Members of the African diaspora still have until March 2 to apply for a program that will provide matching grants of up to $50,000 for new business ventures on the continent.
Proposals for the second annual African Diaspora Marketplace were initially due by Feb. 3. The program is organized through a partnership between Western Union Foundation and U.S. Agency for International Development.
The first workshop soliciting applications was held in Atlanta in late November. At the time, at least $1 million in grant money had been set aside, though fundraising was to be held through the application deadline.
When the event was first held in 2010, the marketplace provided a dozen matching grants of up to $100,000 to winning projects in seven countries. The pool of businesses was expected to grow to between 15 and 30 this year.
Proposals are being accepted for projects in the following sub-Saharan countries: Angola, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Democractic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Projects must be related to information technology, agribusiness or renewable energy.
Tunisia and Libya, two North Africancountries that underwent revolutions last year, were added in mid-December. In these countries only, all viable proposals will be considered, regardless of the industry.
The event is open to all U.S. citizens who are members of the African diaspora, including all African Americans, as well as “others who havea demonstrated relevant connection to, or experience in, Africa,” according to the program’s website.
Visit www.diasporamarketplace.org for more information.