Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)
The AECF is a US$180m fund backed by various international donors to encourage private-sector investment in new and innovative business ideas. This includes ideas in agri-business, rural financial services, renewable energy and technologies to assist small farmers to adapt to climate change. To qualify for funding a project should be commercially viable and have a positive impact on the rural poor in Africa, delivering increased incomes and employment for poor people, through reduced costs and improved productivity.
Making Markets Work Better for the Poor (M4P)
M4P has evolved into a framework for practical projects to reduce poverty in many countries around the world. It is guided by four underlying principles: systemic action – understanding where market systems are failing to serve the needs of the poor, and acting to correct those failings; sustainable change –by creating the foundation for lasting change where market systems are better equipped to respond to future needs and priorities; large-scale impact – targeting interventions that benefit large numbers of poor people; and facilitative role – a catalytic role for the development agent. The M4P Hub is a forum for sharing knowledge on making markets work for the poor:
Food and Retail Industry Challenge Fund (FRICH)
The FRICH challenge is aimed at the European food sector and is to find innovative ways to bring more African foods to the continent. The competitive Fund supports new ideas that connect African farmers with global retailers through innovative business partnerships. FRICH achieves results by removing blockages to market access and making sure that European shoppers know what differences their purchases make to poor farmers.
ITC Women and Trade
Globalisation and trade have played a critical role in reducing barriers to achieving greater gender equality. Evidence shows a strong correlation between increased international trade and increases in female employment; trade results in greater employment in exports, increased connection to markets and often higher wages in export oriented industries particularly for women. ITC’s Women and Trade Programme works with governments, the private sector and trade support institutions to bring greater economic benefit to women through increased participation in export trade.