Around the world, small businesses form the backbone of a healthy economy, generating employment, wealth and ultimately, global prosperity. But these businesses need capital to grow, which, in the developing world, is usually difficult and expensive to procure. On March 27th- at ANDE’s third anniversary celebration in London- the Argidius Foundation—a charitable foundation promoting businesses as a way to mitigate poverty —and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) announced an opportunity for organizations to help unlock financing for small and growing businesses (SGBs) in emerging markets.
The Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge seeks innovative financial solutions for firms requiring 15,000-200,000 euros (20,000-250,000 USD) in start-up capital. Four to six finalists will be awarded grants of approximately 200,000-300,000 euros in August to conduct 12-18 month pilot programs, during which ANDE will provide ongoing guidance. Provided impact targets are met, a grand prize of one million euros will be bestowed in spring 2014 to the most successful pilot.
For more information about the challenge guidelines and criteria, please visit http://as.pn/sgbprize. Entries will be accepted until midnight on June 15, 2012. Follow #SGBprize on Twitter for updates on the competition.