View Full Version : Western Union, USAID launch second African Diaspora Marketplace

Quaiqu Ananse
6th December 2011, 03:54 PM
The Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday launched the second African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

This is an initiative, which encourages sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting US-based African Diaspora entrepreneurs with innovative and high-impact ideas for start-up and established businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a statement received in Accra by GNA.

It said the kicked off was the second phase of a successful initiative designed to create entrepreneurial solutions to economic and social challenges.

The statement said the launch of ADM II coincided with Global Entrepreneurship Week events in Washington, DC, and kicked off a month-long series of small business workshops in six other US cities.

The second phase of ADM will incorporate key learning from the first African Diaspora Marketplace: focusing grants toward high priority, high-impact sectors in Africa, including agribusiness, renewable energy, and information and communication technology (ICT).

The statement said, to expand upon ADMô previous success, Western Union and USAID were inviting small business investment funds and technical assistance mentors to participate in the effort to engage Diaspora entrepreneurs.

Coinciding with the launch, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an African-funded foundation that promoted the competitiveness of the African private sector, was joining the ADM II partnership.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation would participate through the hosting of an annual event in Lagos, Nigeria, starting in late 2012 where ADM grantees would have the chance to pitch to a group of select impact investors for second round equity and debt financing.

The statement said, also joining USAID and Western Union as funders thus far were the Western Union Foundation, and Irv Barr Management through Western Union Agent Giving Circles.

In 2010, the ADM awarded more than a dozen matching grants of $100,000 each to winning business entries in seven countries.

Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO of Western Union said: "Our support for innovative Diaspora entrepreneurs is an investment in the long-term economic health of Africa".

Through this collaboration, Western Union and USAID are helping to tap the economic potential of the 1.4 million Africans living in the US, bringing more direct investment to the continent. The African Diaspora Marketplace will strengthen and help satisfy demand for locally-produced products and services by leveraging Diaspora capital and resources.

George Washington University's Centre for International Business Education and Research would provide research expertise and also evaluate the initial phase of business proposals.

Proposals, to be submitted by February 3, 2012, will be implemented in Angola, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The number of grants awarded will be determined based on grant pool and programme need, and is likely to be in the range of 15-30 businesses.

The anticipated matched grant size is expected to be approximately $50,000 with an additional supplement of $25-50,000 in technical assistance.

Source: http://www.businessghana.com/portal/news/index.php?op=getNews&news_cat_id=2&id=156794