PFAN participates in this year’s African Development Bank Group’s $140,000 AgriPitch Competition
PFAN is pleased to launch the 2022 AgriPitch Competition together with the African Development Bank, Private Equity Support and EldoHub on 17 October 2022 under the theme: “The Role of Africa’s Youth within African Food Systems.”
The AgriPitch competition aims to support young African entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector – or “agripreneurs” – by improving their business bankability and ensuring that they are pitch-ready for potential investors. The objective is to identify innovative solutions and develop ideas that contribute to more productive food systems while mitigating the effects of gender marginalisation and enhancing sustainable nutrition across the continent.
Held annually, the AgriPitch competition is a key activity of the Bank’s ENABLE Youth Flagship programme that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture among youth in Africa, creating jobs and improving livelihoods, and also provides capacity-building skills and facilitates access to finance for youth by virtually convening relevant investors focused on start-ups and growing SMEs.
“The Bank believes that entrepreneurship is a pathway to a secure job and viable socio-economic growth that is inclusive and promotes sustainable development. Therefore, Africa’s emerging vibrant wave of young entrepreneurs must be supported and nurtured for the continent’s prosperity,” noted Edson Mpyisi, the Bank’s Chief Financial Economist and ENABLE Youth Coordinator.
This year, the shortlisted agripreneurs will receive coaching and mentorship from PFAN in an interactive and tailored virtual two-week boot camp before pitching to a panel of judges. The semi-finalists will get a chance to pitch their business plans to potential investors in the AgriPitch deal room and be eligible for one-on-one mentorship and access to post-competition digital expertise. The winners will be eligible to grant funding worth USD 140,000.
“With the rising urgency for climate action, encouraging young entrepreneurs to incorporate climate adaptative initiatives in their projects is paramount. PFAN is proud to collaborate with the other partner organizations in this initiative to contribute towards this goal. We are excited to support young entrepreneurs, more so women, towards sustainable agricultural practices in Africa”, said Wilfred Mworia, PFAN Regional Coordinator for Africa.
Diana Gichaga, PFAN Advisor and Managing Partner of the Private Equity Support firm said, “Our work with AgriPitch and the African Development Bank, which started in 2020, has provided a platform through which we can jointly catalyse early stage funding into investor ready SMEs within the food and nutrition space in Sub Saharan Africa. Food security is a key issue for the continent and AgriPitch facilitates the discovery of innovative, youth led solutions that are provided with an opportunity to receive investment readiness support and access to financing, which is core to the work PES does.” PES, as the implementing lead, is leveraging its work across 18 countries, and partnerships with Eldohub and PFAN.
The AgriPitch competition is open to African youth between 18 to 35 years, working within the agriculture value chains, and offers three competition categories: Early Start-ups (0-3 years of operation), Mature Start-ups (3 or more years in operation) and Women-Empowered Businesses (firms with at least 51% share of women ownership or founded by a woman).