AFRICA – The African Development Bank has selected twenty-five young African agripreneurs for the final level of the AgriPitch competition.

Submission for agribusiness plans for the competition closed at the end of October, with the AgriPitch organizers highlighting that they received more than 2,500 applications and evaluated 605 proposals from 30 countries.

The finalists, from 12 African nations, submitted promising proposals that best embraced the 2020 theme of Driving Sustainable Nutrition and Gender Inclusivity in Africa’s Agri-Food Systems: Youth Agripreneurs Seize the Decade.

“It is encouraging to see that almost 62% of all AgriPitch 2020 applicants self-described as being women-led businesses or having women make up at least 50% of their management,” said Wambui Gichuri, the Bank’s Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

“Word is spreading that AgriPitch is the competition where all qualified agripreneurs can get the training and support to grow their businesses,” she added.

The AgriPitch competition is part of the AfDB’s fourth African Youth Agripreneurs Forum (AYAF), one of the continent’s platforms for African youth in agriculture start-up scene.

The finalists are now enrolled in the AYAF/AgriPitch online training platform, stepping closer to a share of US$120,000 in seed funding prizes, training, and other benefits.

“In this two-week-long business development boot camp, AgriPitch competitors can attend virtual sessions on product development, revenue channel identification, logistics, marketing, business management, investment readiness, financing and other issues, led by trainers and coaches,” said Edson Mpyisi, Coordinator of the Bank’s Enable Youth Program responsible for the event.

“Word is spreading that AgriPitch is the competition where all qualified agripreneurs can get the training and support to grow their businesses.”

AfDB Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development – Wambui Gichuri

This year’s AYAF and AgriPitch competition is undertaken in collaboration with partners like UN Women, the African Leaders for Nutrition and the Affirmative Finance Action for Women Africa initiative.

The winners selected from the finalists from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Benin, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mozambique, Guinea, Malawi, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire will be crowned at a ceremony held on 16 and 17 November.

Competition winners will be named in three categories: early start-up, mature start-up and women-empowered businesses.

In addition to receiving seed funding prizes and post-competition mentoring, AgriPitch winners will be invited for the AYAF online DealRoom, which connects expansion-ready, youth-led African businesses with global investors.

Companies selected for the AgriPitch Competition shortlist, but who didn’t make it to the competition, also qualify to join the AYAF/AgriPitch online DealRoom.

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