The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a US$50-100m private sector fund, backed by some of the biggest names in development finance and hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Our aim is to encourage private sector companies to compete for like-for-like investment support for their new and innovative business ideas.
The AECF (the “fund”) is a competition, open only to for-profit private companies which have, or intend to, start business enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa in the field of agriculture, agri-business, rural financial services and media and information services to these sectors.
The fund will run a number of competitions each year for 6 years.
The AECF provides grants and repayable grants (zero interest loans) up to a maximum of USD $1.5m per company (the average grant size will be US$D750, 000) to the most innovative proposals that are adjudged to have the greatest impact on the largest number of rural poor people.
The minimum the AECF can provide to a single company is USD$ 250,000.
The applicant must be a fully registered and licenced for-profit company.
In exceptional cases the AECF will fund new businesses where there is strong evidence that the new company has credible investors and demonstrable capacity to implement the project.
The Company/applicant must at least match (in cash or kind) the AECF's contribution.
The business idea must be innovative (a new product, service or business model in an existing market or an existing product, service or business model in a new market, country, geographical area or target group).
The funds requested from the AECF must be additional. i.e. the project would not take place, or would not take place at the same size or scale, without AECF funding.
The business idea must have the potential to be commercially viable so that benefits can be sustained beyond the period of AECF support.
The business idea/project must benefit large numbers of people living in rural areas in Africa.
Ideally all projects supported by the AECF should contribute to some level of systemic change in the market system in which the project/business idea takes place.
The objective is to leave behind market systems that work better for the rural poor rather than helping a single company to do better business.
All applicants must register on-line through the AECF website.
Deadline: 15th July
For more information and application, visit: The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund Website