Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about WIDU!

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Frequently Asked Questions
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1. What is WIDU?

Together with the African diaspora in Europe, the online platform WIDU.africa provides professional business coaching and funding to small businesses in participating African countries.

2. How does WIDU work?

The list below shows the relevant steps that the donor and entrepreneur have to take.

1. Donor

• Invites entrepreneur.

• Fills in Project Information and Submits Project Proposal.

• WIDU checks project and after approval, sends a professional business coach.

• Donor transfers money and documents it on the platform.

• Application for Grant.

• A coach verifies the receipts and you can start a new project.

2. Entrepreneur

• Accepts invitation.

• Fills in Project Information and Submit Project Proposal.

• WIDU checks project and after approval, sends a professional business coach.

• Entrepreneur uses donor’s contribution and own funds to invest in the business and uploads receipts on the platform.

• Application for Grant.

• Receives the funding and invests it to expand or stabilize the business.

• A coach verifies the receipts and you can start a new project.

The entire process is explained in the explainer video.

3. Am I eligible to take part?

1. Donor

• At least 18 years old.

• Has a valid passport of one of our participating African countries together with a residence permit for one of the participating European countries or hold citizenship of one of the participating European countries.

2. Entrepreneur

• At least 18 years old.

• Resides in one of the participating African countries.

• Holds citizenship for the respective African country.

• Would like to start or expand a small business with less than 20 employees.

• Has access to a bank or mobile money account to receive the grant.

Please note that additional criteria apply depending on which grant you apply for.

4. How do I register?

The registration process for WIDU is as follows:

• A member of the diaspora from a participating European country registers on https://widu.africa/

• A registration link will be sent to the donor’s e-mail with which he/she can create an account.

• Having created the account, the donor can invite an entrepreneur in a participating country by entering his/her email address.

• The entrepreneur receives an email with a link. Clicking on it, he/she can register on WIDU.

• Your WIDU team is complete, and you can enter your project information.

5. I am in Africa and would like to apply for funding, but I don’t know anyone in a participating European country: can WIDU find a donor for me?

Unfortunately, no. The concept of WIDU requires support from a member of the diaspora. WIDU does not match donors and entrepreneurs.

6. I am stuck in the WIDU process. Where can I get more information?

Please find detailed information on the WIDU process here.

Also, check out our explainer videos on youtube for further insight.

You are of course welcome to contact us directly at diaspora@widu.africa

7. How much do I have to pay for WIDU?

WIDU is free of charge. Neither WIDU nor our partners will charge a fee or demand compensation. The coaching you receive is also free. No one should ask you for money to access WIDU.

If someone asks you for money, immediately inform us. We will investigate the matter and take legal action.

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Access to Account
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1. I registered on WIDU.africa but I did not receive an invitation e-mail. What should I do?

Please check your spam/ junk folder. Occasionally, e-mail accounts wrongly identify the invitation e-mail as spam. Some e-mail accounts have an additional spam folder. Please make sure to check this folder as well. Also, make sure that you have entered the correct e-mail address.

If you checked all of the above unsuccessfully, please sent an e-mail to diaspora@widu.africa mentioning at what date and time and from which e-mail address the donor has sent the invitation e-mail.

2. I am an entrepreneur and mistakenly registered as a donor from Europe. What do I do?

Please write an e-mail to diaspora@widu.africa and we will delete your account. Afterwards, the donor can register and send the invitation link to your e-mail.

3. I forgot my password. What do I do?

Please visit WIDU.africa and click on “Reset your password”. Enter your e-mail in the new window and you will receive instructions via e-mail. Please check your e-mail and click on the reset link.

You will be forwarded to a page where you can select a new, secure password (use at least 12 characters including uppercase letters, numbers and punctuation). Please memorize the password or write it down and keep it in a safe place.

4. I forgot my password and do not have control over my email account. What should I do?

In the case that you have lost control over your WIDU.africa account (i.e. you cannot reset your password because you can no longer access your email account) please inform us under diaspora@widu.africa as quickly as possible.

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Money Transfer
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1. When do I transfer my funds as a donor?

Please transfer your funds after the project proposal has been approved and the entrepreneur has received the first coaching.

During the first coaching, the entrepreneur receives very important information for the WIDU process. To assure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, please wait until the coach has briefed the entrepreneur before you transfer your fund.

Please note: Money transfers sent prior to the WIDU process are not accepted by WIDU.

2. How shall I transfer the money for the entrepreneur?

WIDU requires an official proof of money transfer from the donor, thus, the money needs to be sent via official channels. We recommend visiting the website Geldtransfair for reference which is a good tool to search and compare options to transfer money internationally.

3. What is the exchange rate in WIDU?

Please note that WIDU.africa is using a fixed exchange rate. The current exchange rate can be found next to the investment plan, when filling out the application.

