At the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that Feed the Future would launch a new competition for women-led enterprises to access investment advice, business analysis, and other services to take their agribusinesses to the next level. To support this initiative, Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation is issuing a competitive request for applications (RFA) from women owned or operated agribusinesses in sub-Saharan African countries where USAID operates.
- Applicants must be a woman-owned or operated (i.e. women in leadership positions including founder, CEO, president, or managing director) commercial enterprise that is selling products or services in smallholder agricultural or livestock markets.
- Companies must be headquartered in a sub- Saharan African country where USAID currently operates
- Companies should have viable business models and incorporate and ultimately benefit smallholder farmers in at least one the following areas:
1. Increased access to agricultural inputs (e.g. seeds, fertilizer, crop protection products, equipment), technology (e.g. information and communication technology, cold chain logistics, mechanization, irrigation), financial and/or risk management services, and/or better agricultural practices.
2. Expansion of market access through improved services by off takers or processors.
- This prize will help woman-led enterprises access capital to scale improved agricultural products and services in smallholder markets.
- The selected finalists will receive investment readiness consulting services and investor matchmaking support.
- This RFA will identify woman-owned or women-operated, for-profit businesses that match the evaluation criteria set forth in Section IV. Up to two companies will be awarded a package of technical assistance valued at $50,000. The technical assistance package will include:
• An assessment of investment readiness, including a review of the enterprise’s corporate
systems and a summary of key challenges and overall readiness for external investment
• Co-development of a five-year business strategy and financial projections, preparation of an
investor overview document and outreach materials including a pitch deck, a landscape review of potential investors, and initial introductions to principals of the funds. Application review
will take place in April 2018. Shortlisted finalists will be notified of application status and next steps in May 2018.
Selected finalists will undergo additional due diligence between May and June 2018. Notification of due diligence is not a guarantee of continuing service. If selected, prize awardees will receive investor readiness and matchmaking services between June and July 2018 (subject to change).
Please submit an application addressing the points in Section IV and using the attached application form.
- The application must be typed with a minimum 11-point font. Please do not include any hyperlinks to external documents, websites, videos, or other sites in your application as these will not be considered by the reviewers. Any information about your concept should be captured in the application form.
- Applicants may submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org until March 26, 2018. All questions and responses will be posted on the AgTechXChange (http://agtech.partneringforinnovation.org) no later than March 29, 2018.
- All applications must be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com with the name of your organization and “Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs” in the subject line. Receipt of submitted application will be confirmed. Only documents in Microsoft Word or PDF format will be accepted.
Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of Partnering for Innovation, nor does it commit the US government or Partnering for Innovation to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.
Applications must be received by April 25 , 2018 at 18:00 Eastern Daylight Time.
Applications will not be considered if delivered in hard copy form. Applications will not be considered if incomplete or received after the deadline. Review of applications will take place in April 2018.
Shortlisted candidates will be notified of next steps in May 2018.
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