African-led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support

USADF supports African-led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support. This empowers those who are least served by existing markets or assistance programs to become a part of Africa’s growth story. We award grants of maximum $250,000 for operational assistance, enterprise expansion, linkages to new markets, and follow-on funding in order to sustain growth.

Operational assistance grants empower groups to achieve greater food security and income stability. Enterprise expansion grants help community enterprises to expand production, achieve greater market access and capture follow-on funding and linkages to new markets.

USADF responds to unsolicited applications from African community enterprises in eligible countries.  USADF field staff review the application and make site visits to verify that the application fits with country strategies and broader USADF objectives. If approved, a local USADF technical partner helps the applicant turn their ideas into viable business and project plans. The partner also provides technical and monitoring support during project implementation. 

 

$53 million Invested in 500 Active Enterprises in 2016

The majority of USADF's budget is applied to projects grants that directly fund expansion and growth activities for small enterprises, farmer associations, cooperatives, and community groups that create jobs and generate better income levels in poor communities. USADF currently has $53 million invested in 500 active enterprises. 

Approved project applications are typically funded in one of two following grant assistance mechanisms:

  • Operational Assistance Grants (OAG) – Provides funding up to $100,000 over two years for improving financial, managerial, and technical capacity, and for limited fixed capital or working capital items. This grant positions the organization to more effectively utilize future expansion funding.
  • Enterprise Expansion Grants (EEG) – Provides funding up to $250,000 over five years for established enterprises and organizations with a viable growth and expansion plan.

Sustainable Development through Local Technical Partners

A priority for USADF program funding is building a network of African expert support providers. Our technical partners in turn provide technical services needed by USADF grantees that help ensure their success. Partners also gain long term capabilities to provide ongoing economic development support within each country not only for USADF programs but also as change agents for other economic growth and development activities. In FY 2016 USADF invested over $4.5 million to develop local partner organizations in 19 African countries.