AECF uses a Challenge Fund model where funding is awarded through competitions. Only private sector companies are eligible to submit their innovative business ideas, and have to comply with the eligibility and selection criteria of the each competition. The best ideas could be awarded up to US$1.5 million in grants or repayable grants. While each competition is different, all competitions seek business ideas that are judged on their commercial viability, innovation, and potential development impact of their projects.

To get a better understanding of each step in the AECF Fund Process, see below:

  • A

    APPLYING

    INITIAL CONCEPT NOTE ASSESSMENT

    The first stage is submission of an initial application form where the applicants write about their business ideas, and about their company(s) on a template provided.

    PRE-SELECTED CONCEPT NOTE ASSESSMENT BY INVESTMENT COMMITTEE

    If short-listed after the initial assessment, the applicant will be asked to submit a more comprehensive Business Plan for assessment.

  • B

    SELECTION

    PROJECT SITE VISITS

    During this stage, the AECF engages with and visits the shortlisted applicants preparing Business Plans to understand their model and innovations better.

    INVESTMENT COMMITTEE SELECTION

    Final Business Plans are presented to an independent Investment Committee who meet and decide which company projects to fund.

  • C

    AWARD

    INDUCTION PROCESS

    Successful businesses are invited for an Induction Workshop where post-award processes such as progress reporting are made clear to the company prior to contracting.

    CONTRACTING

    The contracting phase is rigorous and formalises obligations and deliverables committed to by the grantee so as to meet all contracting terms and inform disbursement of funds.

    DISBURSEMENTS

    Disbursements are actualised by AGRA following disbursement schedules agreed to at the time of contracting, and are dependent on key deliverables being met at each stage of the project.

  • D

    EVALUATION

    MANDATORY REPORTING

    Grantees must self-report semi-annually. They can however chose to report quarterly if they need funds disbursed.

    MONITORING AND EVALUATION

    An AECF Project Manager leads monitoring and evaluation visits to the projects semi-annually or quarterly, to assess technical and financial progress.