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MasterCard Foundation Agribusiness Challenge Fund 2024: Empowering SMEs in Africa for Resilience and Prosperity

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Applications are currently being accepted for the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Agribusiness Challenge Fund.

This initiative is the second phase of a program launched by the Mastercard Foundation, following the success of the initial phase known as the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity. The first phase, established in 2014, supported 38 participants from 15 African countries in innovating and expanding financial products and services aimed at the rural population, with a strong emphasis on agriculture. Notably, the Fund facilitated access to financial products and services for over 5.3 million individuals, surpassing the initial target of 1 million.

Building upon these achievements and insights gained, the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity was established in 2023 as a new seven-year, US$ 126 million initiative. This Fund is designed to assist Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the agriculture, climate adaptation, and digital economy sectors across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its primary goal is to stimulate enterprise growth and support the creation of dignified and fulfilling job opportunities for young women and men.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Each challenge fund sector has unique requirements. However, all challenges aim to solicit proposals from SMEs that are innovative, financially viable, and capable of generating dignified employment opportunities for young individuals, including young women, youth with disabilities, or refugee youth. Applicants must meet specific criteria outlined for each challenge.
  • Selection will be based on applications meeting predetermined criteria established by the Fund. Further details regarding these criteria can be found on the respective challenge page.


The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity aims to tackle a wide range of challenges specific to SMEs as well as broader issues through four key interventions:

Challenge Fund:

Providing direct financial assistance through a challenge fund to overcome the obstacles SMEs encounter in scaling up their operations. This support aims to facilitate the creation and sustenance of employment opportunities for young men and women.

Connect Fund:

Offering support for investor readiness to SMEs and facilitating partnerships with potential investors to ensure their sustainability and expansion.

Technical Assistance (TA):

Providing expertise beyond financial aid through technical assistance and capacity-building initiatives to address challenges related to human capital and market access.

Convening and influencing:

Bringing together relevant stakeholders to foster an enabling business environment through established partnerships and digital platforms. This initiative seeks to drive systematic change and address barriers hindering the creation of job opportunities for youth, particularly young women.

Countries of Focus

The primary goal of the Fund is to assist SMEs in 20 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. This strategic approach ensures the dissemination of SME-driven solutions capable of generating sustainable employment opportunities for young men and women, individuals with disabilities, and refugee youth, even beyond the program’s conclusion.

The countries include Benin, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia.

For additional details,

Application Deadline: November 22nd, 2024

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