The African Diaspora Marketplace (2009-2014), a USAID partnership with Western Union and Ecobank, encouraged sustainable economic growth and local employment by supporting U.S.-based African diaspora entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through the alliance, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation provide its consumer base (mobile workers) with the tools and resources to launch successful businesses, creating jobs and opportunities in the entrepreneurs’ home countries.
The 2009-2010 business plan competition awarded fourteen $100,000 matching grants to winning entries hailing from seven different countries. Highlights of the grantees’ successes include launching the first mobile anti-counterfeiting service for pharmaceutical drugs in Nigeria, the first GPS tracking system to prevent product loss in Ethiopia, and a high-speed ferry system powered by locally-produced sunflower oil in East Africa, which cut travel time across Lake Victoria by 40% while enlisting 600 indigenous farmers to grow sunflower seeds to produce the vegetable oil powering the ferries. Another success is the launch of Cooking Solar Ovens, starting with 1,000 stoves in Uganda but with a goal of 10,000, saving an estimated 1.5 tons of wood a year per family and cutting indoor air pollution by 70%, thus improving the users’ health.
The 2011-2012 competition awarded grants to seventeen winning entries from seven different countries, with variable matching grant sizes up to $50,000 in cash and $20,000 in technical assistance. This ADM competition specifically focused grants on high-impact sectors, including agribusiness, renewable energy, and ICT. Partner investment over the life of the project is $1.5 million.
|Location||Central Africa, Angola, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Rwanda, Nigeria, Niger, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Liberia, Kenya, Guinea, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cote d Ivoire, Congo, The Democratic Republic of, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Benin|
|Value||USD 2.85 Million|