Private Sector Business Window – IIW SS

The Private Sector Business Window (PSBW) is a component of the Investing in Women in South Sudan (IIW-SS) programme, a CAN $12 million project funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Implemented by the AECF, the programme seeks to enhance women’s economic empowerment in the honey, sorghum, sesame, shea nut and groundnut value chains in South Sudan to increase incomes, reduce climate risks, and transform livelihoods. The primary beneficiaries are women in the agricultural value chains of focus.

  • Private Sector Business Window (PSBW) Objectives
    1. Improve access to finance for enterprises owned/led by women and companies that create economic opportunities for women in rural areas, e.g., through employment creation, market linkages, suppliers of inputs/produce/services along the value chain.
    2. Provide targeted business development technical assistance and capacity building on gender mainstreaming for businesses.
    3. Advocate and increase awareness of the business case for investing in women.
    4. Provide incentives for sustainable widespread adoption of climate-smart practices – in production, post-harvest handling, processing, and marketing.
  • Geographical Focus

    The programme is being implemented in Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria states.

  • Focus Areas

    Eligible businesses must demonstrate that their offerings are accessible and affordable, directly benefit women and encourage the adoption of climate-smart practices, products, or services. Offerings must add value to one or more focus value chains: honey, sorghum, sesame, shea nut and groundnut.

    Proposed initiatives must align with but not limited to one or more of the following focus areas to be eligible for funding:

    1. Market aggregators that provide reliable and new market opportunities for female smallholders to increase their profits and incomes.
    2. Information and media companies providing market information services to female smallholder farmers through traditional and digital finance platforms.
    3. Agro-processors and manufacturing companies creating economic opportunities for women through employment creation and as suppliers of produce/services along the value chain.
    4. Financial service intermediaries providing innovative financing products and services for women in agribusiness.
    5. Production and distribution models that support local entrepreneurship and growth of SMEs, MFIs/local banks, and women groups within the applicable value chains’ product demand and supply chain.
    6. Business models that provide incentives for women to access and adopt improved input use, including seed, fertilizer, soil and water management practices, post-harvest handling, improved technology, e.g., Langstroth hives, irrigation, regenerative agriculture, integrated forestry management practices, etc.
    7. Business models that address climate-smart technology, services, and practices at the manufacturing and farm levels, e.g., solar-powered technology, biogas, bio-slurry use, chemical-free grain storage, etc.
    8. Solutions that integrate entire value chain solutions (e.g., from farm to fork) will be preferred.
  • Eligibility Criteria

    To be eligible for funding, private sector companies must meet the following criteria:

    • Be a private sector enterprise that is aligned with the focus areas, i.e., geographical scope and value chains of focus.
    • Be able to show commitment to match AECF funding based on the ratios stated in the matching section below.
    • Request funds amount within the stipulated amounts.
    • Be compliant with fundamental laws and regulations in-country, including tax compliance laws.
    • Be compliant with international human rights, labor standards, and environmental management laws.
    • Demonstrate dominant representation of women as owners of the business, employees, suppliers of raw materials, or distributors of products or services
    • Be legally registered and physically established in South Sudan and must have operated for a period of no less than two (2) full accounting years at the time of application. Must not have received a grant six (6) months prior to the application time.
    • NOT be involved in any act of corruption. AECF requires that the applicant (including its staff, contractors, and suppliers) not be involved in offering third parties, or seeking, accepting, or being promised by third parties, for themselves or any other party any gift, remuneration, compensation, or benefit of any kind whatsoever, which could be interpreted as an illegal or corrupt practice.
    • NOT be associated with prohibited activities by the government of South Sudan, as well as terrorism and money laundering. Screening will be conducted for all applicants and associated parties against set provisions.
    • Allow regular due diligence.
    • Demonstrate additionality.
  • Eligible Applicants

    Only private sector companies and financial intermediaries that are commercially active in the respective value chains (honey, sorghum, sesame, shea nut and groundnut) in South Sudan with demonstrated presence in Central and Eastern Equatoria States are eligible for funding.

  • Funding

    Successful applicants will receive between US$ 50,000 and US$ 750,000.

  • Matching Contributions

    IIW-SS requires a matching contribution from the applicant to demonstrate interest and trust from the wider investor community. The PSBW matching contribution is 25% of the requested amount. Matching contributions can be made either all in cash or a combination of ‘in cash’ and/or ‘in kind.’

  • Award Criteria

    Business models must demonstrate how they deliver and sustain social impact in their target markets. Specifically, this means the number of households served by the product, service or a combination of both, improvements in people’s income, inclusivity of women, stimulation of market growth, and engagement of SMEs in the respective value chains in Central and Eastern Equatoria states.

  • How to Apply

    Applicants are expected to complete a Private Sector Business Window online application form as well as provide a full proposal (business plan).


    The application form is available here: AECF Application Manager (

  • Application Deadline

    Applications will be accepted from 9th June to 9th August 2022 on a rolling basis. For any clarification about the application process, please email


  • Contact Us

    For any clarification about the application
    process, please call +211 929692503 or email

PSBW Fact Sheet

Term Sheet for Applicants