Past Competitions

Clean Cookstoves

The Alliance’s Women’s Empowerment Fund (WEF) is one of the few financing mechanisms designed to scale effective business models for empowering women energy entrepreneurs. The Fund serves as the Alliance’s principal financing mechanism to realize our women’s empowerment goals. The WEF is a grant facility that provides funding and capacity building to enterprises to increase the number of women earning income in the cooking value chain and/or to test innovative approaches to scaling women’s empowerment throughout the clean cooking sector.The WEF will award grants of up to US$75,000 to at least 4 qualifying organizations.

Ghana clean cookstove sales


The Spark Fund is a grant challenge of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves that seeks to provide investment-like growth capital and capacity development support to help enterprises reach commercial viability, scale, and ultimately unlock additional investments for future growth. The Spark Fund selected 6 qualifying enterprises via two distinct application categories – Spark ‘Venture’ and Spark ‘Growth’ – for funding of up to $300,00 and $500,000 in each respective category.

Clean cookstoves


Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen

Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen is a competition for Dutch entrepreneurs who want to start a business with social and/or environmental impact in Africa, Asia or Latin-America. Ambitious entrepreneurs submitted their business plans to get in the race to win investment to start and grow their business. BiD Network facilitated personal coaching from EY experts for selected entrepreneurs during the competition. The final event of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen was hosted together with the “International Final of Get in the Ring: the Investment Battle” on the 21st of November in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. Visit for more information.



Somali AgriFood

BiD Network, with support of Collert Consultancy, HIRDA Foundation and other partners, implement the Somali AgriFood program, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). This project aims to provide access to diaspora and international finance for Small and Medium sized Enterprises in the Somali agriculture, food processing and fishery sectors. Diaspora and international investors interested in financing a Somali business are most welcome to contact us to get more information on our investor services and portfolio of finance ready plans. A fund is currrently being structured to incentivize investors to finance Somali businesses. For more information about the project and to register as an investor visit: – – –



IFDC Catalist Uganda

BiD Network and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) launched a program that aims to improve the performance, business plans and access to finance of SMEs in the Irish potato, cassava, oilseeds (soybeans and sunflower), and rice value chains in Uganda. Their ultimate goal is to contribute to an increase in rural incomes and trade in Uganda along with increasing food security in the region. As part of the IFDC CATALIST-Uganda program, IRIS and BiD Network organized a business plan competition for SME entrepreneurs in Uganda. Visit for more information.


SHAPE AND LEAD Agri Business Challenge 2014

Organized by BiD Network, CATALIST-2 and IFDC, this challenge focused on identifying promising entrepreneurs active in agriculture value chains in Rwanda, Burundi and North & South Kivu (DRC). SHAPE AND LEAD is for entrepreneurs who need assistance in shaping their business, but also for those who want to optimize their role as leaders in their value chain. Participants receive support in technical skills, developing their supply chains, dealing with product seasonality, challenges in packaging, access to capital and/or marketing constrains to get ready for finance. Visit for more information.



SHIKA 2014 Competition

BiD Network and the Burundi Business Indicator (BBIN) organized the SHIKA 2014 Competition, which aims to support Burundian entrepreneurs to grow and develop their business ideas. The participating businesses have a financing need between $10,000 and $500,000. Visit for more information about the SHIKA 2014 competition.


Get in the Ring: the Investment Battle

Get in the Ring is a non-profit event concept, initiated by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, that puts startups in the spotlight, giving them a global podium from which to connect with investors. Also known as “the Olympics for startups”, it is a unique platform that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, leaders and experts to explore and activate SME development in Africa. In 2014 the Investment Battle of Get in the Ring was organized in over 50 countries with over 2,000 participating start-ups. Through 50 National Finals and 8 Regional Finals 8 start-ups were selected for the International Final that took place on the 21st of November in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. BiD Network hosted the Regional Final of Africa in Rwanda, where 10 of the most promising African entrepreneurs competed for one place in the International Final during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014. The winning startup of that year was e-Fishery from Indonesia, a smart fish feeding machine to enhance the success of fish farmers.


Women in Business

The Women in Business Challenge is the competition for women entrepreneurs in emerging markets seeking training, coaching, networks and finance ($10,000 to $1 million USD) to start and grow their business. The competition is an initiative of BiD Network and ING and in 2014 the 5th edition took place, featuring 5 ambitious finalists from Africa, Asia and Latin-America. During Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, the 5 finalists of Women in Business plus 5 extra promising women entrepreneurs visited the Netherlands for a week full of training, coaching, investor meetings, business visits and the final event in which the winner was announced and awarded a € 5,000 prize to start and grow her business. The winning entrepreneur of the 5th edition in 2014 was Suzana Moreira from South Africa. Her company moWoza offers a simple-to-use mobile commerce service within South Africa and Mozambique; conveniently and efficiently giving informal cross-border traders instant access to products and services. 

Women in Business