1 year ago

Call For Application - Capacity Building Awards

Joshua Lapinsky profile image

The Capacity Building Awards program is a program within ACBP that provides a grant of 15,000 euros to winning hubs within the AfriLabs network to implement projects for the hubs and startups within their network which showcases the application of capacity building models.

As part of the award, winning hubs also access free training and mentoring during the grant implementation period to enhance their chances of succeeding as Hubs.

AfriLabs is calling its member hubs who have been engaged in its activities for the past year to apply for the first round of the Capacity Building Awards.

The grant of 15,000 euros per hub and 30, 000 euros for joint proposals submitted by 2 hubs will be awarded to 17 successful applicants (17 hubs) to fund existing projects or ideas with proof of concept on the application of knowledge gained from engaging in AfriLabs activities over the past year.

These projects must be targeted at the hub and should position them better in meeting their missions and mandate to their immediate community more effectively. The 2020 Capacity Building Grants is supported by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) through the Digital Africa seed fund. The purpose of this document is to set out the terms and conditions to participate in the call of applications.

The purpose of this document is to set out the terms and conditions to participate in the call of applications.

What the award is to be used for

The grant amount is expected to be used by hubs to fund existing projects or implement ideas with a proof of concept which showcases the application of capacity building models learned from all engagements and interaction with AfriLabs over the past 12months. The project could be one that needs scaling up or an idea with a proof of concept ready to be implemented. The proposed project should be targeted at hubs and strategically position them to achieve their mission, objectives and mandate to their community. The proposal should focus on one of the following categories but can state the primary and secondary category to be considered for.

  • Women Support Projects (e.g incubation projects, Acceleration, business support or mentorship projects with content tailored towards support of women entrepreneurs)
  • Hub Exchange Programs for Startups
  • Virtual Incubation Programs (Startup Investment Readiness or Venture Clinics (for matching entrepreneurs to startups and other venture building services such as business development, marketing, finance support, marketing etc.)
  • Investor & Mentor Networks Building and Matching (where start-ups within the network are linked with a group of potential investors or mentors for funding or mentor support)
  • Business clinics where start-ups are trained on financial management, communications and marketing.


Eligibility Criteria

The Capacity Building Award is open to innovation hubs within the AfriLabs network that provide facilities to support new ideas, startups and entrepreneurs in the African innovation. Innovation hubs should possess the following criteria before applying:

  • Be located in Africa
  • Demonstrate the existence of a legal structure. Participants will have to deliver a certificate of registration dated less than 6 months before the date of submission of their application, and certify that they are in compliance with the social and fiscal legislation, which they are subject to. If applicable, all the Participant’s shareholders will have to be clearly identified through a schema of ownership.
  • Be a member of the AfriLabs network
  • Must have verifiable evidence of building startups over the past 12 months. (a list of existing startups within your network who have been supported by you suffices)
  • Must have participated in at least 1 activity organized by AfriLabs over the past 12 months for which proof must be provided by hubs.

Note that hubs who provide false information about this will be disqualified from the application process.


  1. The Capacity Building Award is open to all AfriLabs member hubs but priority will be given to member hubs with Engagement proof with AfriLabs.
  2. Only one application per hub will be accepted.
  3. To avoid any conflict of interest, staff members from Afrilabs or from any other organization taking part in the implementation of the Call for Applications and / or in its promotion, as well as their family members, cannot apply to the Call for Applications.
  4. Hubs that possess limited criteria are encouraged to collaborate and submit joint applications with other hubs within the AfriLabs network that compliment them for the purpose of this application. Check ‘Collaboration of hubs” below for more details.


Application Guidelines

Qualified applicants should send their applications in pdf format to applications@afrilabs.com by following the guidelines below:

