At the second African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM II) in Washington DC, US, 17 U.S.-based entrepreneurs were awarded matching grants to fund innovative business plans and promote economic growth in seven countries in sub-Saharan and North Africa.
The grants will match ADM winners’ own funds to support growth of their businesses, according to a statement issued by the organisers and made available to PANA.
Nearly 500 entrepreneurs submitted business plans to compete for a grant as an investment in their business as part of the ADM II competition.
ADM II is a collaboration of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation.
Launched in 2009, ADM is one of the few public-private initiatives to harness the knowledge and resources of U.S.-based African diaspora and other entrepreneurs to address economic opportunity by advancing the ability of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in sub-Saharan Africa to obtain capital.
Forty-four finalists for ADM II vied for the top awards with business plans addressing high priority, high-impact sectors in Africa.
Finalists presented plans in agribusiness, information and communications technology (ICT) and renewable energy.
Winning proposals included a Kenyan agribusiness implementing sustainable “zero-waste” practices through the commercial production of High Efficiency Organic Fertilizer; the first legal technology provider in Tunisia; an alternative power-generator utilizing agricultural waste in Liberia; and an online medical information delivery system in Nigeria.
Each awardee can receive a total investment of up to US$70,000, which includes up to US$50,000 in matching cash grants and/or up to US$20,000 in technical assistance.
ADM II is jointly funded by USAID, the Western Union Company, and the Western Union Foundation.
Other contributing partners include Ecobank, African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), George Washington University Centre for International Business Education and Research, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the U.S. Department of State and Irv Barr Management.
The marketplace competition showcased promising and innovative ideas for businesses that can create employment and strengthen trade in emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa.
The programme supports U.S.-based entrepreneurs in supporting African communities