USADF’s Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge

Get $250,000 Grant From the USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge

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USADF’s Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge is an initiative of USADF’s Youth and Women Entrepreneurship Portfolio designed to address Africa’s youth bulge, economically empower youth and women, and impact job creation across Africa.

The Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge is intended 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

USADF is excited to request proposals for the USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge. Proposals of up to US$250,000 in grant capital per award will be considered.

To be considered for the Challenge, applicants must be 100% African-owned and -managed
MSMEs or ventures registered and operating in Africa.

Projects must be innovative scalable enterprises that address local needs through the creation of jobs and wealth. These projects should clearly outline the expected impact on communities and livelihoods, an increase in job creation, improvement of women’s access to funding, reduction of poverty, and enhancement of youth productivity.

Winning applicants will receive:
• Grant capital of US$50,000 to US$250,000 from USADF
• Access to intensive local technical assistance and governance support


USADF will consider proposals from 100% African-owned and managed companies. 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-issues IDs of its owners must also be provided. The applying entity must be a for-profit enterprise and must not be governmentowned, 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.

To be considered for the Challenge, applicants must be 100% African-owned and -managed private companies registered and operating in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

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
o Owners must provide passports or other government-issued IDs showing citizenship are
o All shareholders, members of the board and senior management must be citizens of a subSaharan 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.


All applications will be reviewed in two phases: Phase I applications will be reviewed and evaluated by an expert panel of judges. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted to begin Phase II of the application process.
Applicants that are not shortlisted in Phase I will not be contacted.

Winning proposals will have the following characteristics:
• Impact: the potential for impact and a demonstration of how the venture will improve and change
underserved and at-risk communities in which the grants are implemented
• Address Unmet Need: the degree to which the venture addresses unmet needs of underserved and atrisk communities and /or market demand
• Sustainability: How sustainable is the venture and/or is the venture and/or enterprise? (Donordependent” enterprises will not be selected)

How to Apply

To apply for this programme, kindly follow the process below.

STEP TWO: Visit the USADF ACCELERATE AFRICA ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE page here and study the request for proposal and acquint yourself with all the requirements before proceeding to submit your application.

STEP TWO: Download the application form, study and complete the form as instructed. Click here to download the application form.

Need More Information?
If you need more information on this programme, kindly visit the programme page. Click here to visit the USADF’s Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge page or this link

Application period: September 6-30, 2022


If you need support and mentorship on how to apply and be successful for this programme, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Visit my contact page to contact me

Do you need a business plan? click here to check out our readymade business plan or click here to get our unique business plan

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