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Mastercard Foundation Launches Agribusiness Challenge Fund for African SMEs

Nairobi, Kenya, April 10, 2024 – The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity has initiated an Agribusiness Challenge Fund, inviting proposals from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the agricultural sector across Sub-Saharan Africa. The fund aims to support enterprises that can generate substantial employment opportunities, particularly targeting young women, persons with disabilities, and refugee youth.

Under the Agribusiness Challenge Fund, selected SMEs with innovative and commercially viable agribusiness models stand to receive support, including grants ranging from US$ 500,000 to US$ 2,500,000, disbursed over a three-year period. The funding allocation will be based on the applicants’ developmental stage, scalability, and business model, with periodic milestone targets.

Mrs. Smita Sanghrajka, Engagement Partner at the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity, emphasized the significance of the agriculture sector for SME growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. She highlighted the need for financial backing and capacity building to enhance business practices and investor readiness among agri-SMEs.

Mr. Daniel Hailu, Executive Director of Pan-African Programs at the Mastercard Foundation, reiterated the Foundation’s commitment to creating employment opportunities for young people in line with its Young Africa Works strategy. He emphasized the Fund’s role in supporting SME expansion to drive youth employment across the continent.

The call for proposals for the Agribusiness Challenge Fund is now open and will conclude on November 22, 2024, with periodic assessments every 12 weeks. Eligible SMEs operating in any of the 20 targeted Sub-Saharan African countries are encouraged to apply. Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to refine and resubmit their proposals for subsequent rounds.

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity, a US$ 126 million initiative spanning seven years, aims to unlock enterprise growth and facilitate the creation of dignified work opportunities for young people across Sub-Saharan Africa.

For further information and to access the application platform, interested parties can visit the Fund’s website at www.frp.org.

About the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is a seven-year initiative targeting SMEs across three sectors in 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, aiming to catalyze enterprise growth and foster the creation of dignified employment opportunities for young women and men.

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