Shift Fund
Shift Fund

Enygma Ventures’ subfund, Shift, has opened for a second round of funding for entrepreneurs and innovators in Africa who either have existing businesses or new business ideas.

Applications for Shift, a partnership between Enygma Ventures and Startup Circles, reopens on Monday, 3 August and closes on Monday, 31 August.

The Shift Fund, which was launched earlier this year in April as a response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, focuses on entrepreneurs and innovators in Southern Africa who are passionate about driving innovative solutions to address Africa’s challenges both during and after the pandemic. This second round of funding comes just as Women’s Month starts in South Africa.

With women coming into focus during Women’s Month, Lelemba Phiri, Operating Partner for Enygma Ventures shares: “We want to encourage more women entrepreneurs to apply to our Shift fund as we understand the challenges many women experience in accessing funds, support, and mentorship. We believe women hold the keys to unlocking Africa’s economic potential and we are committed to investing in our women.”

Enygma Ventures Cofounder Jacob Dusek says, “Our first call for applications to the Shift fund was incredibly successful – we received over 900 applications and the entrepreneurs selected have been participating in an acceleration programme with Startup Circles since June. Several of these entrepreneurs will receive pre-seed funding and two companies will obtain seed funding this coming month.”

Startup Circles CEO Sandras Phiri adds, “It is truly fantastic seeing the calibre of innovative ideas that entrepreneurs and innovators across the African continent are coming up with. The rate at which people are joining our community, engaging with us, our mentors, investors and with each other shows that Africa is fertile ground for incubating and launching new businesses that will, in due time, change the way people view and invest in the continent.”

Entrepreneurs and innovators with existing businesses and those still at idea stage are encouraged to apply. Established businesses that are selected will go into Enygma Ventures’ investor readiness programme to receive seed equity investment. Early stage idea companies will receive a scholarship to Startup Circles’ acceleration programme. Successful graduates will then receive a $25,000 pre-seed equity investment.

Those not selected for fast tracking will still be able to use the same resources from Startup Circles at regular rates.

Startup Circles, Africa’s number one online accelerator and startup school is an online platform that helps entrepreneurs quickly move from ideation, to validation, to Startup, to becoming investor ready. Startup Circles works with mentors from all around the world who assist in facilitating moving quickly through ideation, to validation, to operation.

Entrepreneurs should apply here. Successful applications will go through a vetting process which will determine whether they will receive a scholarship or seed funding or both.

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