WIDU.africa is a project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim of the project is to improve employment and income potential of micro and small entrepreneurs in six African countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Togo and Tunisia. To do so, WIDU cooperates with the African diaspora in Europe. All project activities are carried out via the specially developed online platform www.widu.africa, which was launched in November 2019. 

Opportunities to Invest in WIDU.africa

Organizations working towards promoting job creation in Africa by specifically targeting micro-enterprises as well as Development Banks or other funding organisations can cooperate with WIDU.africa. Cooperation with WIDU means benefitting from our established structures in our partner countries and from our connection to the African diaspora in Europe. Our funding instruments are proven, flexible and can be set up easily and quickly.

  • Existing and/or new Local Calls 
  • Rapid Response Grants
  • Original WIDU Grants


  1. WIDU Impact: 2019 until 2023
  2. Cooperation With Third Party Funding Organisations
  3. Funding Instruments for Small & Micro Businesses in Africa
  4. Local Calls: Tailored Support for Specific Economic Sectors
  5. Challenge & WIDU Approach
  6. Outlook
  7. Success Stories
  8. About WIDU

1. WIDU Impact: 2019 until 2023

WIDU.africa carries out all project activities via www.widu.africa platform and has therefore access to conclusive impact data on entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial ecosystems of it's six partner countries in Africa.

  • On average, each entrepreneur supported by WIDU creates two new jobs.
  • Female entrepreneurs supported by WIDU create more jobs for women compared to male entrepreneurs.
success users
Number of users
disbursed grants
Mobilized Investment
success users
Supported Businesses
success joint projects
New & Sustained Jobs

2. Cooperation With Third Party Funding Organisations

The WIDU platform combines technical and financial development cooperation approaches: entrepreneurs receive financial support and at the same time undergo tailored capacity building measures (business coaching).

Organisations interested in promoting micro-enterprises and creating jobs in Africa can cooperate with WIDU.africa.

Cooperation with WIDU offers:

  • Easy and direct access to micro-enterprises in Africa
  • Targeted promotion of economic sectors (e.g. Local Calls)
  • Possibility to reach and support enterprises in Africa directly in the event of a crisis (Corona Business Grant & Rapid Response Grant)
  • Access to diaspora networks in Europe

Currently, WIDU offers the possibility to:

  • develop and implement Local Calls
  • jointly implement a Rapid Response Grant
  • provide funding similar to the WIDU’s Original Grant

Future Cooperation Opportunities

In its upcoming, second project phase (starting in October 2023), WIDU intends to further expand its hybrid approach. The aim is to establish a multi-donor fund and to use it to continue already established funding programmes (see Original WIDU Grant) as well as to introduce new programmes geared to the requirements of donor organisations. It is also conceivable to supplement other types of financing for entrepreneurs, such as the granting of loans. Third party funding organisations shall be able to cooperate with WIDU or commission targeted support measures (permanent or on an ad hoc basis).

3. Funding Instruments of WIDU.africa

Original WIDU Grant

The WIDU Orginal Grant is WIDU’s first funding instrument. Members of the African diaspora living in Europe can apply and financially support family members and friends with businesses in Africa.

  • Small businesses from all business sectors
  • Financial contribution by diaspora required
  • Private investment by entrepreneur required

Local Calls

In 2022 WIDU.africa launched the Local Call. This funding instrument is available directly to local entrepreneurs to boost their businesses in specified thematic areas. Each Local Call addresses a specific topic which may differ from country to country – depending on which economic sector is of major regional importance.

  • Innovative small businesses from specific business sectors
  • Private investment by entrepreneur needed
  • No diaspora contribution required

Corona Business Grant & Rapid Response Grants

In spring 2020, within six weeks, WIDU had set up the Corona Business Grant and over the course of the following 2.5 years successfully contributed to the mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic effects. This Rapid Response Instrument has proven its effectiveness and is available to be implemented in cases of emergency on very short notice to respond to.

In 2023, WIDU plans to convert this tool into an Economic Transition Instrument that will enable the project to respond to crises situations and to strengthen resilience in its partner countries


  • 1,000 jobs sustained & created
  • EUR 1.1 million disbursed to African entrepreneurs

5. Challenge & WIDU Approach

Employment prospects are key to development and stability across different regions of Africa. Many entrepreneurs in Africa have the potential to create new jobs. However, they often lack not only an access to financial services and capital, but also to a support to expand their entrepreneurial skills. In consequence, they often struggle to reach their full potential. 

Cooperation with diaspora holds major potential for improving these conditions. According to World Bank estimates, African diaspora in Germany transfers EUR 1.52 billion to their countries of origin each year. So far, only a small proportion of it is invested in businesses and their activities. Therefore, there is an untapped potential to involve the diaspora as a contributor to entrepreneurial funding through capital and knowledge transfer.

Through a combined grant and coaching approach, the project unlocks potential of entrepreneurs turning their ideas into employment and income. To achieve this, WIDU.africa cooperates with the African diaspora in Europe. The programme aims to leverage a proportion of diaspora remittances to Africa into micro-businesses, thus ensuring access to finance for entrepreneurs. The incentive is a grant paid to successful entrepreneurs by the project.

Outlook: Future of WIDU.africa

The strength of the WIDU approach lies in its scalability. The examination and projection of project data since October 2019 showed that the higher the project funding volume, the higher the efficiency in implementation. In the case of scaling up through cooperation with third-party donors, the cost efficiency gain through upscaling the project would be over 80 percent.

About WIDU

faq item

1. Which Organisation implements WIDU.africa? How is it Funded?

WIDU.africa is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In collaboration with the African diaspora in Europe, WIDU applies an innovative approach that combines funding and coaching to strengthen new and existing small businesses in Africa, which then leads to the creation of new jobs.

2. What Does the Word "WIDU" mean?

WIDU is an artificial Word, derived from the German name for the bird Hoepoe ("Wiedehopf"). Hoepoes are migratory birds and live in Europe and Africa. WIDU's logo shows a hoepoe, which is symbolic of the African diaspora. In order to internationalize the name "Wiedehopf", the project chose to create a new, artifical word and came up with WIDU.africa.