Are you a diaspora member and do you sometimes/regularly send money to friends and family members in Africa? Do you know entrepreneurs in Africa who have great business ideas but difficulties finding means of financing (such as loans, grants) to kickstart them? Are you interested in supporting small businesses and ready to transfer your remittances to an entrepreneur?

Employee of a Kenyan entrepreneur feeds fish in an aquaculture
Employee of a Kenyan entrepreneur - who was supported by a diaspora donor and WIDU - feeds fish in an aquaculture Ⓒ

Then our ORIGINAL WIDU GRANT is your opportunity to support your friends and relatives in Africa get extra funding and business coaching! If you live in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden or Switzerland, you can register on our website and invite an entrepreneur who lives in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Togo, Tunisia, or Ethiopia. 

Read more to find out:

  1. What is The Original WIDU Grant & Why Does WIDU Pay Out Grants to Entrepreneurs?
  2. Who Can Apply For The Original WIDU Grant? 
  3. How Exactly Does WIDU Support Entrepreneurs in Africa? Coaching & Funding
  4. Process of Participation
  5. First Steps to Take: Register to Get Funded
  6. Tipps & Ressources on How to Complete WIDU Investment Plan
  7. Overview of Required Documents
  8. Need Help? Support & Ressources For WIDU Participants
  9. Other Useful Information For Your Participation in WIDU
  10. Further Develop Your Entrepreneurship Skills With atingi
  11. Register & Support an Entrepreneur

1. What is the Original WIDU Grant & Why does WIDU Pay Out Grants to Entrepreneurs?

The Original WIDU Grant is a funding program for micro or small African businesses in six participating African countries. The aim is to support entrepreneurs develop their business ideas by providing professional business coaching and funding to them. In the case of the Original WIDU Grant, funding consist of three different sources: A financial contribution by a diaspora donor, a private investment by an entrepreneur and a grant paid out by


Togolese entrepreneur sits together with her coach during her for free WIDU business coaching
Togolese entrepreneur sits together with her coach during her for free WIDU business coaching. Copyright:

Why does pay out Grants to small businesses? is a project of Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, implemented 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.

2. Who Can Apply For The Original WIDU Grant?

To participate in, two partners – consisting of a diaspora donor in Europe and an Africa-based entrepreneur – need to team up. To start the application process, the diaspora donor registers and invites the entrepreneur to also register on the platform.

What criteria must an African business meet in order to apply for a WIDU Grant?

Original WIDU Grant at a glance

  • New or existing businesses, max. 20 employees
  • All sectors (e.g. small farms, garages, shops, hairdressers)
  • Investment of the diaspora donor and entrepreneur  (50%) 
  • Each diaspora donor in Europe can support up to 3 African entrepreneurs at the same time 
  • Up to 3 reapplications possible for successful projects

A female Kenyan farmer and entrepreneur laughs about her naughty cow which sticks out its tongue
Aweke Farmers, a business suported by located in Kenya Ⓒ

Other Eligibility Requirements

In fact, the Diaspora donors in Europe ​must have a registered address in Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, or Switzerland, and be aged 18 or older, with a valid ID document, such as a European passport or a passport from a participating African country plus residence permit in a participating European country.   

The Africa-based entrepreneurs must be age 18 or older and have a new or existing micro or small business based in a participating African country (Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Togo, Tunisia, or Ethiopia), with maximum 20 employees. The entrepreneur is expected to use the platform him/herself and therefore requires literacy in French or English as well as basic digital and business skills. 

3. How exactly does WIDU support entrepreneurs in Africa? Coaching & Funding

Free Business Coaching

Every entrepreneur supported by WIDU receives three individual coaching sessions that are tailored to their specific needs. Coaching sessions take place at the entrepreneur's business location and are being conducted by trained, local organisations. The sessions help the entrepreneurs to plan and operate their business for the best possible results.

Funding: How much is the Grant?

With the Original WIDU Grant, WIDU supports small businesses in Africa with up to 2,500 €. WIDU Funding consists of three different sources:

  • A financial contribution by a person living in Europe (diaspora donor)
  • A private investment by the entrepreneur
  • The WIDU Grant

How is the amount of the WIDU Grant calculated? 

The amount of the WIDU Grant is calculated via a ratio of 1:1:2, meaning that the diaspora donor gives the same sum as the entrepreneur in Africa (up to 1,250 € per person). On top of that, the entrepreneur then receives the WIDU Grant in the form of both sums added up (up to 2,500 €). 

Minimum amount that has to be contributed/invested by diaspora donors & entrepreneurs is 125 € per person. The maximum amount is 1,250 € per person.

