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AfDB seeks to invest millions in youth agribusinesses

News By Moses Omusolo | 29th Sep, 2020

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is seeking to give Africa’s promising agricultural startups a lifeline through a new funding platform.

Focused on driving sustainable nutrition and gender inclusivity in Africa’s Agri-food systems, the African Youth Agripreneurs Forum seeks to connect expansion-ready, youth-led African businesses with global investors through a new challenge dubbed “Youth Agripreneur AgriPitch Competition”.

The African Development Bank has also set aside some more than Sh13 million for the winners.

According to challenge partner Asoko Insight, only early-stage start-ups, mature start-ups, and women empowered businesses are eligible to apply to qualify for the pitching competition and virtual investor DealRoom.

The DealRoom features investors from countries including Sweden, Norway, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands.

“The goal of the AgriPitch Competition and DealRoom is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture among youth in Africa and to generate jobs, create wealth and improve livelihoods through inclusive growth across the continent,” says Asoko.

For that reason, the challenge is only interested in startups that singularly address nutrition challenges, are eco-friendly, are gender-responsive, have high job creation potential, among other relevant criteria.

"Qualified businesses will be promoted through the Asoko portal to global investors for matching. Interested investors can match with any deal by registering their profile and selecting target deals," adds Asoko.

The organisers also indicate that the shortlisted businesses are set to participate in a virtual pitching competition from November 16-20 this year, where winners will be chosen from different categories.

The African Development Bank will then award the winners between Sh1 million and Sh4 million in form of grants.

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