U.S.-Based Entrepreneurs Compete to Spur Economic Development in African Countries

The ringing of the bell to officially open the African Diaspora Marketplace
The ringing of the bell to officially open the African Diaspora Marketplace
USAID and The Western Union Company Host African Diaspora Marketplace II

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Public Information
202-712-4810

WASHINGTON, D.C. – From June 22-23, approximately 40 entrepreneurs will compete for an investment of up to $70,000 in their business at the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) II. The marketplace competition showcases promising and innovative ideas for businesses that can create employment and strengthen trade in emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The program also supports U.S.-based African diaspora members in giving back to their home communities.

The ADM II is a collaboration of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation. It is one of the few public-private initiatives to harness the knowledge and resources of U.S.-based African diaspora and other entrepreneurs to address poverty through small-medium sized business (SMEs). Winners receive up to $50,000 in matching grants and/or technical assistance valued at up to $20,000 ($70,000 total investment per awardee). The ADM II is jointly funded by USAID, the Western Union Company, and the Western Union Foundation. Other contributing partners include Ecobank, George Washington University Center for International Business Education and Research, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the U.S. Department of State and Irv Barr Management.

Nearly 500 business proposals in the Agribusiness, Information and Communications Technology, Alternative Energy and other productive sectors, were submitted by U.S.-based African diaspora and other entrepreneurs with a demonstrated and relevant connection to, or experience in, Africa.  In accordance with the program rules, proposals were evaluated by independent panels established by George Washington University, the Enterprise Development Network and other small business experts. The panel identified 71 semi-finalists, and 15 to 20 winners will be selected and awarded small business grants to help fund their innovative plans.

WHEN: Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23, 2012

FRIDAY

8:30 to 9:15 Media Briefing (Speakers from USAID, Western Union, finalists, former winners)
9:30 to 10:00 Marketplace Opening Ceremony - GWU Continental Ballroom
10:00 to 13:00 Marketplace Competitor Exhibition - Grand Ballroom
13:00 to 15:00 Small Business Entrepreneurs Workshops - Continental Ballroom
15:00 to 18:00 Marketplace Exhibition - Grand Ballroom

SATURDAY

10:30 to 13:00 Keynote Conversation with Tony Elumelu and Jeffrey Wright, Awards Announcements Ceremony George Washington University (Morton Media Auditorium)
13:00 In-person media interviews with winners are available upon request

WHERE: George Washington University
The Marvin Center (Continental Ballroom)
800 21st Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052

PRESS CONTACT:

Tom Fitzgerald, Western Union - Office: (201) 263-5033; Cell: (303) 378-1465 Tom.Fitzgerald@westernunion.com

Natasha Jackson, USAID - Office: (202) 712-4320; Cell: (703) 608-7962 njackson@usaid.gov

 For more information, visit http://www.diasporamarketplace.org/

Last updated: October 20, 2014

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