If 2020 represents an unprecedented moment of global uprising, 2021 turned reckoning into remedy. This February, the African Visionary Fund committed our first $1 million USD to six incredible visionaries leading community-centered organizations on the continent. Today, we are thrilled to welcome more high impact partners to our portfolio with a new $1.5 million USD commitment to support nine organizations over three years.
Our dedication to supporting African-led organizations with unrestricted funding has been invigorated by the results that our inaugural cohort has yielded in maximizing entrepreneurial spirit and accelerating impact. We are determined to continue giving enterprising leaders the autonomy to focus solely on delivering their mission.
“Our grantmaking process has illuminated a rich, yet untapped talent pipeline that goes underfunded on the continent. There is no shortage of high impact African organizations to support.” - Katie Bunten-Wamaru, co-CEO
With the guidance of the AVFund’s Advisory Board and Grantmaking Committee, we employed our newly re-designed grantmaking criteria and selection process to handpick our second cohort. We underwent a rigorous process over the course of 5 months, researching 109 organizations from a rich pool of over 200 referrals. In November we engaged 26 talented semi-finalists with due diligence calls, and then further shortlisted 13 visionaries for virtual site visits. In the end, we have selected nine organizations that have the potential for transformative systems change across a diverse range of organizational models and sectors.
Welcoming Our New Partners!
Our new African Visionary Partners are highly skilled and impactful organizations that work across five sectors in eight countries.
ACADES provides a platform for smallholder farmers to engage in agribusiness in Malawi. They invest in thousands of young farmers through agriculture financing, access to markets, and skills development, ensuring that they can sustain themselves and increase their productivity.
AkiraChix bridges the global gender gap in tech by providing high-potential African women with market-ready technology skills. They aspire to be the leading source of African female tech talent for the world.
Friendship Bench provides sustainable mental healthcare rooted in Zimbabwean communities. Their psychological interventions are evidence-based, accessible, and scalable, and they envision a world where a friendship bench is within walking distance for all.
Fundi Bots works with schools and communities in Uganda to provide hands-on and project-based STEM education in classrooms. They aim to accelerate equitable science learning in Africa, especially for children in rural and underprivileged areas.
Kajo-Keji Health Institute addresses the severe shortage of medical personnel in South Sudan by educating high potential health care workers. Their cost-sharing model makes tuition more affordable, and their comprehensive curriculum prepares clinical and laboratory professionals to serve and save lives.
Kidame Mart empowers rural female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia to provide last mile distribution for fast-moving consumer goods that enhance people’s standard of living. Their network of 3000 micro-entrepreneurs distribute impact products to 110 rural locations across the country.
Msichana Initiative envisions a Tanzanian society where the rights of girls are safeguarded and advanced through empowerment, advocacy, and policy reform. They inspire adolescent girls to shape their own futures and speak up against gendered socio-economic norms that impede their personal development.
This-Ability is a social enterprise focused on advancing Disability Rights and Inclusion in Kenya. Their team combines business strategy and social entrepreneurship with a passion for disability rights for women and girls.
WAVE is tackling youth unemployment by getting young people work-ready through skills development and helping employers find untapped talent for their business. They envision a world where every young African has the opportunity to become what they imagine.
“Our goal is to make sure that as much money flows to African-founded community organizations as possible in the short term, and to see the global philanthropic community change how it thinks about African leaders in the long term.” - Atti Worku, co-CEO
We are energized by the insightful learnings that we gain from the visionaries that we work with, and excited about the potential impact that our new partnerships will unlock. Thank you for joining the AVFund on our journey of ensuring that African visionaries get the resources they need and the recognition they deserve.
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