4. Process of Participation

Find below overview of the entire WIDU process and a list of all steps donors and entrepreneurs must take so that the entrepreneur can get the WIDU Grant. In the next chapter "First Steps to take" we are also providing a tutorial about how the process works, explained step by step.

WIDU Process and financing overview

5. First Steps to Take: Register to Get Funded

The registration process to apply for Original WIDU Grant is as follows: 

  1. A member of the respective diaspora in Europe (donor) registers
  2. A link will be sent to the donor’s e-mail with which he/she can create an account 
  3. Having created the account, the donor can invite an entrepreneur by sending an invitational e-mail. 
  4. The entrepreneur clicks on the link and registers on WIDU. 
  5. Your project team is complete, and you can fill out your project information. 

If you would like to find out more about the WIDU process, watch our explanatory video  

PS: Consider that, we cannot accept a project without a donor.  Also, WIDU does not match donors and entrepreneurs.

To learn more about what you need to do next, have a look at our tutorial:  

03 Formulate Business Idea
3. Formulate Business Idea

Convince us in what you are planning to do. After formulating your business idea, you set up an investment plan where you describe your planned expenses (50% private investment by donor and entrepreneur/ 50% WIDU grant investment).

start next More questions?
First Business Coaching
4. First Business Coaching

After you submit your project application, your project will be reviewed by us. If your project is accepted, a local coach will contact you and visit your business on-site to provide personal business advice.

start next More questions?
Joint investment and Documentation
7. Joint investment and Documentation

The private investment consists of the donor transfer (25%) and the entrepreneur's contribution (25%) of the total investment. All expenses need to be documented on the platform by uploading invoices or receipts.

start next More questions?

5. Tipps & Ressources on How to Complete WIDU Investment Plan

WIDU funding is a Grant. This means that the amount entrepreneurs receive from WIDU does not have to be repaid. Entrepreneurs, however, are required to document their expenses (items purchased from the Private Investment and the WIDU Grant investment) by providing receipts that proof their investments. This is done by filling in the WIDU Investment Plan, which is part of every project application. 

6. Overview of Required Documents
Valid ID Icon
Valid ID
(should be available from the start) Donor: European passport/ ID or passport from one of the participating African countries, plus residence permit; Entrepreneur: Passport/ID from participating African country
Remittance Slip Icon
Remittance Slip (after successful first coaching visit)
Donor: Proof of cross-border transfer to entrepreneur; Entrepreneur: Proof of remittance receipt (PDF or screenshot)
Receipts Icon
Receipts Private Investment (between first and second coaching)
Entrepreneur: Proof of all investments made based on the Private Investment in investment plan (see requirements for financial documentation)
Receipts Icon
Receipts WIDU Grant Investment (between second and third coaching)
Entrepreneur: Proof of all investments made based on WIDU Grant Investment in investment plan (see requirements for financial documentation below)

8. Need Help? Support & Ressources For WIDU Participants

Are you stuck in the WIDU process and need help?

We are offering a number of ressources for diaspora donors & entrepreneurs who need help with their applications, are stuck in the process, have questions about WIDU or experience technical difficulties.

  • WIDU E-Mail Support
  • Our Freqently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

faq item

1. Can WIDU help me to find a Diaspora donor or Entrepreneur?

No, WIDU does not match donors and entrepreneurs.

2. I’m not in a participating country, how do I proceed?

Unfortunately, applications are not yet open to other countries.

However, a future extension of the project to other countries is possible so we advise to follow our activities on Facebook @widu.Africa

3. How long will it take before I receive an answer to my application?

Due to the high number of applications, we are receiving, it might take up to 4 Weeks for the assessment of your application by our jury before you get an answer.

10. Further Develop Your Entrepreneurship Skills - with atingi!

  • Do you want to support a friend who is still inexperienced with entrepreneurship?
  • Are you an entrepreneur and interested in learning more about business start-up and project planning?
  • Are you waiting for your next WIDU Business Coaching and meanwhile want to improve your knowledge?

Then recommend or visit the learning platform atingi, which offers free online courses on entrepreneurship and business management. Users can access high-quality digital learning content, improve their employment opportunities and obtain certificates. atingi is a project by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

In the next section, we recommend specific courses that may be particularly useful for WIDU participants. Beyond that, however, atingi offers more than 300 other online courses. It is therefore worth visiting the site and registering!

9. Register & Support an Entrepreneur

Ghanaian kinder garden teacher who uses a wheelchair plays with her class
Register For the Original WIDU Grant

Support friends & family members in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Togo or Tunisia to start or further develop their small businesses and help them reveice a Grant and free WIDU Business Coaching


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.