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The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development organization announced that their 2017 AWARD AgTech Innovation Challenge for West and North Africa is now open. The funding opportunity is aimed at increasing agribusiness investments in technological and business model innovations that help bridge the gender gap in African agriculture. They are particularly interested in ideas that enhance the positive participation of African women in agricultural value chains across the continent.

To apply, go here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeST8Sbc_3Rzi1m0wj67LctZkJbp2uw1QBK_2PS7J5kiftBfg/viewform?c=0&w=1 OR contact arielle.molino@intellecap.net or D.onyoni@cgiar.org with your questions.

This award is specifically for ideas that have already been successfully piloted in either West or North Africa in the following countries:
West Africa:  Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

Sagnet Approved logo.jpg

The Southern Africa Grain Network (SAGNET) is a not-for-profit company supporting regional efforts for private sector engagements in grain trade and policy in Southern Africa.  


SAGNET is a key organization mobilizing private sector players in the grain value chains towards structured trading systems with the view to increasing the volume and velocity of grain trade to enhance food security in Southern Africa. SAGNET’s private sector mobilization with a membership and stakeholder reach spans the greater Southern Africa region giving the organization a strong voice in advocacy to engage with governments and also with regional economic communities towards the improvement of the policy and trade environment.

The company’s Vision Statement is: “A vibrant, well integrated, viable and sustainable grain value chain network that is contributing to the creation of wealth, employment and food and nutrition security” while

its mission statement is: “To facilitate and promote collective action and regional collaboration by grain value chain actors in Southern Africa”

The company envisages that, through better cooperation between value chain actors, it will reinforce the change for more open and functional grain markets in the region benefiting all value chain actors including smallholder farmers.

The company’s membership include value chain actors from southern Africa countries drawn from four sectors of the value chain, that is production, processing, trading and service providers. Participation by the various actors is be open, voluntary and based on agreed common agenda.

The network includes the following stakeholders:

i. National representatives of the grain value chain in the region to ensure broad representation (ordinary members);

ii. Private sector representatives (associate members); and

iii. Academic and research institutions (associate members)

   Contact the coordinator for more details and partnerships:

Gregory Chansa: Gregory_Chansa@dai.com


Global Innovation Fund

Posted by jamieh Feb 13, 2017

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. Through grants and risk capital, it supports breakthrough solutions with strong potential for social impact at a large scale. Financial support ranges from $50,000 to $15 million. GIF is open and accepting application on a rolling basis.

Learn more here!

The Global Innovation Fund invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. Their grants and risk capital support breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from social enterprises, for-profit firms, nonprofit organizations, researchers, and government agencies.


Make sure to do your research before reaching out or sending in a proposal:


Check out the type of projects the Global Innovation Fund is interested in pursuing here.


Understand their funding stages and amounts here.


Know what they don’t fund before investing time and resources in a proposal here.

Venture Capital for Africa has a list of ongoing open programs here. Their goal is to reach and connect aspiring entrepreneurs, venture founders and developers in Africa.

Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa) started with the mission to build up Africa’s startup community. Started in 2007, VC4Africa has grown organically over the years into what is now a leading community working to build high growth high impact companies on the continent. Africa’s increased economic momentum is fueled by a growing number of entrepreneurs and their ambition to transform the continent. It is imperative we seek out the collaborations and partnerships needed to bring together the capital, knowledge and network these entrepreneurs require to succeed. In collaboration with a growing network of partners, the VC4Africa community of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors is central to bolstering the Entrepreneurial ecosystem across the continent, and offers a direct channel for anyone serious about being part of Africa’s next great success story.

AgLaunch Accelerator will invest $50,000 and three months of intensive business development support, access to farm trials, and a robust mentor network to six startup companies. Participating startups will be immersed in a collaborative Summer of Acceleration experience in Memphis, Tennessee (USA) with six other business accelerators May 1- August 10, 2017. Entrepreneurial programming is supported through the expertise of EPIcenter  and Start Co., a member of the Global Accelerator Network that has led more than 80 startup companies. Startups will also have access to expert agri-marketing and legal advice provided by Archer Malmo and Baker Donelson respectively.

Apply here (deadline is March 1, 2017)

USAID's Bureau for Asia released an opportunity to submit concept notes for potential consideration of funding through a broad agency announcement (BAA). The goal of the concepts are to identify and implement approaches for harnessing local innovations, expertise, and partnerships to solve development challenges in Asia. Check out the full announcement and criteria here.



Agriculture and agribusinesses are key drivers behind the ASEAN region's economic growth. Southeast Asia is one of the most productive agricultural baskets in the world, producing 129 million tons of rice, 40 million tons of corn, 171 million tons of sugarcane, 1.44 million tons of soybean, and 70.34 million tons of cassava in 2012. Advances in technology and regional connectivity have made it easier for such commodities to enter global value chains. In addition to being home to over 600 million people, ASEAN is also strategically located between major East Asia and South Asia markets, making it an ideal supply and processing base for agribusinesses with an eye for expansion and growth.


The goal of this call is to increase access to finance for SMAs operating across the ASEAN countries in which USAID works (including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Philippines, and Vietnam). This call is a competitive approach for USAID to consider ideas that advance the state-of-the-art solutions with potential partners. The competitive approach includes co-creation, co-designing, co-investing with USAID and other potential partners who submit concepts.

Act quickly: Applications for the Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security closes on 25 January 2017.


The Olam Prize aims to advance knowledge and recognise innovation in world food security, by rewarding an outstanding research project for its potential impact on the availability, affordability, accessibility or adequacy of food. They invite applications from research projects in plant science, soil science, nutritional science, agricultural sciences or other field of scientific research impacting food security, focused on any part of the agricultural supply chain.


