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Call for applications 2021

The call for applications in brief...

Nine countries

Objective of the Afrique Créative programme: To support the development of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) to maximise their social and economic impact.

Objective of the call: I Identify the 15 to 18 CCI entrepreneurs who will integrate the pre-incubation phase of Afrique Créative

At stake – the pre-incubation phase (3 months):

  • Technical support, in terms of entrepreneurial capacity building, provided by a local incubator
  • E-learning courses common to the whole cohort on various subjects (HR management, marketing, etc.)
  • The possibility of pitching one’s acceleration project in front of a jury made up of cultural and institutional players and investors, who select the 8 best projects for the rest of the programme (technical assistance and financial support – for more information: HERE

Target group: Cultural and creative organisations

Target countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Morocco, Tunisia

Number of entrepreneurs selected for the pre-incubation phase: between 1 and 3 per country.

Application deadline: 23 May 2021 (included)

Selection process

National committees
Selection panel
Announcement of winners

The selection of candidates will be carried out as follows:

  1. Eligibility check: Only complete applications that meet the eligibility criteria will be considered for the next stage.
  2. Assessment by national juries: Applications will be assessed by national juries composed of a representative of the local partner incubator, a representative of France’s external cultural action (AFD, French Institute, SCAC), and a partner from the entrepreneurial ecosystem (a recognised entrepreneur from the cultural and creative industries, investment fund, etc.).
  3. Pre-selection: Based on the evaluations of the national juries, a central committee chaired by AFD will select the 15 to 18 entrepreneurs who will participate in the pre-incubation phase.
  4. Selection: At the end of the pre-incubation period (3 months), the entrepreneurs present their business to a jury of cultural and institutional actors and investors, who select the eight projects with the highest creative and economic potential.
  5. Announcement of the 8 winners: At the end of September 2021, the 8 entrepreneurs integrating the incubation programme are announced (technical support and grant). 

Eligibility and selection criteria


To be eligible, candidates must:

be a cultural and/or creative organisation 

be a private legal entity (company)

be based in one of the following nine countries: Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Ivory Coast; Democratic Republic of Congo; Ghana; Morocco; Uganda; Senegal; Tunisia

have existed for at least two years 

be legally registered with the competent national authorities 

fill in the application form and provide all the requested documents in French or English 

Particular attention will be paid to companies owned by women and/or involved in a gender equality approach.

The following are not eligible: 

Individual applications

Public or semi-public organisations (state-owned enterprises, government agencies, public-sector schools, etc.). 

The scoring grids for applications will be based on the following criteria:

Positioning and contributions to the cultural and creative sector

Social and environmental impact and contribution to sustainable development objectives 

Maturity of the organisation and management capacity 

Potential of the business model and strategy for scaling up 

Usefulness of the Afrique Créative programme and development potential

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions/ Answers

woman in black and white shirt writing on white paper

Afrique Créative is an acceleration programme for African cultural and creative businesses. The programme offers access to funding in the form of a grant of between €30,000 and €50,000 as well as business and creative support for the implementation of an acceleration project.

The objective is to support entrepreneurs in scaling up and preparing them for future fundraising.

Yes, the programme is completely free of charge.

Yes, all expenses related to Afrique Créative will be covered for the duration of the programme. This includes participation in at least one in person bootcamp (travel, accommodation, etc.)

Yes, the eligibility criterion concerns the country where the structure is established and not the nationality of the project leader.

An acceleration project is a coherent set of activities whose objective is the growth of the company (in terms of turnover, clients, employees, etc.) and its scaling up (e.g. development of a new range of activities, new products/services, geographical expansion, etc.).

Companies applying to Creative Africa must have a growth and scaling objective. To demonstrate this objective, they present an acceleration project that brings together the activities necessary to achieve their objective. This acceleration project takes place during the programme (between June 2021 and November 2022).

For example: a company working in the fashion industry may have as an acceleration project the development of an online sales platform allowing it to target a national and international customer base. The activities included in this project may be: the creation of an online sales site, the recruitment of a sales person and a logistics manager, the fitting out of premises for the storage and shipment of products, the purchase of necessary equipment, etc.

All activities presented must be presented in the form of a budget.

The equivalent of 1/3 of the total budget must be provided by the entrepreneur in own funds during the programme. This equity contribution can be made through the financing of human resources, rent, communication materials, etc. For example, for an acceleration project budgeted at 70,000 euros, Afrique Créative can contribute a maximum of 46,700 euros and the entrepreneur will have to contribute 23,300 euros. You can value a part of the salaries and rents according to what your project includes as activities.

No, the personal contribution cannot already be invested at the time of application. It must be part of the acceleration project developed during the programme.

Unfortunately, not. The call is intended for companies and individual applications are not eligible. This status does not allow you to recruit other people or to reach a significant turnover. However, Afrique Créative aims to accelerate the growth of incubated companies to have a socio-economic impact, including the creation of value and jobs.

