Building Resilience And Prosperity With A Newly-Launched Fund For SMEs  

Published 2 months ago
Smita Sanghrajka(r) speaks with a participant during the Agribusiness Challenge Fund Event, Zen Garden, Nairobi, Kenya. 9 April 2024.The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is holding a series of workshop events throughout the African continent to discuss the financial instruments available for the development of innovation and technology in the agriculture sector. The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is a seven-year, US$ 126 million Fund that aims to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the agriculture, climate adaptation and digital economy sectors in 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The main objective of the Fund is to unlock enterprise growth and catalyze, scale-up and sustain the creation of dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for young women and men, young people with disabilities and refugee youth.
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 Smita Sanghrajka (right).

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund seeks to create work opportunities at scale for young people in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) working across 20 countries. SMEs that can create dignified and fulfilling work at scale for young women and men, young people with disabilities or refugee youth, can apply to the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Agribusiness Challenge Fund. 

The newly-launched Agribusiness Challenge Fund will provide the selected SMEs grants ranging from $500,000 to $2,500,000, over a three-year period. The support will be based on the applicants’ development stage, scalability, business model, and in accordance with agreed periodic milestone targets. Additional tailored technical assistance will also be available to successful applicants.  

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund is open to SME applications that meet certain eligibility criteria. For example, SMEs that can benefit from this support need to be focused on at least one of the following countries: Benin, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda or Zambia. 

Advertisement

“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,” says Smita Sanghrajka, Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Engagement Partner. 

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund is a rolling call for proposals, open for a period of nine months with periodic harvests or collections of applications to be assessed every 12 weeks. 

Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to refine and resubmit their applications for subsequent harvests. The first application harvest of the rolling Agribusiness Challenge is on 7 June 2024. Interested SMEs can register and access the application platform through the Fund website www.frp.org

The objective of the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is to unlock enterprise growth and catalyze, scale-up and sustain the creation of dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for young women and men. The 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. Those 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. 

Advertisement

The Fund Manager for the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is KPMG Development Services Limited in partnership with Triple Line Consulting, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Partner. 

DISCLAIMER: Brand Voice is a paid program. Articles appearing in this section have been commercially supported.