African Diaspora Marketplace I & II

Launched in 2009 by USAID and Western Union, the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) aims to encourage sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting African diaspora entrepreneurs.

African Diaspora Marketplace I & II

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.


  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

    Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

    U.S. foreign assistance has...

  • The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

    Zimbabwe | Staff size: Unknown

    Established in 1991, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) builds human and institutional capacity for good governance and economic development in Africa. To date the Foundation has...

  • Ecobank

    Investment & Finance
    Togo | Staff size: 10,000+

    Ecobank is a pan-African banking conglomerate, with banking operations in 36 African countries. It is the leading independent regional banking group in West Africa and Central Africa, serving...

  • Western Union

    Service Providers
    Staff size: 5001-10,000

    Western Union is a financial services and communications company based in the United States. Founded as New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company in 1851, Western Union...

More Resources

Key Information

LocationCentral Africa, Zambia, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, The Democratic Republic of, Cote d Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda
  • Start Date 2009
  • End Date 2014
  • ValueUSD 2.85 Million