Businesses in Agric Sector Get Funding Boost

Businesses in Agric Sector Get Funding Boost

April 15, 2012. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has launched a new competition for agri-business and rural financial services for Liberia and Sierra Leone, DR. Congo, and Somalia. The competition allows privately-owned businesses involved in the agriculture sector in the post-conflict economies of Liberia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, and Somalia to compete for its matching grant funds, which range from US$250,000 to US$1.5 million per project.

 The AECF runs competitions open only to for-profit companies, and has to date funded over 80 projects in Africa including three in Sierra Leone. KPMG is the Fund Manager of the AECF. The competition seeks innovative business ideas in agri-business, financial services and value chains that combine commercial viability with development.

The West Africa Director of the Fund, Dr. George Manu, told reporters during the launch in Monrovia on Wednesday, April 19, 2012 that:

A project must be commercially viable and have a positive impact on the rural poor in Africa in order to qualify for funding. Furthermore, as the AECF operates on a risk sharing basis, companies applying would need to match our funding or make significant contribution to the projects.

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