Saturday, 10 December 2011

SEAF seeks Applications for Second African Diaspora Marketplace Grants

Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) is currently inviting applications for the Second African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) grants. The second ADM has been launched as an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Western Union Company. The main aim of ADM is to encourage sustainable economic growth and employment by offering support to U.S.-based African Diaspora entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for start-up and established businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is expected that ADM will award 15-30 winning businesses with matching partnership grants approximately $50,000. The exact number of businesses supported will be determined by the availability of total funds. In addition, the ADM will facilitate access to technical assistance, capacity building and information on a range of follow-on financing options for all finalists. These opportunities will be afforded through linkages with existing USAID and other United States Government (USG) programs in Africa as well as ADM partnerships with the private and public sector.

Eligibility Criteria
The ADM seeks the most promising proposals for sustainable commercially-oriented business that meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Business Location: Proposals must be implemented in one of the following countries: Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Representing four trading regions:  ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, COMESA
  • Sub-Saharan African Diaspora Participation: Proposals must be submitted by a member (or members) of the Sub-Saharan African Diaspora living in the United States as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Who is considered a “diaspora member?” The ADM uses the African Union’s definition of diaspora: “people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.”
  • Proposals may be submitted by an individual diaspora member, a group of diaspora members, or a diaspora-owned business based in the U.S.
  • African Partnership: Proposals must be submitted in partnership with a local African entity located in the participating Sub-Saharan African country where the business is or will be established. The African based partner may be an individual, a group of individuals or a business.
  • Award Size: Requests for ADM funding should be approximately US$50,000.

Business Criteria:

  • Must be a start-up or established business seeking to expand or introduce new goods or services.
  • Must be legally registered in the Sub-Saharan African country of implementation. Businesses that are not yet legally registered may also participate in the competition provided they are able to become legally incorporated before advancing to the final round of the competition.
  • Must include a minimum of 25% ownership by the proposing U.S.-based diaspora member. Proposals that advance to the final round will be required to submit evidence of diaspora ownership.
  • Eligible sectors: All commercially viable proposals in information & Communication Technology ICT, Agribusiness, and Renewable Energy will be considered.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Business Idea
  • Management Capacity
  • Sustainability
  • Financial
  • Results
  • Leverage
Last date for submitting the applications is February 3, 2012.
For more information, visit this link.

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