The African Youth Agripreneurs Forum (AYAF), one of the continent’s most exciting platforms for African youths in the agriculture start-up sector is set to organise its AgriPitch competition where selected African youth agripreneurs will present their agribusiness startup plans and compete for a share of $120,000 in funding seed prices.
The competition, which is a creation of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and in its fourth edition, provides participants the opportunity to present their agribusiness plans to an online panel of experts and investors who will thereafter offer post-event mentoring and training.
Edson Mpyisi, coordinator of the bank’s youth-oriented programme, explained that the African Youth Agripreneurs Forum and AgriPitch Competition has always been a high-energy gathering for young entrepreneurs in agriculture to meet, share experiences and work towards creating the next big investment.
He admitted that the covid-19 pandemic has restrained the organisers from making this year’s event a physical one as it would be held online. He however assured that the bank and partners are gearing up to present a dynamic, knowledge-rich forum online as well as provide the highest seed funding AgriPitch has ever awarded competitors.
The 2020 edition, which has as its theme, “Driving sustainable nutrition and gender inclusivity in Africa’s agri-food systems: youth agripreneurs seize the decade”, has attracted collaborations with partners like UN Women, the African Leaders for Nutrition and the Affirmative Finance Action for Women Africa initiative.
The competition, which has been projected to include hundreds of participants from across the continent’s agribusiness companies, academia, development organisations, financial institutions and government agencies will be split into three segments.
The first segment being the AYAF webinars will hold on 3, 10 and 17 November, the second segment, AgriPitch boot camp training, will take place between 2 – 13 November, followed by the finalists pitching on 16 and 17 November.
Martin Fregene, bank director for agriculture and agro-industry disclosed that the event will highlight how youth agripreneurs address nutrition and gender inclusivity while serving as entrepreneurial leaders within their communities and the agribusiness sector.
At the end of the boot camp, selected agripreneurs will pitch their business proposals to a panel of judges while 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, winners will be invited for the AYAF online DealRoom. The DealRoom connects expansion-ready, youth-led African businesses with global investors (debt, equity and/or grant).
Frontpage October 2, 2019