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USADF Accelerate Program to Reward African-Owned Businesses with $250k

The USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge seeks proposals from women and youth to support the development and growth of their businesses.

The program was designed to invest in Micro, Small, and Mid-Size enterprises (MSMEs) that:

  • Address Africa’s youth bulge by prioritizing job creation to enhance youth productivity and livelihoods
  • Economically empower youth and women to apply business solutions to social problems and create sustainable employment across Africa
  • Addresses unmet needs of underserved and at-risk communities and/or market demand
  • Formalize market opportunities and supply chain linkages for youth and women-owned MSMEs

Applicants have the potential to receive the following benefits:

  • Grant capital of US$50,000 to US$250,000 from USADF
  • Access to intensive local technical assistance and governance support
  • The business must be 100% African-owned and managed
  • Passports or other government-issued IDs of all owners and senior managers must be submitted with the applications
  • If the applying entity is owned wholly or in part by another entity, passports or other government-issued IDs of its owners must also be provided
  • The applying entity must be a for-profit enterprise and must not be government-owned, operated, or affiliated in any way
  • Applicants may be developers of their own technology and/or may be acquiring and implementing technology developed elsewhere
  • Applicants need to be legally registered in Africa and demonstrate the capacity to track and manage the project resources and operate in good standing with the local governments in which they operate
Winning proposals must:
  • Further develop, scale up or extend the use of proven solutions/technologies for social impact in Africa
  • Benefit underserved populations or low-income rural or urban populations
  • Demonstrate financial sustainability or the potential for financial sustainability
  • Propose a budget of no more than US$250,000. Proposals with budgets greater than US$250,000 must bring leveraged resources from one or more other sources that meet the total financing requirements
  • Leveraged funds from other private sector and donor sources are encouraged
  • Demonstrate clearly whether and how many new jobs will be created
  • Women-owned or -managed business is a plus
Applications will only be considered if they:
  • Entity is African 100% owned and managed, registered, and operating within Africa
  • Owners must provide passports or other government-issued IDs showing citizenship are submitted
  • All shareholders, members of the board and senior management must be citizens of a sub-Saharan African country
  • Express clearly how they will benefit underserved populations across Africa including showing demonstrable positive impacts for youth and women
  • Express clearly how they will achieve sustainable growth
  • Fully and legally registered in Africa, and the registration is submitted
  • Document adequate expertise in the field they are proposing or document how they will acquire the necessary expertise
  • Clearly document how they will use USADF grant capital to carry out their concept
How to apply

To participate in the USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge, apply before the deadline on Friday, September 30, 2022.