Investing in Women in South Sudan
Window 1: Private Sector Business Window
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The Private Sector Business Window (PSBW) is a component of the Investing in Women in South Sudan (IIW-SS) programme.
Total funds available
Total funds available under the PSBW
CAN$ 5,200,000 (US$ 4,000,000)
Private sector companies and financial intermediaries that are commercially active in the respective value chains in South Sudan with demonstrated presence in Central and Eastern Equatoria States.
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
Proposed initiatives must align with but not limited to one or more of the following focus areas to be eligible for funding:
- Market aggregators that provide reliable and new market opportunities for female smallholders to increase their profits and incomes.
- Information and media companies providing market information services to female smallholder farmers through traditional and digital finance platforms.
- Agro-processors and manufacturing companies creating economic opportunities for women through employment creation and as suppliers of produce/services along the value chain.
- Financial service intermediaries providing innovative financing products and services for
women in agribusiness.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, chemicalfree grain storage, etc.
Note: Solutions that integrate entire value chain solutions (e.g., from farm to fork) will be preferred
Desired socio-economic impact
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. The specific focus must be made on gender inclusivity
Companies should articulate their strategy to meet the following:
- Include women and youth in the ownership and management of the organization.
- Gender-inclusive practices in their operations (e.g., women-centered design).
- Demonstrable benefits to women in terms of increased time availability for other activities, improved health, reduced drudgery and increased household budgets.
- Women-led supply chains; demonstrate the possible engagement of women and youth as
key actors within the supply chain and potential opportunities for such women-led products/ service supply activities to grow into SMEs.
- Qualitative indicators around women and youth empowerment (e.g., ability to own assets;access to credit, use of existing women development structures to increase access to solar
home systems in the rural and peri-urban communities).
- Demonstrate a clear end-user financing mechanism/strategy that enables target communities with low/irregular incomes to access improved climate-smart technology, practices, and services.
- Projects must be environmentally friendly. Environmental impact assessments and mitigation
measures approved by pertinent regulatory authorities must be obtained.
- Throughout the funding life, companies must demonstrate that they promote sustainable development outcomes in their target communities and market.
Progress in attaining the above will be measured through:
- Number of farmers and groups accessing climate-smart agriculture technologies and
- The volume of agricultural commodities bought from women in CAN$ or US$.
- The volume of agricultural inputs sold to women in metric tons.
- Number of women-focused eligible applicants expanding businesses
Type of support available
The support package includes:
- Business to business (B2B) matchmaking to promote the exchange of learnings and business
interventions with a high social and economic development impact, particularly on rural and
- Provision of targeted technical assistance on business development services as required by the investee through the AECF Advisory Studio.
- Gender mainstreaming incentives, e.g., top-up funding where applicable, which reward investees that make significant changes to their processes to be gender-responsive and create
increased opportunities for women along the value chain.
- Access to further funding through our partnerships, including via AECF Connect.
- Business to business (B2B) matchmaking to promote the exchange of learnings and business
Applicants are expected to submit a funding application, justifying their requirements for the business and/ or idea to be funded, the funding amount and the project duration.
Funding must be used for a specific project in one or more of the four target countries, e.g., introducing new services or products, scaling up an existing enterprise or replication/expanding to a
new market. Investees can apply for a range of funding depending on their development stages:
Minimum fund award CAN $ 65,000 (US$ 50,000)
Maximum fund award CAN $ 975,000 (US$ 750,000)
Funding is subject to meeting a certain level of match funding (see Matching Contribution). Businesses should apply for funding depending on their development stage and capacity to absorb funding for the proposed project. Funding will be in the form of non-repayable grants and will be
disbursed in US dollars.
Funding payments will be milestone based, where disbursements are based on mutually agreed milestones that must be achieved/delivered. The first disbursement will not exceed 50% of the
total amount awarded.
IIW-SS requires a matching contribution from the applicant to demonstrate interest and trust from the wider investor community. Acceptance of match funding is subject to approval by the Programme Manager.
The PSBW match funding requirements are:
- Matching contribution: 25% of the requested amount.
- At least 50% in cash and 50% in-kind
Where at least one other party (e.g., venture capital firm, impact investor, incubator/accelerator, foundation, or the founder) agrees to provide funding to the IIW-SS funding applicant. Evidence
accepted includes a signed MoU or contract, a bank statement, and a letter confirming the total amount disbursed or to be disbursed by the other party. The submitted documents to the Fund of matching commitments must include all conditions, timescales, and any other considerations.
In-kind match includes any significant and quantifiable contribution to the project that is not financial. Applicants must quantify and demonstrate what results in any match given in-kind will
achieve for the proposed project.
In cases where in-kind matching is offered, PSBW will discuss with the applicant how best to agree on the match funding commitment and valuation. For example, a contractual agreement of support from a local incubator (providing the equivalent monetary value of the service.
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 matching contributions (as noted in Section 7 above).
- Request funds amount within the stipulated amounts. Note that this is a full grant.
- Be compliant with fundamental laws and regulations in-country, including tax compliance laws.
- Be compliant with international human rights, labor standards, and environmental management
- 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, terrorism, money laundering, or a list that prohibits trading with some business (IFC, USAID, UN, EU, and any other networks), United Nations Security Council resolutions issued under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The screening will be conducted for all applicants and associated parties against provisions such as https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov/, www.worldbank.org/debarr
World-Check, EU sanctions list, etc.
Allow regular due diligence.
- Demonstrate additionality;