East Africa

New $1 m COVID-19 relief fund to support innovative solutions for Ugandan startups.

The 97Fund based in Uganda has launched a US$ 1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund to invest in solutions that address and address pandemic challenges and solutions that prepare Uganda for a post-COVID-19 environment.

The 97Fund, which invests in Africa’s high-growth, early-stage companies and is operated by Ortus Africa Capital, said the COVID-19 Relief Fund is helping young entrepreneurs to scale up and build solutions that will help Uganda recover from the post-crisis coronavirus crisis and establish competitive advantage.

It supports businesses that adapt to the pandemic while creating jobs, in areas such as delivering healthcare services, re-imagining business models in sectors such as tourism, education and finance, new ways of working, supply chains and logistics, and digital economy.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund offers US$ 2,000-US$10,000 as an equity-free loan, with the potential for follow-up grants from The 97Fund and co-investment partners, as well as access to workspace and mentorship. Click here to receive rolling applications. The fund has received applications from over 130 entrepreneurs so far, with 22 solutions to be put to the investment committee having been identified by three demo days.

“Various companies are beginning to feel the transformative effect of COVID-19 on Uganda’s social and economic environment. Therefore, there is a need to ensure stability of the economy and sector in a way that plans for long-lasting development and prosperity to also reduce potential crises, “said Kenneth Legesi, Ortus Africa Capital’s managing partner.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund was originally invested with US$ 1 million from The Innovation Village as part of the Mastercard Foundation-backed Young Africa Works Programme.