PACE Addendum FAQ

Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE)

APS Addendum FAQ’s

1. When will applicants hear back from USAID/Global Partnerships on the status of their concept paper?

Applicants will be contacted regarding the status of their concept paper via email by Friday, February 28.

2. What is the process for building a Global Development Alliance (GDA)? 

Prospective applicants should first contact Rob Schneider ( to determine whether their initial ideas are consistent with the objectives of the PACE Initiative. Including the prospective private sector partners in this discussion is especially valuable. Once a concept paper is submitted, USAID will conduct an initial review and may contact the applicant and the applicant’s partners for additional information. This may include requests for revised concept papers. After the initial review, USAID will determine which prospective alliances warrant further consideration. If a proposed alliance does not warrant further consideration, USAID will notify the applicant. For prospective alliances that warrant further consideration, USAID will open a robust dialogue with the prospective partners to explore whether and how USAID and the partners can jointly develop and build a partnership. If these discussions are productive, USAID may ask for a full application to be submitted under the GDA Annual Program Statement.

3. Do organizations need to submit a Concept Summary Form?

Yes.  See page 14 of the 2013 GDA-Annual Program Statement for links and descriptions of what needs to be submitted for concept paper consideration. 

4. How is this entrepreneurship program different from DIV/Launch/Grand Challenges? 

Where programs like DIV, Launch, and Grand Challenges fund individual enterprises and entrepreneurs, PACE aims to work at the  intermediary level by engaging incubators, accelerators, investors, and others with incubation models that identify, mentor, and grow early stage enterprises.

5. Does PACE target only social enterprises?

No; PACE targets both social enterprises and entrepreneurship broadly.

6. What kinds of Early Stage Enterprises does PACE target?

PACE is focused on incubation models that support early stage enterprises that are post idea, post revenue, but not yet profitable, and are searching for a business model that will lead to high growth and sustainability.

7. How many programs are being targeted for this initiative?

It is expected that USAID will fund about 2-3 proposals from this current cohort of concept papers, with the expectation that about 6-10 proposals may be funded over the course of the three-year funding timeframe.

8. What is the timeframe for projects?

Projects/organizations may be funded over the course of one to five years, but the organization itself may exist indefinitely, as a major goal of PACE is to support sustainable incubation methods and organizations.

9. Can the concept paper cover a single country or should it include multiple countries?  

A concept paper may cover a single country or multiple countries in which USAID works.  It is important that USAID’s funds be focused on USAID presence countries (, but non-presence countries can be part of the overall proposal.  Stronger concept papers will demonstrate the scalability of the proposed solution, so that even if the original concept is implemented in a single country, it can be adapted to other countries.

10. Can we team up with other organizations to propose a concept note?

We encourage coalitions of organizations to develop concepts that draw on different strengths and core capabilities of each organization.

A. Is it preferred that the concept paper is submitted by an alliance of several partners or one lead organization? While USAID does not definitively prefer either option, the process will likely be more streamlined if there is one lead organization, preferably one who is familiar with USAID contracting procedures. However, USAID is open to suggestions regarding the governance structure of the proposed partnership.

B. Is there a limit to the number of coalitions that organizations can join and submit with? No.

11. Is there a preference towards markets where incubation support for early stage enterprises is already established and needs to be strengthened or markets where such support is still very limited or non-existent?

There is no preference between concept papers from geographies where support for early stage enterprise incubation support is already present vs. those geographies where such support is limited.  USAID will focus on the development impact that will result from implementing the concept note, keeping in mind the core evaluation requirements set forth in the PACE Addendum - Innovation, Impact, Replicability/Scalability, Leverage, Monitoring/Evaluation/Learning.

12. Are coalitions with public funding allowed to apply?

Yes, although the public funding does not count towards meeting the 1:1 private sector resource mobilization requirement which is required as part of the GDA framework.  See page 22 of the 2013 GDA Annual Program Statement (specifically footnote #23)

13. Would an organization be eligible for funding if they have received some funding previously from private equity funds? 

Yes. Previous funding is not a problem, but would not count as leverage towards USAID funding.  Leverage should be mobilized for the explicit purpose of supporting and advancing the specific alliance being proposed as part of PACE.

14. If our proposal envisions lending from a bank or investor, would that loan capital or investment capital after the commencement of the GDA count as leverage?

Equity and debt invested may count as leverage, but requires a 5:1 ratio of private capital: USAID funding.  See page 26 of the 2013 GDA Annual Program Statement.

15. How can I submit my completed concept paper?

You can email your concept paper to Mitch Abuan at

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 3:45pm

Last updated: January 27, 2014