The U.S. African Development Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency established by Congress to invest directly in African businesses and social entrepreneurs.  USADF investments increase incomes, incomes and jobs by promoting self-reliance and market solutions to poverty.  USADF creates pathways to prosperity for marginalized populations and underserved communities in the Sahel, the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa.

USADF engages in development differently by using a community-led development approach and a Pan-African network of local implementing partners to support solutions designed and delivered by Africa. USADF provides grants, capacity building assistance, and convening opportunities to develop, grow and scale African businesses and entrepreneurs that improve people’s lives and livelihoods. USADF invests in Africans and their ideas and solutions to address some of Africa’s biggest challenges of food insecurity, poor energy access and unemployment, especially among women and youth .

Agriculture and food security

USADF invests in agricultural enterprises and cooperatives to develop better business management skills, improve production and distribution capacities and access larger markets.

Renewable energy

Through partnerships with businesses and governments, USADF invests in African change agents who focus on delivering electricity and energy solutions using renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and biogas.

Entrepreneurship and Job Creation

We provide seed capital and technical assistance to women-led businesses and young African entrepreneurs to create and develop markets and positively impact the lives of millions of Africans

What types of organizations are funded?

1– Agricultural cooperatives and small producer groups

An association formed by a small group of farmers, artisans, or producers to try to benefit from certain economies of scale in terms of marketing and production.

2- Associative organizations

An association made up of a group of people who come together to try to achieve a common goal or a set of common goals tailored to meet the development needs of their community.

3- African intermediary organizations

An association that works directly with populations with very low incomes and marginalized groups.

4- Small and medium enterprises

A properly incorporated business that has up to 250 employees, has an annual turnover of up to 1,000,000,000 FCFA and has a business plan that has an impact on communities, either directly through the company or indirectly through supply chains.

What are the eligibility requirements?

ADF only funds groups that meet the following eligibility requirements:

✓The organization must be owned entirely by Africans and managed entirely by Africans;

✓The organization must be a legally recognized African entity (or in the process of a legal constitution);

✓The organization must demonstrate that its employees and/or members have already worked together successfully and that it has the potential to use development funds productively;

✓ Owners and managers must agree on the problem to be faced, and they must be committed to working for the benefit of their community;

✓The organization must have basic management and control systems to use and account for USADF funds.

What are the types of grants?

1- Operational Assistance Grant (OAG)
Financial assistance intended to increase the operational and management capacities of a beneficiary
Amount: up to 100,000 USD
Duration: from 6 to 24 months.
Target: Beneficiaries whose projects have been identified as having substantial potential for successful project development, but who lack sufficient operational and managerial capacities to effectively use the capital for business development and expansion.
Objective: To set up or improve the operational processes, the commercial management capacities (planning, purchasing, production, distribution, and sales) of a beneficiary, the infrastructure of financial and accounting management systems; and demonstrate the effective use of grants for an initial level of production materials, working capital, equipment, and structures.
A grantee who successfully implements an OAG may be considered for a separate grant designed to expand its operations.
2- Enterprise Expansion Grant (EEG)
A grant given to an economic or social entity for the purpose of growing it, expanding its business activity, and providing economic and social benefits to its workers and the community as a whole.
Amount: up to 250,000 USD
Duration: 24 to 60 months.

Grant Obtaining Process

  • Submission of the application
  • Selection – eligibility and compatibility
  • Preliminary site visit
  • Project development
  • Submission of the project to USADF
  • Reviewed by USADF
  • Grant or refusal of the subsidy