Digital Launchpad Sponsorship For SMEs
  • Are you an enterprise with less than 50 employees but have limited digital marketing expertise?
  • Can your business benefit from in-depth digital skills & financial literacy training?
  • Do you need digital marketing & digital campaign efforts to grow your business?
  • Does your business need online visibility- professional website, business profiles & social media presence?
  • Can your business benefit from professional emailing services – Google workspace?
  • Are you interested in receiving top-notch business mentorship & coaching?
  • Do you need assistance in venture building – access to finance, business networks & market expertise?
Then we are looking for you!


About the Program

Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) in partnership with Africa118 is running a project aimed at equipping and supporting African SMEs to achieve and sustain success in their businesses by providing them with a comprehensive package of digital tools and expertise (Digital LaunchPad) to enhance their competitiveness and access global markets.

The program will offer over 3,000 SMEs in; Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana with:
  • Financial literacy training
  • Digital marketing training
  • Investment readiness and venture building training
  • Digital marketing campaign
  • Professional website
  • E-commerce + payment integration
  • Access to financing
  • Accelerator program


In Africa, the SME sector is a key driver of economic growth. There are over 50 million SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa and they are the key drivers of new employment. For example, it is estimated that there are over 2.3 million SMEs operating in Kenya and these generated approximately 90% of the new jobs created in the past year. Similarly, there are over 2.2 million SMEs in Ethiopia which, collectively, employ over 50% of the country’s workforce. The data for other African markets (Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda,Ghana) is comparable to Kenya and Ethiopia. Accelerating the growth of the SME sector is a key priority for many economies in the region with numerous initiatives being implemented to facilitate access to markets, capital and promote entrepreneurship. It is estimated that less than 10% of ... Read more
Ready to get Started?
The primary objective of the Digital Launchpad project is to generate 11,000 new jobs by providing a comprehensive package of digital tools and expertise to 3000 SMEs selected to participate in the program.
Target Groups
  • SMEs with less than 50 employees and limited digital marketing expertise
  • 50% of SMEs will be either women-owned or led
  • Youth-led SMEs will be prioritized
Target Sectors
  • Exporters
  • Agribusiness: Coffee Exporters, Tea Exporters, Cashew Nuts, Flowers, etc.
  • Value Added Exporters: Leather, Processed Honey, etc
  • Fisheries & Aquaculture
  • Tourism Sector (post COVID-19 recovery effort)
  • Tour & Travel operators
  • Hotels & Restaurants & related services
Target Markets
  • Kenya - 1000 SMEs
  • Ethiopia - 500 SMEs
  • Tanzania - 500 SMEs
  • Uganda - 250 SMEs
  • Rwanda - 250 SMEs
  • Ghana - 500 SMEs
Are you qualified for the program?
Eligibility Criteria
  • A business entity registered in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana.
  • The business has less than 50 employees.
  • The business has limited digital marketing expertise.
  • SMEs agrees to be available for the scheduled training, coachings, acceleration, and mentorship training
  • SMEs agree to shoulder 50% of the cost of services offered in year 2 ( about $200) and to shoulder 100% cost of the services offered in year 3 ( about $400).
  • SMEs agree to be in the program for the entirety of the program duration ( 3 years: 2021- 2023).
N/B - Women-led/owned and Youth-led/owned businesses will be prioritized
Sustainability Plan
Each SMEs participating in the Digital Launchpad program will be provided services (both Skills training + Digital Tools) free of charge during the first year. This will provide them the opportunity to fully appreciate the business impact of having a strong digital toolkit to grow their business.
In the second year, it is anticipated that each entrepreneur will bear 50% of the cost of the provided services - this amount is expected to be around $200USD for the year. By the third year, the SMEs participating in the program will cover 100% of their own expenses. By that time, we expect they will have fully internalized the return on investment they can expect from having a strong digital footprint, this will ensure the program is fully sustainable.
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