  • 100-word abstract in the body of the submission email.
  • Attach a (minimum 3 paged) proposal which should.
    • Describe the gap faced by your hub or community and the proposed project to fix that gap. The proposal should focus on one of the categories described above.
    • Describe the methodology to be used in achieving the solution and how the implementation of the activities will achieve the objective, including value for money within the grant funding (what measurable impact will the grant make).
    • Demonstrate your hubs capacity and your staff capability (experience and qualifications) to deliver the activity objectives for the hub
    • Demonstrate sustainability and longevity after the activities are implemented
  • Budget: Include a description of the activities for which the 15,000 euros or 30,000 euros (joint application) grant will be used, costing to be clearly presented in a summarized budget table;
  • Monitoring Framework: Include a brief and concise logical framework to track the objective of the assignment, stated benchmarks, output, outcomes, and impact on client services and organizational behaviour. Further provide strategies for mitigating the possible setbacks that could impede the successful execution of capacity building activities.
  • Upload and submit a maximum of 2 min video that contains the logo of your hub/hubs, short text description, detailed content of your project and details of your hub. The video must be edited properly with at least a resolution of 1280x720 and in Mp4 format. Ensure to include in your submissions, your social media handles with links and website addresses.


Collaboration of Hubs

Hubs are encouraged to collaborate and submit a joint proposal if:

  • They are both AfriLabs member hubs
  • They are located in different regions. (Collaborations must be cross regional).
  • They have clearly defined terms and objectives of partnership hence proposal should be accompanied with a signed MoU or letter of intent to work together. The sharing formula must be agreed by both hubs and included in the application.
  • The application should clearly demonstrate how the proposed project will benefit each hub (Scale of project to be implemented in each hub is determined by both hubs).
  • Hubs that collaborate will receive a total grant of 30,000 euros but the sharing formula is determined by the hubs and based on their agreement and their joint proposal


Selection Process

The Call for application is structured in 3 consecutive phases:

  • An application phase will take place from 23rd September to 7th October 2020 12pm WAT. Participants will submit their applications on applications@afrilabs.com
  • An application review phase will take place from 7th October 2020 to 12th October 2020. A list of 17 participants will be selected by the selection panel. A complementary information (including administrative) can be requested to the selected participants.
  • An award ceremony will be held on the 14th October 2020 during the virtual AfriLabs Annual Gathering 2020.

Note: the selection panel is sovereign and does not need to justify its decision, which cannot be appealed. Participants shall not contest the decisions of the selection panel.


Selection Criteria

Winners of the capacity building awards will be selected based on the following criteria (weighted score):

  • Ability to describe the gap faced by hub or community and the proposed project (10)
  • Relevance of the proposal Methodology and clear methods of implementation (15)
  • Relevance of Budget/Use of financial resources (10)
  • Experience in carrying out capacity building activities (10)
  • Relevance of the Accountability and Monitoring framework (5)
  • Proof of Engagement with AfriLabs (40)
  • Ability to demonstrate sustainability of the project beyond the grant funding (10)


What we offer – Awards

Grant funds

The Capacity Building Awards is for a sum of 15,000 Euros for single applications and 30,000 euros for joint applications. This will be disbursed in 2 tranches of half of the total amount over a six month period.

Publicity for hubs

Winners of the grant awards will be exposed to the network and larger African ecosystem by AfriLabs by presenting them, using their logos and amplifying their projects at every given opportunity. They will also be presented to the ecosystem in a grand awards Ceremony during the AfriLabs Annual gathering.


Winners of grants will be matched with industry experts within their project category to provide ongoing and hands on mentoring to increase the chances of the project and in turn the hubs succeeding. Mentoring will be provided for the duration of the grant (6 months).



Participants shall authorize Afrilabs and Agence Française de Développement to reproduce their trademark and logo free of charge on communication materials about the Call for Applications including but not limited to the AfriLabs or Agence Française de Développement’s websites, newsletters, press releases, social network pages. The permission herein come into force commencing on the Call for Applications start date and for the duration and requirements stipulated in the above mentioned purposes.

Data protection

AfriLabs will be responsible for processing the data for the purpose of organizing and ensuring the implementation of the Call for Applications and its outcomes. AfriLabs is the only recipient of the processed data. The above-mentioned data is retained until the end of the Call for Applications, corresponding to the date of the Awards ceremony. Concerned subjects have the rights to access their personal data and request its deletion. They have the right to refuse, rectify or limit the above-mentioned data processing and to request data portability.

Cancellation and suspension

AfriLabs reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Call for Application under the following circumstances

  • Force majeure (supervening impossibility).
  • Any kind of fraud whatsoever.

AfriLabs cannot be held liable for the cancellation or suspension of the Call for Applications and the participants will not be entitled to any kind of compensation.

For any enquiries kindly send a mail to funmilayo@afrilabs.com ;