The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
The Funguo Innovation Programme (also simply referred to as FUNGUO) is a UNDP Initiative funded by the European Union as part of the “Business Environment, Growth and Innovation” (BEGIN) Programme. Other funders include UNDP itself and the UK Government through the Africa Technology and Innovation Partnerships (ATIP). The programme aims to increase the number of successfully scaled innovative startup companies. It does so by addressing the challenges and gaps in the innovation ecosystem that hinder the scaling of innovative impact ventures, while fostering an environment that supports innovation for development and empowers innovators, entrepreneurs, and enablers. UNDP Tanzania leads the programme implementation in partnership with UNCDF, and works in close collaboration with COSTECH, ICT Commission among and other partners.
After the successful launch and execution of the 1st funding round which resulted into 26 impact-driven startups, FUNGUO is pleased to announce its second call which considers lessons learnt and feedback received.
Through this Request for Applications (RfA), FUNGUO continues to identify legally registered impact-driven startups and scalable innovative SMEs, majority-owned by Tanzanians. As a conscious effort to encourage and promote women innovators and entrepreneurs, at least 30% of the funds available for this round will be exclusively reserved for women-founded or women- led startup companies.
The geographic scope of the intervention is the country of Tanzania. To be eligible, applicants must be registered and operating in Tanzania.
Selected applicants will sign a Performance-Based Agreement (PBA) with UNCDF.
FUNGUO’s contribution will be in the form of an equity-free responsible grant ranging from TZS 50 million to TZS 100 million. FUNGUO will award up to 28 applications depending on the requested amount, compliance to eligibility and selection criteria. Applicants must apply independently.
The application window is open from 30th May 2023 and will close at 11:59 PM EAT on 30th June 2023. All applications must be submitted through UNCDF e-investment platform: https://apply.uncdf.org/prog/funguo2/
However, please visit UNCDF’s Apply platform to check if the deadline has not been extended.
The Funguo Innovation Programme (also simply referred to as FUNGUO) is a UNDP Initiative funded by the European Union as part of the “Business Environment, Growth and Innovation” (BEGIN) Programme. Other funders include UNDP itself and the UK Government through the Africa Technology and Innovation Partnerships (ATIP). The programme aims to increase the number of successfully scaled innovative startup companies. It does so by addressing the challenges and gaps in the innovation ecosystem that hinder the scaling of innovative impact ventures, while fostering an environment that supports innovation for development and empowers innovators, entrepreneurs, and enablers. UNDP Tanzania leads the programme implementation in partnership with UNCDF, and works in close collaboration with COSTECH, ICT Commission among and other partners.The three main pillars of the programme are:
Through a combination of targeted initiatives across the three key pillars, the Funguo Innovation Programme is designed to lay the foundation for, and unlock the potential of, Tanzanian innovators and entrepreneurs to create scalable start-ups capable of attracting impact and commercial investments. The more start-ups are supported and scaled, the more jobs will be created, and more income will be generated, leading to sustainable and inclusive development. The programme is initially being funded by UNDP, the European Union Delegation to Tanzania and EAC, as well as the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). The implementation is being led by UNDP Tanzania in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, UNCDF.
The primary goal of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to provide catalytic funding to Tanzanian impact-driven startups and innovative SMEs, supporting their scalability and attracting external financing. By addressing the funding gap for smaller organizations with proven business models and market traction, the aim is to fund ventures capable of reaching a wide audience and contributing to long-term success. This funding opportunity also emphasizes the promotion and support of women-led and women-founded businesses, advancing gender equality and empowerment, while contributing to the overall development goals of the country. Building on previous successes, the RFA seeks to identify startups with potential investors willing to take the first bet and help de-risk them, fostering a strong pipeline of impactful startups and scalable SMEs with innovative business models that can attract further funding opportunities.
2.1 Areas of intervention
For this request for applications (RFA), FUNGUO invites applications from registered entities that can offer innovative and scalable solutions addressing one or more of the challenges hindering the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the RFA, UNCDF together with Funguo Programme Team envisions the provision of support align with the area of intervention above.
2.3 Expected results
Applications should include targets on the indicators below, which will be considered in the evaluation of the applications. During the negotiation process of the performance-based agreement, selected applicants and UNCDF shall develop a reporting framework that may include additional indicators and targets, tailored to the scope of the proposed solution, activities and expected results.
|Percentage annual increase in revenues
|Value of funds invested in the organization, during or after FUNGUO support.
|Number of active clients/customers/users
Only applications that meet the eligibility requirements and minimum criteria for the submission will be scored.
This RFA is open to ventures that meet the following basic criteria:
3.2 Evaluation criteria
The Evaluation Committee will score the applications according to the evaluation criteria below:
Only applications that score at least [70 out of 100] will be considered successful and move to the due-diligence stage. Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
The eligible applicants must demonstrate how innovative they are in terms of products or services they offer, processes, additionality, unique selling proposition, or unique experience they create for their clientele, etc. as compared to the competition. Doblin’s Ten Types of Innovation can be a good guiding framework.
Business Viability and Potential to Scale:
Eligible applicants must demonstrate their potential to generate enough revenue and profits to sustain themselves in the short to medium term. They must also demonstrate their potential to scale through the ability to grow and expand their operations and offerings in the long term.
Team and Management:
The applicant has the necessary expertise, as well as management capacity and human resources, to substantially scale its business. Additionally, the team must demonstrate a clear understanding of how their target market operates, with team members who have first-hand experience of the problem or possess deep understanding of their target customers’ challenges.
· The business model has a significant developmental relevance.
· The impact is measurable, i.e., positive effects on the target groups.
· The venture is contributing to reaching the SDGs by increasing local income, saving natural resources, improving access to resources and services, and creating decent jobs
Note: Funding will be provided to incorporated businesses only. If a startup with a business name registration happens to be selected, they will be required to incorporate before the disbursement can be made.
The criteria for eligible expenditure determine whether a cost qualifies for funding under UNCDF rules and procedures.
The general criteria for eligibility of costs under UNCDF funding include the following.
FUNGUO will conduct due diligence on selected applicants, who will be required to demonstrate how they meet the eligibility criteria and have a chance to defend their case further beyond the submitted application.
The following costs are ineligible and not accepted:
Applicants shall give evidence that their businesses are aligned to the following parameters.
Eligible candidates must apply independently and will be responsible for:
4.2 Target segment
The primary target of the RFA are Startup companies and Innovative SMEs in Tanzania.
4.3 Geographical scope
The Startup or Innovative SME should be registered and operating in Tanzania – any region (mainland or Zanzibar).
4.4 Project duration
The grant duration is expected to be a 12-month duration.
The deliverables and any correspondence between the applicant organization and UNCDF must be in English.
5.1 Structure of the application
5.2 Application deadline
All applications must be submitted by 23:59 EDT TIME of 30th June 2023 at this link
5.3 Next steps
For info sessions regarding the RFA, please register via this link: https://forms.office.com/e/UhJcM3HiHA
5.4 Real-time assistance from UNCDF
To read the FAQ, please download the attached document here: Second Call For Funding Frequently Asked Questions