starts with an online competition for women-led businesses in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The aim is to be a partner that recognizes and celebrates the power of women entrepreneurs and that helps you to operate as close as possible to your maximum potential.

  • Are you looking for funding to take your business to the next level?
  • Do you value networking with business leaders and other entrepreneurs?
  • Do you want to explore crowdfunding for a new product or innovation?
  • Would you like to attend a major international Expo or Trade Show in your industry, with your expenses paid?
  • Would you like to work with business and funding experts to sharpen your  strategy and be more competitive?  

If you answered “yes” to even one of the questions above, Invest2Impact can benefit you. Invest2Impact will move you closer to your funding goals, provide you with market access, expert business coaching and multi-national networking opportunities.

By entering the competition you could be selected as one of 100 women entrepreneurs to participate in the Invest2Impact funding and business support programme, and win a share of USD85,000 in prizes.

Programme Details

Through the competition, 100 entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in one or more of the Invest2Impact programmes:

  • 2Xcelerate: Direct, face-to-face engagement with one or more of the four Invest2Impact financial institutions to review your funding requirements, readiness and business plan – tailored support for access to funding.
  • 2Xcapital: Expert advice and support to unlock funding from other SME funders.  Leverage Invest2Impact’s expertise, relationships and network to build and promote your business investment case. 
  • 2Xcrowd: A special programme designed for smaller businesses with innovative products or social impact . Receive expert, customised support to develop and implement an African and global crowdfunding campaign.
  • 2Xcatalyse: This programme will fund an all-expenses-paid trip to a major conference, trade show or expo in your industry, in Africa or elsewhere. To maximise the benefit, a mentor will help you prepare your event marketing pack. A great way to build your business profile, grow your network, meet potential customers and put your business on the map.
  • 2Xconnect: All  100 selected entrepreneurs will also be part of the 2Xconnect business network  – building new relationships and sharing knowledge and opportunity in each country, the East Africa region and internationally.


    To recognise real empowerment and participation of women in the boardroom and in the workplace.
    To recognise a business that is empowering young people and inspiring young achievers.
    To recognise a business that is working to address climate change and promote a green economy.
    To recognise the innovative use of technology to improve lives and support healthy communities.


These are the criteria for businesses to qualify to enter the competition.

  • Your business must be based (registered and operating in) one (or more) of the following countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda;
    Your business may operate in a country/countries outside of the above list but must be majority owned (more than 51%) by at least one woman who is a national of one of the countries listed above.
  • The competition is open to both small and medium-size businesses. The Invest2Impact sponsors and partners are looking for businesses that require funding in the following categories:
    • Funding up to USD100,000
    • Funding between USD100,000
      and USD3-million
    • Funding between USD3-million
      and USD8-million
    • Funding for more than USD8-million
    • If you fall into one of the above categories, they invite you to enter the competition to receive funding readiness and access support.
  • To enter, a business must have been operating for at least three years, and meet ANY TWO of the following three criteria:
    • At least 5 employees;
    • Revenues of at least USD50,000 per annum;
    • Assets of at least USD50,000.
  • The business must be minimum 51% owned by women national(s) of one or more of the countries listed above;
    was founded by women national(s) of one or more of the countries listed above (even if their current ownership is now less than 51%).
  • Businesses can enter in any industry sector (subject to the exclusions below).
  • Businesses which support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are particularly welcome to enter and can score  additional points in the entry form.



The first step is to enter the competition using the on-line entry form. The form is designed to evaluate what type of funding support is right for you. It also allows you to apply for the other business support. The panel of business experts will review all entrants and select the 100 Invest2Impact 2019 participants. You will be kept informed of the progress of your entry, and you will be informed of the competition results as soon as they are available.

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit .