The clamour for an enhanced livelihood and sustainable workforce for women and girls has ignited the coLABS 2020 to make a difference with its gender lens fund for startups in Africa. 

This global investment portfolio initiated by the Grays Matter Capital, an impact-oriented investment company in 2017, uses its focused mission to fund startup businesses that incorporate women’s role and impact in the community as part of its major business model. Also, coLABS 2020 aims to help scale up these start-ups by providing follow-up technical and specific advisory support.


  • Impact of Women– Women should be central growth or part of your business model. The focus challenge should be adequately channelled to women/girls in your community
  • Scalable- Company growth rate should be within 5 years to reach new markets or to provide new services/products to customers
  • Innovative- The intent of your business to create new things for the world
  • Early-stage- Your business idea has been tested, seen it be sustainable, and now you’re ready to scale. Also, if revenue-share is the appropriate type of investment capital for your company
  • Sectors- Priority is given to businesses that are adopting technology to provide women and/or girls access in the following areas: Agribusiness, Clean technology, and energy, Education, Financial Services, Healthcare, ICT, Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Current regional focus: East and West Africa


  • Access to a seed investments from $100,000 – $250,000
  • Revenue-share investment terms over 5 years (no debt, equity, or grant capital)
  • 12 months of strategic advisory support from recruited industry experts to reach proof-of-concept for your venture

How to apply

For eligible enterprises, you are required to process your application with the following steps:

  • Step 1 Pre-screen application– All interested applicants must submit a pre-screening application form which will be internally reviewed by the organising team
  • Step 2 Full Proposal-If your idea meets the criteria, they will be reaching out to you to submit a formal proposal
  • Step 3 Proposal Refinement- If the enterprise is shortlisted for the next stage, they will work with you in refining your pitch to meet the provisions of the Investment Committee
  • Step 4 The Bulge- An opportunity to pitch to the Investment Committee

Interested candidates can begin their application as the application portal closes Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

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I'm a content creator at smepeaks. I express my passion for SMEs' rapid and sustainable business growth has led me to express it through storytelling.