USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge to Reward African-Owned Businesses with $250k

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

The program is designed to invest in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that:

  • Tackle Africa’s youth surplus by prioritizing job creation to improve youth productivity and livelihoods
  • Empower youth and women economically, apply business solutions to social problems and create sustainable jobs across Africa
  • Addresses unmet needs of underserved and vulnerable communities and/or market demand
  • Formalizing market opportunities and linking supply chains for young and women-led MSMEs


Applicants have the potential to receive the following benefits:

  • Grant funds from $50,000 to $250,000 from USADF
  • Access to intensive local technical support and governance support
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  • The company must be 100% African owned and managed
  • Passports or other government-issued identification of all owners and officers must be submitted with applications
  • If the applicant company is wholly or partially owned by another company, passports or other government-issued identification of its owners must also be provided
  • The applicant company must be a for-profit company and not government-owned, operated or associated in any way
  • Applicants may be developers of their own technology and/or may acquire and implement technology developed elsewhere
  • Applicants must be legally registered in Africa and demonstrate the ability to track and manage the project resources and be in good standing with the local governments in which they operate

Winner Proposals must:

  • To further develop, scale or expand the use of proven social impact solutions/technology in Africa
  • Underserved population groups or low-income rural or urban populations benefit
  • Demonstrate financial sustainability or the potential for financial sustainability
  • Suggest a budget of no more than $250,000. Proposals with budgets greater than $250,000 must bring in leveraged resources from one or more other sources to meet all funding needs
  • Leveraged funds from other private sectors and donor sources are encouraged
  • Make it clear whether and how many new jobs will be created
  • A business owned or managed by women is a plus
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Applications will only be considered if they:

  • The company is 100% African owned, managed, registered and operated in Africa
  • Owners must provide passports or other government-issued identification proving citizenship
  • All shareholders, members of the board of directors and management must be citizens of a country in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Communicate clearly how they are benefiting underserved populations across Africa, including proven positive impacts on youth and women
  • State clearly how you will achieve sustainable growth
  • Fully and legally registered in Africa and registration is filed
  • Document appropriate expertise in the area they are proposing or document how they will acquire the required expertise
  • Clearly document how they will use the USADF grant funds to implement their concept
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How to apply

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