A call for the Incubation of 30 businesses (startups and SMEs) under the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project

A call for the Incubation of 30 businesses (startups and SMEs) under the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project


Under the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project, Innovation SL on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone and World Bank is calling for applications for Start-ups and SMEs. This program is to diversify the Sierra Leone economy; funding SMES and start-ups businesses through grants,


·         Individuals with a viable or proven business idea that needs support (as in incubation or acceleration) to become a competitive company that can sell its products and services.

·         This can include Start-ups, companies recently established (less than 2 years old).


The Eligible sectors

1. Tourism sector

2. Digital

3. Agribusiness

4. Fisheries sectors

5. Waste management

6. Light Manufacturing

Other sectors that supports the project’s objective of diversifying the economy that are not in the World Bank exclusion list will also be considered

The Key selection criteria for SMES include

) SMES’ current operational, financial, and market positions;

(b) potential demand for their products, considering pre-identified priority market segments; 

(c) market competitiveness based on differentiation, cost, and/or focus;

 (d) viability of technical interventions for advancing the growth of the business; and[4] 

(e) the financial and technical viability of the business.

Key selection criteria for Start-Ups will be based on a modified set of evaluation criteria in recognition of their early development stage. Accordingly, these criteria will include

 (a) technical and financial viability of the business model;

(b) good evaluation risks;

 (c) potential for growth

 (d) value addition; and


The Matching Grant and Technical Assistance will not extend grants in support of activities that support the production of the following:

Production of Alcoholic beverages




Innovation SL together with the Project Coordinating Unit will undertake to visit 100% of all applicants that meet the minimum requirement to verify application information.

Click Here to access the application.

 Deadline for submission of application: XXXX  XXX 2021

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