The 2022 AgriPitch Competition of the African Development Bank Group will include 25 youth-led agriculture sector businesses from 14 African nations.
The Competition’s 25 finalists were revealed by the Bank in partnership with the implementing lead Private Equity Support, partner organizations Eldohub and the Private Finance Advisory Network, and the $140,000 in grants and business skills training it will provide.
17 women-owned or -led small and medium-sized businesses are among the 25 finalists. Twelve are from Anglophone nations, while thirteen are from Francophone nations.
The AgriPitch Competition is aimed at young Africans (18–35) who are involved in the agricultural value chain. The 25 finalists will receive training to develop their business skills, equipping them with the necessary resources and information to improve their preparedness for investors, financial management, and pitching viable company ideas.
“These young agricultural entrepreneurs have a lot of promise and are proof of the degree of creativity present in Africa. According to Edson Mpyisi, the Bank’s Chief Financial Economist and ENABLE Youth Coordinator, the Bank’s assistance through the AgriPitch Competition will increase the bankability of these projects and represent a concrete step toward improving agribusiness and food security on the continent.
Over 1,000 African “agripreneurs” submitted applications for the competition, with over 250 of them coming from small and medium-sized businesses that were owned or operated by women.
Diana Gichaga, Managing Partner of Private Equity Support, stated, “It’s heartening to view and assess hundreds of fantastic prospective investment possibilities from throughout the area. The continuation of efforts to highlight these projects through venues like the AgriPitch Competition, she stated, “reaffirms the essential role that the agricultural sector plays in the African economy.”
The Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Trust Fund of the African Development Bank sponsors the AgriPitch Competition, which is a focal point and ongoing activity of the ENABLE Youth Program. Three start-up categories will be recognized in the 2022 edition: Women-empowered enterprises (companies with at least 51% female ownership or started by a woman), Mature start-ups (companies operating for three years or more), and Early start-ups (0 to three years in operation). The finalists will present their business strategies to potential investors in the AgriPitch deal room, where they will also have access to post-competition digital expertise and one-on-one mentoring.