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SMEs in Four Southern African countries to apply for funding in the Agribusiness Challenge Fund by the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity

Ms. Michelle Gathigi (left) the Director of Operations for Spatial Collective Limited is taken through the application process of the Agribusiness Challenge Fund by the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Engagement Partner Mrs. Smita Sanghrajka (right) during the launch of the fund.
Ms. Michelle Gathigi (left) the Director of Operations for Spatial Collective Limited is taken through the application process of the Agribusiness Challenge Fund by the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Engagement Partner Mrs. Smita Sanghrajka (right) during the launch of the fund.

Nairobi, April 19: The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity has invited small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Malawi to apply for support from the Agribusiness Challenge Fund.

With a focus on creating job opportunities for young women and men, young people with disabilities, and refugee youth, the Agribusiness Challenge Fund will provide selected SMEs with tailored technical assistance and grants ranging from US$ 500,000 to US$ 2,500,000, over a 3-year period.

This support will be based on the applicants’ development stage, scalability, business model, and in accordance with agreed periodic milestone targets.

Other countries from Sub Saharan Africa to benefit from the fund include Kenya, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The Challenge will be open to SME applications as long as they meet the eligibility criteria, and their projects are being implemented in at least one of the 20 focus countries the Fund is targeting. Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to refine and resubmit their applications for subsequent collections.

 “The agriculture sector presents great opportunities for innovative SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa to grow, with opportunities to create dignified and fulfilling work for young people, especially young women, young people with disabilities and refugee youth,” said Mrs. Smita Sanghrajka, Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Engagement Partner.

She further stated that agri-SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa lack enough financial support to scale and need capacity building that may lead to better business practices and investor readiness.

“The Mastercard Foundation is collaborating with a network of partners to create job opportunities for young people across Sub-Saharan Africa, in line with our Young Africa Works strategy. The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity offers a fantastic opportunity for SMEs looking for support to expand and simultaneously generate employment for the youth,” said Mr. Daniel Hailu, Executive Director of Pan-African Programs at the Mastercard Foundation.

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund call for proposals is currently open and will close on November 22, 2024, with periodic collections of applications to be assessed every 12 weeks.

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Fund was established following the successful conclusion of the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity, which was in operation for eight years from 2014 to 2023 and supported 38 participant businesses from 15 countries in Africa.

These businesses were able to innovate and scale financial products and services targeting the rural population and further enable financial inclusion for over 5.3 million people.

Potential applicants for the Agribusiness Challenge Fund can register and access the application platform through the Fund website www.frp.org

About the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is a 7-year, US$ 126 million Fund that aims to support SMEs across 3 sectors in 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The main objective is to unlock enterprise growth and catalyze, scale-up and sustain the creation of dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for young women and men.

About The Mastercard Foundation The Mastercard Foundation is a registered Canadian charity and one of the largest foundations in the world. It works with visionary organizations to advance education and financial inclusion to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous youth in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work.

Established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company, the Foundation is an independent organization separate from the company, with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa. Its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and leadership

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