AECF recognises that in order to achieve the sustainable development goals number 2, 5, 7 and 13 on ending hunger, achieving gender equality and ensuring access to sustainable clean energy is not only pertinent, but urgent to address the social norms and cultural practices that hinder women’s meaningful economic participation in the economy.
As Africa looks to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the full participation of women as producers, consumers, business owners and key decision-makers can be a potent force for change.
As part of our commitment to addressing gender inequalities through market-based approaches, AECF has designed a specific initiative called Investing in Women which will fund competitions with a special bias towards investments in women-owned/led small- medium enterprises and companies that make significant contributions to reducing the gender gap.
Our Flagship Competition
Investing in Women is a US $50 million fund with initial funding of £4.95 million from United Kingdom. The fund will be piloted in selected agriculture value chains in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso in August 2018.
The Investing in Women initiative will seek to create more gender inclusive agricultural value chains in order to address rural poverty, food insecurity and gender inequality by increasing the proportion of women generating income from agribusiness as well as the number and quality of jobs for women working in agricultural value chains.
What is on Offer?
Grants or repayable grants ranging from US $100,000 to US $1 million to selected sustainable businesses that have significant economic impact on women, financial returns and socio-economic impact. AECF expects businesses to provide matching funds of 1:0.5
Technical Assistance to ensure the success of businesses and to measure their gender and development impact.
Business to business (B2B) match-making in order to promote exchange of learnings and business interventions with a high social and economic development impact, particularly on rural and peri-urban women.
Gender mainstreaming prize which recognises the efforts of selected businesses in advancing gender equality in their operations and businesses.
To be eligible for funding, companies (either existing and/or start-ups) must:
Be a company implementing agribusiness value chains that support women
Show commitment to matching AECF funding
Request a fund amount within US $100,000 – US $1 million
Be compliant with fundamental in-country and international human rights, labour standards, environmental management laws.
Be legally registered and physically established in the country of implementation
Be involved in a business that does not support terrorism, production/trade of weapons, radioactive materials, tobacco, etc.