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About us
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1. Who operates WIDU?

The WIDU Platform is an initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

2. Who does WIDU work with?

In Europe, WIDU is available for you in German, Austria, France and Switzerland.

In Africa, WIDU is available for you in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Togo.

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WIDU regulations, criteria and values
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1. For what grant is my project eligible for?

Your business is eligible if you

• are older than 18 years,

• are a citizen of one of the participating countries,

• reside in one of the participating countries, and

• your business has less than 20 employees.

Additional criteria depend on which grant you apply for:

Original WIDU Grant

• New or existing businesses

• Own Investment prior to Grant Disbursement

Corona Business Grant

• Only existing business (more than a year)

• No own investment required

• Innovative approach that contributes to the response to the COVID pandemic

2. How much is the grant?

The grant depends on your individual project and which process you apply for:

Original WIDU Grant

• 250 to 2,500 € (depending on Joint Investment)

Corona Business Grant

• Up to 2,500 €

3. How many projects can I have?

It depends on your role and the grant that you are applying for. Please find a table below:

1. Original WIDU Grant

Donor: 3 projects simultaneously

Entrepreneur: 1 active project  (3 consecutive times)

2. Corona Business Grant

Donor: One project (once)

Entrepreneur: One project (once)

4. Under what circumstances does WIDU reject a project?

Typically, projects are rejected due to a failure to comply with the WIDU regulations, criteria and values. We also reject projects where there is reasonable cause to believe that there is intention to deceive in any way.

5. What happens if I don’t follow the WIDU regulations, criteria and values?

Please note that with accepting the contract, you have legally obliged yourself to follow the WIDU regulations, criteria and values. In case of a violation of the obligations, WIDU.africa may take legal action.

6. Who distinguishes as a diaspora donor and as the entrepreneur?

WIDU defines the diaspora donor as the following:  "A person located in the participating European country who is willing to sponsor and invest in a project in the participating African county. He/she must have a connection or relations to the entrepreneur in the African country (family member, friend, business partner, etc.)."  

WIDU defines the entrepreneur as the following: "A person located in a participating African country who wants to start a new business or already has an existing business. He/she should be willing to be sponsored by the diaspora donor and willing to invest as well. He/she must have a connection to the diaspora donor (family member, friend, business partner, etc.)."

7. How long will I need to complete one project in the WIDU process?

Each application is different, and the processing of each project depends on both the user and the WIDU team. Generally speaking, we estimate an average of 6 months from registering on the WIDU platform to successfully completing the project.

8. How do I complete the verification of my identity?

After filling in your profile, you can start the verification process. First, you will be redirected to the website of our online verification service on which you will be guided through the verification process.  To complete the process successfully, you will need the following: 

  • Valid Passport or Identity card 
  • Document to verify your address (e.g. residence permit, recent utility bill, paycheck, etc.)  
  • Stable internet connection  
  • Device with a working camera 
  • Good background lighting

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Accompanying study on WIDU.africa
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1. What is the accompanying study on the effectiveness of WIDU.africa?

Based on a quasi-experimental evaluation design, some WIDU entrepreneurs will be randomly selected for interviews. The aim of these interviews is to further develop the WIDU program and improve our support for small entrepreneurs in Africa. For this reason, we are planning to conduct three interviews with entrepreneurs in Ghana and Cameroon.

2. How do I know if my company is part of the study?

You will be contacted by an enumerator via phone who will ask to conduct three interviews with you at three different times during and after the WIDU grant:

  • before the 1st coaching session,
  • after the 2nd coaching session,
  • and 6 months after receiving the WIDU grant.

3. What questions will be asked during the interviews?

Amongst other things, we would like to understand in more detail what motivates you, what challenges you face, and what your impression of WIDU is. Our questions will focus exclusively on your organisation and your experience with WIDU.africa.

4. Does my participation have any consequences for the payment of the grant?

The participation has no consequences for the approval of the WIDU grant. The only purpose of the survey is to gain a better understanding of the project.

5. Who has access to my answers?

Your answers will be completely anonomyzed, so that no connection to your person is possible.

6. Do I get a reward for participating?

As a thank you, participants will receive a phone credit worth 2 Euros for each questionnaire completed.

7. Is participation mandatory?

Participation in the study is voluntary and not linked to the application process for a WIDU grant. However, your participation helps us to further improve WIDU and to better support entrepreneurs in our partner countries in the future. Therefore, your opinion is essential to us. If you have any questions, please contact us at diaspora@widu.africa

WIDU is always free of charge

We do not ever ask diaspora donors or African entrepreneurs, nor their relatives or friends, to pay for our services. WIDU funding and coaching is and will always be provided for free.
Do not under any circumstances agree to give a share of your WIDU grant to a broker or a middle-man. These brokers/middle-men are breaking the law and will be sued by us.