Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge to fund innovative development solutions

Owners of small businesses will benefit from the capital to be provided through the Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge. Photo by: USAID Africa / CC BY-NC-SA

The Argidius Foundation and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs have launched a new competition that aims to fund innovative ways and solutions in providing capital to small businesses in emerging markets.

Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge’s goal is to provide small businesses with $20,000 to $250,000 in early stage financing. The AAFC is open to all for-profit or nonprofit organizations, financial institutions or teams within such organizations that help small and growing businesses obtain capital. Winners are required to have significant expertise in offering financial solutions in emerging markets, as well as established tools for measuring impact.

The challenge aims to fast-track innovative development programs that have the potential to be replicated. Winning proposals may meet one or all of the following criteria:

  • Transport a proven model from other locations to the target countries

  • Support expansion of existing models in target countries, or

  • Represent an entirely new model.

Proposals must have a presence in at least one of the following target countries:

  • Burkina Faso

  • Guatemala

  • Honduras

  • Mali

  • Moldova

  • Nicaragua

Funds will be disbursed in two rounds: Round one aims to disburse €1 million ($1.2 million) across four to six pilot programs in August 2012. Round two will evaluate the pilot programs and award a grand prize of 1 million euros in spring 2014 to the pilot program deemed most successful and most likey to be replicated. 

Regional proposals with components in at least one of the target countries are also accepted. Deadline for submission of proposals is on June 15, 2012. For more information, visit this website.  

About the author

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    Louie-An Pilapil

    Louie-An is a former senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.