Agribusiness challenge fund targeting small and medium enterprises launched


Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity has launched an agribusiness challenge fund targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia and other 19 Sub-Saharan countries.

Engagement Partner, Smita Sanghrajka, had since called for proposals from SMEs in the agriculture sector.

Announcing the Fund in Kenya on Friday, Sanghrajka said the proposals should be able to create work opportunities at scale for young women and men, youths with disabilities and refugees.

She said the Fund would provide SMEs with innovative and commercially viable agribusinesses across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to receive support to upscale their businesses.

Sanghrajka stated that this was in a bid to create sustainable employment opportunities for young people, with particular focus on young women.

“Selected SMEs will receive support from the Fund, including grants ranging from US$ 500,000 to US$2,500,000, disbursed over a 3-year period,” she said.

Sanghrajka said this would be based on the applicants’ development stage, scalability and business model, in accordance with agreed periodic milestone targets.

She stated that the funding structure would be determined on a case-by-case basis after evaluating proposals and organizations.

Read More: Five agribusinesses to receive €6.5 million under Zambia, EU facility for farmers

“Additional support to successful applicants will include tailored technical assistance in alignment with FRP objectives over the 3-year period,” Sanghrajka said.

She added that the Fund was the first of several sector-focused calls for proposals that it would launch focused on the potential of the SMEs to create work opportunities at scale.

Sanghrajka further noted that agri-SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa lacked enough financial support to scale and need capacity building that may lead to better business practices and investor readiness

The 20 Sub-Saharan countries included Kenya, Benin, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana and Malawi.

Others are Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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