Yes, this is possible. However, you will need to identify at least one referent person.

No. Nigeria is not one of the countries targeted by the programme. You are therefore not eligible for this call for applications. Only companies based in the following 9 countries are eligible:

Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Ivory Coast; Ghana; Morocco; Uganda; Democratic Republic of Congo; Senegal; Tunisia

For this second edition of the programme the call for applications is open in the following 9 countries

Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Ivory Coast; Democratic Republic of Congo; Ghana; Morocco; Senegal; Tunisia; Uganda.

For the purposes of this call for applications, a ‘cultural or creative enterprise’ is:

> An organisation that has an economic model that allows it to generate its own income and not to depend on subsidies in a structural way;

> An organisation active in a cultural and/or creative sector: Radio; Music; Cinema; Television; Performing arts; Design; Crafts; Fashion; Visual arts; Photography; Architecture; Cultural tourism; Video games; Publishing; Production of creative content for the digital industry, etc. (non-exhaustive list)

> An organisation that has a strong social and economic impact: job creation, innovation, etc.

Unfortunately not. The programme is aimed at companies that have been legally registered for at least two years.

Applicant structures must be enterprises, i.e. structures that generate their own income through the sale of products and/or services and are not structurally dependent on external subsidies. Many entrepreneurial structures with a social purpose start by adopting an associative legal status before creating a legal entity such as a Limited of Incorporated for example. We therefore give the opportunity to structures with a vocation to become real companies to apply even if their legal form is currently an association.

According to this criterion, an association with a business model that is intended to become a commercial enterprise may therefore be eligible.

The selection criteria that will be used to assess the applications clearly mention:

  • Maturity of the organisation and management capacity
  • Potential of the business model

Applicants will therefore need to demonstrate their ability to generate their own income and not to rely structurally on public funds / subsidies.

The objective of Afrique Créative is to accelerate entrepreneurial structures active in the cultural and creative field; which have a significant potential in terms of income generation, job creation and which demonstrate a willingness and ability to move to another scale.

The organisation must have been in existence for at least 2 years but there is no minimum level of turnover or clients. The organisation must show evolution.

Assessment criteria include:

  • Maturity of the organisation and management capabilities
  • Potential of the business model

Applicants will therefore need to demonstrate that they are already active in their field, have gained some experience and have the ambition to further develop their activities as well as their capacity to generate own revenues and not to rely structurally on public funds / grants. These criteria are detailed in the “Call 2021” tab.

The national juries are composed of three jurors per country:

  • A representative of the national partner incubator
  • An institutional representative (AFD, French Embassy, or French Institute)
  • A partner from the entrepreneurial ecosystem (a recognised cultural and creative industries entrepreneur, investor, etc.)

The central committee is chaired by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and composed of

  • A representative of each entity of the programme’s organising consortium (Africalia, I&P Conseil, Zhu Culture, Bayimba Foundation)
  • A representative of AFD
  • An external partner expert in cultural and creative industries invited for the occasion.

Pre-incubation, incubation and acceleration are the three phases that make up the programme.

The pre-incubation phase lasts three months and has between 15 and 18 entrepreneurs. The company is supported by a local incubator to rework its acceleration project and the associated budget, and to prepare to pitch in front of a jury.

The incubation phase lasts six months and is aimed at companies selected at the end of the first phase. The company is supported by a local incubator and a creative mentor who help and support it in the implementation of its acceleration project.

The acceleration phase lasts three months and concludes the programme after the second phase. The companies are supported by their creative mentor, but also by an investor who prepares them for their future fundraising.

All details can be found on the website.

Yes, grant disbursements are conditional on attendance at bootcamps and e-learning courses.

The scoring grids for the applications will be based on the following criteria:

  • Positioning and contribution to the cultural and creative sector
  • Social and environmental impact and contribution to sustainable development objectives
  • Maturity of the organisation and management capacity
  • Potential of the business model and strategy for scaling up
  • Usefulness of the Afrique Créative programme and potential for development

Impact in the programme is considered in the broad sense of addressing environmental, social and governance issues with customers, suppliers, and employees: products or services with an environmental impact, job creation, etc.

The results for the pre-selected candidates will be announced the week of 21 June 2021.

Ideally, audited accounts. If there are no audited accounts, a document (excel or pdf) showing the current financial position of the business: how much money the business generates and spends, what the business owns and how much it owes.

You can either:

  • Insert a zipped file with the different files (max 10MB)
  • Group all the documents in a single file (word, pdf)

If you encounter a major technical problem, please come back to us well in advance to find a solution.

The amount available to entrepreneurs to cover the service costs of the incubator is 10,000 euros. This amount is an integral part of the grant requested (i.e. a maximum of 50,000 euros)

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