AECF Launches Business Competition to Support South Sudan’s Women in Agriculture
Juba, South Sudan, June 9, 2022 – African development funder, AECF, today launched the Investing in Women in South Sudan program – a $9.4 million program supported by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The Investing in Women in South Sudan program is a climate smart agriculture program which seeks to surface innovative commercial business models that are most effective in empowering women, presenting opportunities for higher involvement, control and ownership with the aim of increasing incomes, diversifying livelihoods and creating quality jobs for women.
The program will take a market-based approach, sourcing for business models through an open competition. The competition, which runs from June 9, 2022 to August 9, 2022, is open to businesses that are women-led or women-focused and commercially active in the honey, sorghum, sesame, shea nut and groundnut value chains in South Sudan. Businesses will be chosen based on their bid’s/model’s potential to sustain development impact, guarantee inclusivity of women, increase incomes, create meaningful jobs, and improve living standards for rural populations in the targeted regions of South Sudan.
“South Sudan has immense agricultural potential; however, female small-scale farmers are still excluded from many agricultural value chains hampering their ability to increase income, reduce risk, and transform their livelihoods,” said AECF’s CEO Victoria Sabula. “Through this competition, we hope to attract women-owned and women-focused businesses in the agri-rich Central and Eastern Equatoria States that will directly benefit women and encourage the adoption of climate-smart technologies and practices.”
The AECF will avail funding to private sector businesses working in different nodes of the identified value chains – from inputs to production, processing, and markets. Successful applicants will be awarded performance-based grants of between $50,000 and $750,000. In addition, business development support and customized technical assistance will be provided.
Notes to Editors
About the Investing in Women in South Sudan (IIW SS) Programme
The Investing in Women in South Sudan (IIW-SS) is a gender equality and economic inclusion programme that responds to the continuing poverty, food insecurity, and climate vulnerability that small-scale farmers in South Sudan face. It is funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and implemented in East Equatoria and Central Equatoria States. The programme aims to economically empower women through the groundnut, sesame, sorghum, shea nut and honey value chains and will invest in women-focused businesses and women’s entrepreneur associations to create climate smart, gender sensitive value chain opportunities for rural women and youth from poor and food insecure households. For more information, visit https://www.aecfafrica.org/approach/our-programmes/other-sectors/investing-in-women-in-south-sudan-iiw-ss/
AECF (formerly the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a development institution that supports early and growth stage businesses in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors to reduce poverty, promote resilient communities and create jobs through private sector investment. AECF invests in businesses that strive to find innovative solutions to tackle development challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa. Our aim is to transform lives, one business at a time by funding SMEs that improve the lives of rural communities and display potential for credible commercial viability and growth. For more information, visit www.aecfafrica.org