Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP), in partnership with the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and close collaboration with Ecobank, has launched the African Resilience Initiative for Entrepreneurs (ARIE) – a pan-african initiative to provide financial and technical assistance to 300 entrepreneurs (approximately 70% of whom will be women-owned) impacted by COVID-19.
ARIE will support entrepreneurs from seven countries: Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda, and in the following sectors: Agri-Business, Manufacturing, Energy and Renewables, and Essential Services.
Each SME selected will have the opportunity to receive up to 150,000 USD per firm, disbursed as an interest-free loan, and will receive technical support from experts across the continent.
Intelligent Business Financing
Additionally, the ARIE platform will be a repository on a wide range of topics, including access to markets, building human capacity and scaling.
Equipping SMEs with the tools to pivot
Africa’s businesses are as diverse as Africans are, and the immediate and concrete technical support available through the fund will be tailored to their unique needs.
Each entrepreneur will be assigned a business advisor that will support them in diagnosing and rethinking their strategy and operational efficiency, and a team of experts that will help them adapt and navigate this present economic reality.
By doing this, the ARIE platform will provide African SMEs with the unique opportunities and business exposure that position them to play a meaningful role in Africa’s economic recovery in the years to come.
Connecting African businesses
In an era where Intra-Africa trade is key, the ARIE platform will help SMEs harness opportunities unleashed by the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area.
The ARIE platform will help connect African SMEs to potential investors and networks they require to expand their geographical coverage, and will enhance their capacity to trade across borders.
These connections will be critical is recouping devastated African economies and jumpstarting economic recovery.
About ESP: ESP supports African Entrepreneurs with the optimum mix of technical skills and access to finance known as Intelligent capital, to enable growth and foster socio-economic impact.
About USADF: The U.S. African Development Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency established by Congress to invest directly in African grassroots enterprises and social entrepreneurs.
About Ecobank Group: Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group.
Apply by 25th September.
For more information and application details, see; Relief Funds to Help African Entrepreneurs and SMEs
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