Africa Grants for Youth Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth

Africa Grants for Youth Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth

Africa Grants for Youth Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth; The Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund (YEI MDTF) is a key grantmaking vehicle of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

The YEI MDTF is seeking project proposals from eligible grant recipients to provide business development services to youth-led MSMEs and start-ups on the African continent.

The YEI MDTF’s objectives align with the AfDB Ten-Year Strategy to promote inclusive economic growth including through accelerated investment in Africa’s youth.


JfYA has three strategic intervention areas: Integration, Innovation, and Investment.

Its goal is to create 25 million jobs and equip 50 million youth with employable skills by 2025. Thus, to advance JfYA strategy implementation, YEI MDTF seeks to:

Broaden economic opportunities for youth;
Develop skills for job creation and strengthening of human capital;
Increase inclusive employment and entrepreneurship; and
Create durable labor markets in Africa.
Focus Areas

Recognizing that Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are important levers for economic transformation and job creation for youth in Africa, the YEI MDTF supports the African entrepreneurship ecosystem through three operational focus areas:

Business Development Services (BDS) for youth-led start-ups and MSMEs;
Research Studies on the entrepreneurship ecosystem; and
Government Policy and Regulatory Reform to create an enabling environment for youth-led MSMEs and start-ups to grow.
Grant Information

The total funding envelope available for this call for proposals is USD 5 million. YEI MDTF is seeking project proposals for activities and programs with a minimum total budget of USD 500,000.

Eligible Grant Beneficiaries

ESOs shall be eligible to apply to YEI MDTF grant resources in support of youth-led MSMEs and start-ups accessible in their network.

Targeted youth-led MSMEs and start-ups are defined as:

At least 51% are owned by individuals aged between 15 and 35, in line with the JfYA Strategy and the African Youth Charter, or the entire leadership of the business within the abovementioned age range.
Start-ups at the ideation stage with proof of concept or minimum viable product (MVP) and business model that is promising in terms of social impact, inclusive job creation, and national, social, and economic development and transformation.
Lacking sufficient capacity and/or requisite collateral for accessing debt or equity financing from traditional commercial financial institutions.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Grant Recipient

Eligible grant recipients (ESOs) are those organizations or entities that align with the following criteria:

Registered in an African country as a business development services provider, financial intermediary, philanthropic foundation, non-governmental organization (NGO), African government institution, or research or academic institution.
Minimum 3-year track record of providing business development services to youth-led MSMEs and start-ups on the African continent, including through training, coaching, and mentoring services that reduce the risk of investing in them.
Minimum previous 3 years of audited organizational financial statements.
Demonstrably strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems in place.
Fiscal accountability and transparency in operations; having a Board of Directors, a full-time finance manager, and experience managing donor-funded projects/programs.
Immediate access to a large number of youth-led MSMEs and start-ups with at least 50% of these being led by women and at least 30% domiciled in countries of fragility and/or considered economic migration hotspot countries of origin.
Eligible Project Proposals

Applicants to this call for proposals may submit project proposals in accordance with the following:

Types of activities: (a) Business training; (b) Mentorship services; (c) Investment and Business Plan Development; (d) Legal Advisory Services; (e) Financial structuring; (f) Product Development; (g) Environmental and Social Impact Assessments; (h) Technical Support Services (e.g. standardization, testing of goods, certification of products, quality management systems, environmental management systems, or information technology development), and (h) Access to Finance (i.e. including the onward provision of technical assistance grants to the end beneficiary(ies)).

Duration: Eligible projects or proposals must launch within 3 months of the grant award signature and be fully implemented within 12 months thereafter.

Location: Eligible projects or proposals must be implemented in more than one (1) country over the implementation period and preferably cover at least two (2) regions in Africa.

How to Apply

Interested applicants can apply via the given website.

Apply by 25th October.

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