African Diaspora Marketplace

African Diaspora Marketplace

Launched in 2009 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Western Union, the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) aims to encourage sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting African diaspora entrepreneurs. ADM entrepreneurs are individuals with demonstrable connections to or experience in Africa, and who have innovative and high-impact start-ups or established businesses on the continent.

At a Glance

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United States

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Organization Mission

Poverty across the African continent is tremendous. But in sub-Saharan Africa, the challenge is especially great, with an estimated 218 million people living in extreme poverty. Exacerbating this trend is the fact that many in this region do not have secure sources of income. And while unemployment rates across the region vary, even richer countries such as South Africa report unemployment rates of 21.5 percent. Moreover, unemployment among Africa’s 200 million youth (ages 15-24) is particularly significant with an estimated three in five young people of working age currently unemployed.

The African diaspora is a deeply committed, yet largely untapped, source of innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to poverty and economic development in Africa. The African Diaspora Marketplace encourages sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting US-based African diaspora entrepreneurs with innovating and high-impact ideas for start-up and established businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.  The business plan competition will award prizes to fifteen to thirty winners with grants of as much as $50,000 and technical assistance grants worth $10,000-20,000.

The African Diaspora Marketplace was the first diaspora entrepreneurship project to be placed on the IdEA platform and served as the inspiration for two additional IdEA programs, the Caribbean Idea Marketplace and La Idea.