Great business ideas deserve serious investment

Improving the quality of cassava flour in Nigeria and beyond
Benefiting farmers while producing beer!
Kerosene is the expensive lighting option now
Empowering Cocoa Farmers in Sierra Leone


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About AECF

25 July 2013 - 5:51pm -- aecf

The AECF is a US$ 207m challenge fund capitalized by multilateral and bilateral donors (the AECF donors) to stimulate private sector entrepreneurs in Africa to innovate and find profitable ways of improving access to markets and the way markets function for the poor, particularly in rural areas. The Fund awards grants and repayable grants to private sector companies to support innovative business ideas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, adaptation to climate change and access to information and financial services. Its purpose is to improve incomes of smallholder farmers and the rural poor. The AECF is supported by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).



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The project portfolio size ( i.e. the amount approved for the projects to date) is $128.5 million. So far, 179 grantee businesses around Africa have been selected for funding through various competitions. At present, the largest window in terms of donor contributions is the REACT window which has received over 23% of the overall donor contribution. The matching funds contributed by the grantees are three times that of donor contributions. For more information click here.

The overall AECF Fund has grown significantly to
$207 million(Dec 2012)
Since AECF's inception there have been:
179 Applications approved to fund
318 Applications evaluated to business plan stage
703 Applications shortlisted
8,322 applications received in total
Donor contributions per window
Overall portfolio: grants vs loans
Portfolio by region
Matching funds contribution by grantees is 3.1 times that of the donor funds approved and stands at $396 million (Dec 2012)


In keeping with its goal of accelerating pro-poor growth in Africa through increasing employment, livelihood opportunities and incomes, the AECF supports grantee projects in 23 African countries.  These projects are as a result of 16 competitions completed and more than 8,300 applications received over the 6 years of AECF existence. The projects have specific focus areas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, adaptation to climate change and access to information and financial services.