Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge

Argidius ANDE Finance Challenge“We’re looking for new solutions to mobilize finance for promising—but risky—small businesses. We hope this challenge encourages organizations to think creatively and collaboratively about what can be done, and we’re convinced ANDE is the right partner to make this happen.” -Argidius Foundation

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Round one winners announced at 2012 ANDE Annual Conference. Click here for details!

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, on behalf of the Argidius Foundation, seeks Consultant to Design Monitoring and Evaluation System for the Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge.
Click here for Terms of Reference.

Overview
The Argidius Foundation and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) are pleased to announce the Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge (AAFC), a new competition designed to support innovative ways to provide capital to small businesses in emerging markets that require $20,000-$250,000 in early stage capital.  The goal of the challenge is to accelerate the development of innovative and sustainable solutions in a number of emerging markets, ideally establishing models that can be replicated.  Successful proposals may:

 -- Transport a proven model from other locations to the target countries,
 -- Support expansion of existing models in target countries, or
 -- Represent an entirely new model.

Target Countries
Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Honduras, Mali, Moldova, and/or Nicaragua; Proposals must have a presence in at least one of these countries; however, regional proposals that incorporate at least one target country are welcome.

Process
Funds will be disbursed in two rounds of funding.  Round one aims to disburse one million euros across four to six pilot programs in August 2012, which will run for 12-18 months. Round one winners announced at 2012 ANDE Annual Conference. Click here for details! Round two will evaluate the pilot programs and award a grand prize of one million euros in spring 2014 to the pilot program deemed most successful and replicative.  If minimum standards of impact are not met during either round, the Argidius Foundation reserves the right to not make awards.

Eligibility
The AAFC is open to all organizations (or teams of organizations) working to help small- and growing businesses to secure sufficient finance (debt or equity) to grow.  Organizations can be non-profit or for-profit, including financial institutions.  Successful applicants will have significant expertise in offering or enabling financial solutions in emerging markets and strong internal metrics and evaluation capacity with established tools for measuring impact.  Proposals are preferred in English, but will also be accepted in Spanish and French. 

Expert Panel
Before final submission, all applicants have the opportunity to receive feedback on their proposals from an Expert Panel of reviewers.  Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit draft proposals for review prior to formal submissions.  Each applicant is allowed to seek feedback once.  To be eligible to receive feedback, applicants must submit draft proposals that include a Project Title and Narrative Description through the online application system by June 1st, 2012 at 11:59pmET.

How To Apply
The deadline for applications to be received through the online application system was June 15th at 11:59pmET. Download the application requirements.

Download the full RFP and Competition Guidelines in English, French, or Spanish.

See the press release in English, French, or Spanish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:        Must I use the online application form to submit my application, or can I attach a separate proposal?
A:         The Selection Committee will only review applications that are properly filled out within the online template.  The only attachments that will be accepted are a budget and a timeline/Gantt chart.

Q:        Are there any restrictions on the expense categories for which grant money may be used in the pilot program (i.e. overhead, salaries, etc.)?
A:         No.

Q:        Is there a specific sector focus for the funding?
A:         No. AAFC is open to applicants across any sector, provided that the applicants’ objective is to unlock financing for promising SGBs. 

Q:        Is there a preference for the type of financing provided (i.e. debt, equity, etc.)?
A:         No, any type of financing is supported as long as it is ultimately supporting small businesses in emerging markets.

Q:        Do you have to be a financial institution to receive funding?
A:         No. AAFC is open for all types of organizations to apply.

Q:        Are banks and other for-profit entities eligible to apply?
A:         Yes, the AAFC is open for all types of organizations to apply.

Q:        Will my application be discriminated against if I submit in Spanish or French?
A:         No, applications will be accepted in English, Spanish, or French.

Q:        What word count limits are in the application:
A:         Brief description of organization: 250 words
            Brief description of proposed program: 100 words
            Brief description of how initiative will unlock capital: 100 words
            Narrative description: 1200 words