Sponsoring Agency: European Union
Deadline Available: Available
Deadline Date (mm/dd/yyyy): 05/14/2021
Size of the Fund: USD $500,000 to $1 Million
The Enterprise Zambia Challenge Fund is aiming to support projects put forward by small and medium sized agri-enterprises with business models that are integrating smallholder farmers into value chains as suppliers and/or customers. The agri-enterprises need to demonstrate how they are benefitting smallholder farmers. This may be through the establishment of a new activity or expansion of existing activities in specific or all nodes of the value chain.
The ENTERPRISE Zambia Challenge Fund (EZCF) is a € 25.9 million initiative by the European Union in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, part of the wider 11th EDF “Support to the Sustainable Commercialisation of Zambia’s Smallholder Farmers Programme”, to unlock, accelerate and leverage investments within agricultural value chains (including agroforestry and aquaculture).
The Fund’s specific objective is to integrate 150,000 smallholder farmers in sustainable value chains. By supporting and enabling between 40 to 45 agri-enterprises to increase their turnover (by at least 25%), this is expected to increase incomes and food security for at least 150,000 smallholder farmers and create a minimum of 8,500 net equivalent jobs. It will contribute to an increase in smallholder production; with 90% improving their access to markets; and will result in quantifiable positive impacts in dietary diversity and overall food security. Additionally, the project seeks to promote increased access to finance (credit, investment) for complementary investments by value chain actors.
The priorities of this call are actions enabling agribusinesses and smallholders to transition to greener and more sustainable agri-food systems (including in agriculture, agroforestry and aquaculture) and tackle the challenges presented by Covid-19 as well as actions in support of gender and youth focused opportunities and to nutritionally sensitive (regional/national) value chains.
Any grant requested in the specific windows from ENTERPRISE Zambia Challenge Fund must fall within the following minimum and maximum amount:
• Window 1 (General)
o Minimum: EUR 150,000
o Maximum: EUR 1,000,000
• Window 2 (Aquaculture)
o Minimum: EUR 150,000
o Maximum: EUR 1,000,000
Activities must take place in the Republic of Zambia. Initiatives are not limited to specific value chains and/or geographical locations within Zambia and should not be limited to primary production.
In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must comply with all the criteria listed below:
• Must be an agri-enterprise involved in the production of farming inputs, food and fibre, ranching and rising of livestock, aquaculture, agroforestry or other farming and agricultural related industries. Examples of relevant agro-food enterprises include but are not limited to: companies involved in agricultural, agroforestry or aquaculture production including agro-input suppliers, contract farming, agroforestry, agro-food processors, agriculture logistics and aggregation services, agriculture technology suppliers including breeders and, farm machinery;
• Must be incorporated in Zambia as a company or a cooperative;
• Must be compliant with all national and local laws and regulations; including meeting all obligations relating to the payment of taxes and social security contribution and relevant health and safety and environmental standards;
• Must be a for-profit entity;
• Must demonstrate experience in the project proposal for current or future integration of smallholder farmers/livestock keepers in existing or new value chain(s) in the project’s areas;
• The business must have at least three (3) years of uninterrupted operations in Zambia at the date of application, with focus on eligible agriculture, livestock, agroforestry or aquaculture sectors (see a) above for more specific examples).
• Must have a yearly turnover5 in one of the last two (2) years of at least EUR 150,0006 as evidenced by audited accounts.
• Must be able to contribute at least 50% of the project cost through a blend of cash and cash equivalents, credit8 or equity from own or third-party sources.
• Must have three years of financial statements including audited accounts for the two (2) most recent years plus management accounts for the third year. The audited accounts should have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by an accountant accredited by the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants (ZICA).
• Must be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the implementing partners, not acting as an intermediary.
Implementing partners must participate in designing and implementing the action and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant. The following basic criteria apply to implementing partners:
• In addition to agriculture sector for-profit entities, SMEs outside the agriculture sector can be partners.
• The following are also eligible as implementing partners: § microfinance institutions, § not-for-profits e.g., civil society organizations, NGOs, research institutions etc.
• Implementing partners must be compliant with all national and local laws and regulations; including meeting all obligations relating to the payment of taxes and social security contribution and relevant health and safety and environmental standards.
Implementing partners must be registered in Zambia with the relevant regulatory body.
More information at: https://enterprisezambia.org/financial-support/