Navigating the Grant Maze: Do African Startups Need Professional Help?

July 11, 2024
min read

Imagine this:

You've poured your heart into your startup. 

You've identified a pressing problem and developed an innovative solution. 

Your team is passionate, your prototype is promising, and your business plan is solid. You find a grant opportunity that seems perfect for your venture. Excitement builds as you imagine what this funding could do for your startup.

But as you start the application process, excitement turns to overwhelm. The requirements seem endless, the questions are complex, and the competition is fierce. You wonder if you can do this on your own or if you need professional help.

This dilemma is common among African startup founders. Hiring professional help costs money, which most early-stage startups lack. But a well-crafted grant application could mean the difference between securing life-changing funding and another rejection.

So, what should you as an ambitious entrepreneur do?  Seek professional help! 

How do you do that? You are about to find out.

The Case for Professional Help

Professional grant writers are well-versed in the language and expectations of grant committees. They know how to present your startup in the best possible light. Writing a grant application can be incredibly time-consuming, and juggling these tasks alongside day-to-day business operations can be overwhelming for you as a start-up founder. But professional help frees you up to focus on running your business. 

Experienced grant writers often have high success rates due to their understanding of what funders are looking for. An outside perspective can help identify strengths in your startup that you might have overlooked. Many professional grant writers have connections in the funding world that could benefit your startup.

Take Sarah for example. After struggling to secure funding on her own, she decided to hire a professional grant writer. The result? Her next application was successful.

While professional help can be invaluable, it's not always necessary. You might choose to handle grant applications on your own if you have strong writing skills and experience with proposal writing. Your team members may have grant writing expertise. The grant application might be relatively simple. You might be applying for a small, local grant with less competition. Your budget might be extremely tight, and you can't afford professional help.

Finding Qualified Grant Writers in Africa

If you've decided that professional help is the right choice for your startup, the next question is: Where can you find qualified grant writers in Africa?

This is where Grant Master comes in. Grant Master connects startups with experienced professionals who understand the unique challenges and opportunities of the African startup ecosystem.

Grant Master's network includes writers with expertise in various sectors, from technology and agriculture to healthcare and education. We carefully vet all their writers, ensuring that you're connected with someone who has a track record of success in securing grants for startups like yours.

We don't just write your grant application for you; we work alongside your team, sharing knowledge and skills that will benefit your startup long after the current application is submitted.

Take Preggify, a 24/7 pregnancy care solution, based in Nigeria. Through Grant Master’s training sponsored by the United States African Development Fund (USADF), crafted a compelling call to action that secured the organization a fully sponsored trip to Japan. “Thank you so much for such an impactful training. We look forward to winning more" Preggify says. Read more here

Maximizing the Benefits of Professional Help

If you decide to work with a professional grant writer, whether through Grant Master or another source, be sure to gather all relevant information about your startup before engaging a writer. This includes your business plan, financial projections, and impact data. Communicate clearly about your expectations, timeline, and budget. Clear communication from the start will lead to better results. Stay involved in the process.

While the writer will do the heavy lifting, your input is crucial. Nobody knows your startup better than you do. Use this opportunity to improve your own grant writing skills. Ask questions and seek to understand the strategies the professional is using. If you find a writer who understands your vision and communicates it well, consider working with them on future applications.

It's worth noting that working with a professional grant writer doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Many startups find success with hybrid approaches. For example, you might hire a professional for a few hours of consultation to review your self-written application and provide feedback. A grant writer could create templates and guidelines for your team to use in future applications. Some professionals offer workshops or training sessions to upskill your team in grant writing. You might handle some sections of the application yourself and outsource the more challenging parts. These approaches can be cost-effective ways to benefit from professional expertise while still maintaining control over the process.


Do African startups need professional help? 

It depends on your skills, resources, the specific grant, and your long-term strategy. Resources like Grant Master support African entrepreneurs. Assess your capabilities, the grant's complexity, and the potential benefits of professional help. Each application is a learning opportunity. Your funding journey may be challenging but it is also a chance for growth. With or without help, your innovation and passion are key. 

Do you need professional help with your grant proposals? Hire us!

Do you need an expert to help with your next Grant?
Yes please!