On 4 March 2022, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) jointly announced the launch of the African Small Business Catalyst (ASBC). ASBC is a business accelerator program for early growth-stage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in sub-Saharan Africa. The accelerator program seeks to support entrepreneurs in the region that are focused on key sectors like agriculture and food security, education, health care and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Special consideration will be given to companies that also tackle the climate crisis and address gender equity considerations through their work.  

ASBC will accept applicants from four eligible countries for the initial year, including Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda. Through the program, successful applicants will have the opportunity to benefit from the following: 

  • Debt investments up to USD$1 million 
  • Grant capital up to USD$100,000 
  • Intensive mentoring and training programs 
  • Targeted technical assistance (e.g., technology) 
  • Networking opportunity with impact investors 

Interested applicants should fulfil the following criteria to apply: 

  • Be a for-profit SME that is registered locally and majority African-owned 
  • Have an ambitious full-time management team with a clear vision and drive to grow the business 
  • Have at least two years of operations 
  • Have a scalable product/service 

To apply for the ASBC accelerator program, visit: ASBC Application