First cohort of Funguo investees

The ultimate aim of FUNGUO is to increase the number of successfully scaled innovation ventures/ startups to contribute to the national development goals and the SDGs in Tanzania.

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  • Total grant funding of TZS 1.6 billion to be disbursed to 26 finalists in the first funding round.
  • European Union, UNDP, British High Commission keen to lead early-stage ventures to access catalytic financing.

UNDP through its FUNGUO Innovation Programme (FUNGUO) has unveiled its first cohort of investees after the conclusion of its first Call for Funding Applications. The call was launched in mid-June targeting Tanzanian impact-driven startups and innovative SMEs with growth potential. FUNGUO is jointly funded by the European Union, the British High Commission, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is implemented by UNDP Tanzania in partnership with UNCDF and works closely with the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, COSTECH. The European Union’s support of FUNGUO is part of the “Business Environment, Growth and Innovation” (BEGIN) Programme which is coordinated by the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade.

In this first funding window, 26 successful innovative businesses were selected out of the 363 submitted applications from across the country, emanating from key sectors ranging from agriculture, tourism, fishery, health and education, and are mostly tech enabled.  The call had been well received, attracting 934 potential applicants who registered on the online application portal, showing that there is a high demand for catalytic funding for early-stage businesses in the country. 

The funding is part of Funguo’s intervention that aims to contribute towards increasing the number of successfully scaled impact-driven start-ups and innovative SMEs to accelerate the achievement of SDGs in Tanzania. This will be achieved through the programme’s integrated approach to contribute towards addressing the stumbling blocks and gaps in the innovation ecosystem that hinder innovative impact ventures from scaling, while promoting an environment that empowers innovators, entrepreneurs and enablers. Besides the catalytic funding, FUNGUO investees will benefit from additional technical assistance, profiling and showcasing to assist them in attracting additional investment.  

Mr. Hans Stausboll, Director at the Directorate General for International Partnerships of the European Commission, stated that the EU is continuously increasing its funding in favour of growth and investment of the private sector in Tanzania. He gave as an example the two-day business forum planned in February 2023 to facilitate discussions among business, government and political leadership for increased investments and partnership between Tanzania and Europe. “Our latest programmes all aim at private sector development either through enhanced ICT, increased access to finance or improvements in the business environment. The role of the private sector, and notably the youth, is catalytic for the prosperity and transformation of Tanzania. The Funguo programme is an excellent instance of our commitment towards this agenda”, he added.

Eduarda Mendonca-Gray, Deputy Development Director at the British High Commission, shared ‘The FCDO is pleased to build on the legacy UK funded programme, the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), through the innovative Funguo platform.  Investment in innovation and technology is critical to advance Tanzania’s development ambition, the UK is proud to be partnering with the Government and other partners to identify and improve opportunities for youth in Tanzania.”

The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Christine Musisi, highlighted how UNDP is focused on unlocking the potential of young people through a mix of interventions including catalytic funding to their ventures, contributing towards improving the support system and the innovation enabling environment. “UNDP believes that the more start-ups and innovative MSMEs are supported and scaled, the more jobs will be created for women and youths, and more income will be generated, leading to quality livelihoods and sustainable and inclusive development”, she said

About the Delegation of European Union to Tanzania 

The Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania and the East African Community is a key actor in the relations between the European Union and Tanzania as well as the East African Community. In close coordination with EU Member States’ Heads of Missions, its role is to: 

  • Share the values and interests of the European Union.
  • Promote fundamental rights, good governance and accountable democracy.
  • Support Tanzania’s development agenda and sustainable development goals for a better life for all.
  • Stimulate inclusive growth, private sector and job creation.
  • Foster regional peace and stability, economic integration and trade development. 

Follow us on Twitter @EUinTZ Instagram @EUinTanzania and Facebook: European Union in Tanzania  

About Funguo Programme

The Funguo Innovation Programme is a UNDP Initiative funded by the European Union as part of the “Business Environment, Growth and Innovation” (BEGIN) Programme. FUNGUO is also co-funded by UNDP and the British High Commission, implemented by UNDP Tanzania in partnership with UNCDF.

FUNGUO’s aim is to contribute towards increasing the number of successfully scaled impact-driven start-ups and innovative SMEs to accelerate the achievement of SDGs in Tanzania. This will be achieved through the programme’s integrated approach to contribute towards addressing the stumbling blocks and gaps in the innovation ecosystem that hinder innovative impact ventures from scaling, while promoting an environment that empowers innovators, entrepreneurs and enablers

Follow us on Twitter @Funguo_Tz and Facebook: Funguo Tanzania Instagram: @funguo_tz

info@funguo.org

About UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in 170 countries and territories, focusing on ending the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change impact. UNDP helps nations build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet. In Tanzania, UNDP works in collaboration with the Government and multi-stakeholders through strategic programmatic areas of Inclusive Democratic Governance, Inclusive Economic Growth and Sustainable Livelihoods and Environment Sustainability, Climate Change and Resilience. For more information visit: www.undp.org| www.undp.org/tanzania

Follow us on Twitter @undptz| Instagram @undptz and Facebook: UNDP Tanzania 

About the British High Commission

The British High Commission represents the UK Government abroad. Over the last 60 years, the British High Commission has continued to maintain and develop relations between the UK and Tanzania.

Led by High Commissioner, David Concar, the British High Commission deals with a wide range of political, and economic questions of interest to the UK and Tanzania, working with public and private stakeholders to promote growth, protect natural resources and support progress on education, trade, investment and security.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UKinTanzania

About UNCDF

UNCDF has been present in Tanzania since 1982, promoting local economic development and financial inclusion, and enhancing local government alternative sources of funds to finance local infrastructure. 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.

Contact Information

Susanne Mbise, Press and Information Officer European Union Delegation to Tanzania – Susanne.MBISE@eeas.europa.eu

Juliana Kayombo, Communications, Outreach and Advocacy Lead, FUNGUO – juliana.kayombo@undp.org

Sawiche Wamunza , Communications and Partnership Analyst, UNDP – sawiche.wamunza@undp.org

Isha Shelat , British High Commission to TanzaniaIsha.shelat@fcdo.gov.uk  

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