The winning research project will receive US$50,000 unrestricted funding to support its further development.



Denver, Colorado based Global Food Exchange recently signed an agreement with the government of Ethiopia for the purchase of its fortified cereals to be manufactured in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  This agreement will provide food to more than 165,000 child and adult refugees daily, and will create employment for 200+ locals.  Most importantly, the use of extended shelf life technology allows GFE to guarantee purchase to more than 140,000 smallhold farmers while assuring sufficient inputs for continued manufacturing throughout throughout the year.  This venture promises strong risk-adjusted returns and is a model we look to replicate globally. 


Global Food Exchange is partnering with a local manufacturer to retrofit the facility and improve operations and efficiencies to meet global standards for fortified cereal production.  GFE is looking for strategic partners to complete the investment.  We would love to have foundations, family offices, NGOs, sovereign wealth funds, and development focused organizations join us as as we create truly sustainable jobs, farms, and market systems.  The project has commitments for more than 80% of the needed investment, and is looking for parties interested in either debt or equity for the remainder.  Please feel free to contact mbiegner@globalfoodexchange.com for more details.

To support relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Global Affairs Canada recently announced a funding opportunity  to strengthen the agricultural value chain in select geographic zones in Haiti. The deadline for this exciting opportunity is April 7, 2017. Good luck!


Link to the announcement: http://international.gc.ca/world-monde/funding-financement/haiti-2016.aspx?lang=eng

Agriculture in Uganda contributes more than 35% of our GDP,  more than 90% of our foreign exchange and is practiced mainly for subsistence output.


The proposed business is to setup an Innovation Hub, which could substantially be part of the solution to unlock our economy to the next level, and  Its also a solution to diffuse the youth unemployment bubble.

It is hinged on unlocking the entrepreneurial potential in the youth in Agribusiness, by growing the ecosystem of funding, advisory, R&D, markets, creating forward and backward agri-services linkages, networking for growth and mentor-ship. 

The programs at the Agribusiness Innovation Center will ensure matriculation of agribiz ideas to fully fledged businesses, with the aim of having atleast 5000 successful youth agribusinesses in 5 years time.


USAID/Regional Asia Mission is Accepting Applications for the Asia Agricultural Innovation Communities Grants

The Feed the Future Asia Innovative Farmers Activity has released an Annual Program Statement for Bangladeshi, Cambodian and Nepalese organizations interested in developing and growing a broad based agricultural innovation community in their respective countries. The grant is designed to provide funding for specific activities and assets that will empower locally-based organizations to identify a diverse group of stakeholders (e.g. agronomists, engineers, businesspersons, farmers, designers, investors, professors, and non-governmental organization professionals) and facilitate engagement nationally and regionally, through connection with the Regional Innovation Hub, on issues related to agricultural innovation.

For more information about the grant and application instructions, please visit

Throughout Africa, the "African Innovation Challenge" is looking to drive entrepreneurship and help advance promising consumer healthcare solutions. Chosen applicants will receive a combination of awards including funding up to US $100,000, potential lab space in Africa and/or business and technical mentoring from some of the brightest minds at Johnson & Johnson to help bring their idea to life and create meaningful change in their community or country.


Find out more, including how to apply, here: Africa Innovation Challenge | JNJ Innovation

Do you have a big idea that has been piloted successfully in East Africa that focuses on:

  • Closing yield gaps in crop and livestock value chains?
  • Reducing postharvest losses?
  • Improving agri-market efficiencies?

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development is looking for institutions and business enterprises with innovations spanning the research-to-commercialization continuum, and those addressing business model re-invention for the Gender in Agribusiness Investments in Africa  AgTech Innovation Challenge.

Innovations should contribute towards transforming agricultural practices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for improved incomes and food security for smallholder farmers, especially women. The agtech innovations should demonstrate clear benefits to women smallholder farmers, and other women value chain actors. They should be scalable across multiple geographies in sub-Saharan Africa.

The application deadline is October 31, 2016, so apply now!

Want to learn more and apply? Click here!

World Bank Big Data Innovation Challenge – World Bank Big Data Innovation Challenge


World Bank Big Data Innovation

Academics, entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses, universities and nonprofits have a larger role to play than ever before in addressing global climate issues through the creation and implementation of solutions. The shift to climate-resilient economies can occur only if the millions of decisions which are made across the globe on a daily basis are taking climate change factors and effects into account. We need your help in identifying and developing big data solutions which can help better understand the impacts of climate change, address its connected issues and positively influence decisions.

Why big data?

In today’s world of mobile technology, social networks, pervasive satellite and sensor information, and machine-to-machine transactions, more data has been generated in the past two years alone in the form of big data than in all of the previous years combined. Data is becoming the lifeblood of many economies, and data-informed decision-making is more important than ever before. However, the ability to use data in development policy and decision-making processes has not seen the same progress. That is where you come in. Help us find solutions and analytical methodologies to use big data effectively so we can help inform climate-sensitive decisions across the globe.


“Recent work from the World Bank Group suggests that poverty eradication is possible even as countries deal with the impacts of climate change and implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. … While there are many uncertainties about the impacts of climate change, it is possible to inform decision-making given adequate tools.”– Stéphane Hallegatte, Senior Economist, World Bank Group Climate Change Unit

Join us

as we launch a global call to find big data solutions that address issues pertaining to two critical challenge areas:

1) Food: food security and nutrition 2) Landscapes: forestry and watersheds

Who can participate?

This Innovation Challenge is open to individuals, students and entrepreneurs as well as start-ups, university labs, private companies, nonprofits and public sector agencies legally established in member countries of the World Bank Group (see: http://www.worldbank.org/countries).

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