What is ADM II?
The African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM II) is a business plan competition designed to support the entrepreneurial spirit and resources of the U.S.-based African diaspora community and other entrepreneurs who have a demonstrated relevant connection to or experience in Africa, to promote economic development in Africa by facilitating diaspora direct investment (DDI) and other investment in viable small and medium business enterprises.
Am I an SME?
The ADM II uses the IFC definition of an SME, which is: i) number of employees between 10 and 300, (ii) Total Assets between $100,000 and US$15 million; and (iii) Total Annual Sales of between US$100,000 and US$15 million.
Are you currently accepting proposals?
Yes. The ADM II will be accepting proposals through March 2, 2012 at 5 p.m. EST (17:00 EST).
Who is qualified to apply?
ADM II is open to all US citizens or permanent residents who are members of the African diaspora community and other entrepreneurs who have a demonstrated relevant connection to or experience in Africa.
Am I a "diaspora" member?
The ADM II definition of African diaspora consists of people of African origin who are permanent residents or citizens of the United States. African origin includes all people of African descent not only first generation immigrants.
How do I meet the minimum of 25% ownership requirement?
The ADM II-supported business entity based in Africa must be structured so that the applying U.S. citizen or permanent resident has a minimum of 25% ownership. Upon advancing to the Finalist round, applicants will be required to present proof of ownership in the form of a Certificate of Business Registration or other legal document outlining the ownership structure.
What do "matching contribution" and the requirement for "a minimum of one-to-one leverage ratio" mean?
ADM II applicants must contribute resources of equal or greater value to the proposed project than they are requesting from ADM II. For example, a request for a $50,000 ADM II grant must be "matched" with a contribution of at least $50,000 from the applying partners. However, while this matching contribution must include a financial component, it can also include "in-kind" contributions. So, for instance, applicants could provide a matching contribution of a $25,000 loan from a bank, $15,000 cash investment and land and machinery used during the course of the grant that is equal in value to $10,000. Be sure to include the monetary value of all "in-kind" contributions in the proposal in the "Notes" of the Financial Section of the ADM II application. Applicants are encouraged to submit focused proposals.
How does the ADM II define "partnership"?
Proposals submitted for companies that are or will be less than 100 percent owned by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or group of U.S. citizens or permanent residents need a partner based in the country where the business is or will be registered. In this case, the applicant must own at least 25 percent of the business.
Can an applicant identify the partner later? I have a good business idea, but don't have a partner in Africa yet.
Yes. U.S. citizens or permanent residents can apply without an African partner.
Can the applicant be in Africa and submit a proposal with a eligible partner from U.S.?
No. ADM II is focused on the contributions of eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents to the African continent. Therefore, the applicants must U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
Does the African partner have to provide a "matching contribution" as well?
No. The "matching contribution" is calculated for the entire proposed activity. ADM II does not differentiate between the percentage of that contribution made by the U.S.-based African diaspora member and that of the local partner in Africa. The total "matching contribution" from all parties must be equal to or greater than that requested from ADM II.
Are unregistered businesses able to apply?
Yes. Businesses that are not yet legally registered may also participate in the competition; however, such entrants must become legally incorporated before advancing to the final round of the competition.
Are existing businesses eligible to participate to the competition?
Yes. Existing businesses (i.e., business that have been legally incorporated for more than 2 years) that are looking to expand to new markets or into new services or products are eligible.
What sectors are eligible?
All commercially viable proposals in the Information Technology, Renewable Energy and Agribusiness sectors will be considered. For Libya and Tunisia only, proposals will be accepted in any sector.
Are proposals that have a timeline of less than 12-18 months eligible?
Applicants may submit plans that will expend ADM funds in fewer than 12 months. However, as the purpose of the competition is to support long-term investment in growing businesses, winners will be required to establish targets that extend through a 12-month period and report to the ADM on these throughout that period.
How many proposals is ADM accepting?
There is no limit to the number of proposals accepted. All proposals submitted online by March 2, 2012, at 5 p.m. EST (17:00 EST), will be reviewed. We encourage any African diaspora member in the U.S. with a commercially-viable business idea for Africa to apply.
I applied before the submission deadline was extended. Can I alter or re-submit my application?
While it is not technically feasible to alter an existing application that has been submitted, you may replace that application with a newly submitted proposal. Please contact ADM II at email@example.com and provide the identification number from your original submission and request that it be replaced with your new submission by March 2, 2012 at 5 pm EST.
Can I submit proposals for multiple businesses?
No, applicants may only submit a proposal for one business.
Can I email or fax my proposal to the ADM II Team directly?
No. Proposals must be submitted through the ADM website .
What do character limits (e.g., 700 chars max) refer to in the online proposal form?
A character is any letter, space, or symbol — the average English word consists of 7 characters, including spaces and punctuation. If your answers exceed the given character count, the online application cannot accept your entry.
TIP: We encourage you to draft your answers to Section III of the proposal ("Detailed Business Profile") off-line on a word processor (Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.). These include the ability to count characters as you develop your responses. You can then directly cut and paste the answers into the online application form.
TIP: Tables and other formatting (bullets, headings, etc.) will not be retained when entering information into the online form.
Can I send any additional materials along with my proposal?
No. Please do not submit any additional materials with your proposal except for the request ADM Financial Template.
What is the process for reviewing the proposals?
The proposals will be reviewed in a two-stage process. As a first step, all submitted proposals will be screened to ensure eligibility. Proposals will then be reviewed by international and diaspora business and development experts. Following Stage 1, a limited number of applicants will be selected as "Finalists" and invited to submit full business plans using a standard ADM II format. In the second stage, full business plans will be reviewed by a jury of distinguished business experts and development practitioners from the international and diaspora communities. Finalists will then participate in "one-on-one" jury interviews with ADM II judges in Washington, DC. The winners will be announced at the ADM II Awards Ceremony to be held in June 2012.
Who will be on the ADM II Jury?
The full business plans will be reviewed by a Jury of distinguished business experts and development practitioners, international business leaders, other development institutions, and leaders from diaspora community.
Are there quotas or limits on the number of winners or proposals by country?
No. Finalists are chosen based on their business ideas and proposal, without regard to the African country of implementation. The total number of winners in ADM II is limited by the grant pool.
What happens after the ADM II competition?
ADM II winners will sign a project contract that outlines a milestone and disbursement schedule for the award grant. Grant payments will correspond to the milestones specified in the winner's proposal. Each project will receive technical assistance and will be monitored for a period of up to 18 month. The performance and lessons learned of the projects will be disseminated to the broader diaspora business and development communities.
How can I contact the ADM II Team?
If your question is not answered here or elsewhere on the ADM website, please contact the ADM II Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .