Opportunities in the sector

On this page you will find selected opportunities to work with others, learn, or seek funding for projects in the area of agri-SME and smallholder finance.

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FAO: Agribusiness Investment Support Specialist. Due date: 31 December 2020.

FAO is seeking an Agribusiness Investment Support Specialist to join its Investment Centre Division to contribute to support the FAO and EBRD cooperation programme. The programme responsible private sector investment in the agriculture sector. Find out more.

ISF Advisors: Manager. Due date: Rolling.

ISF Advisors is hiring a Manager based in Abidjan to unlock capital flow in the cashew sector and to work with the ISF team to develop and launch the Cashew Catalyst Fund. ISF Advisors is an advisory group committed to transforming rural economies by delivering partnerships and investment structures that promote financial inclusion for rural enterprises and smallholder farmers. Find out more.

One Acre Fund: Rwanda Finance and Strategy Manager. Due date: Rolling.

One Acre Fund is seeking a motivated professional to lead its Finance & Strategy department in Rwanda, supporting strategic projects to increase farmer impact and efficiency. One Acre Fund focuses on making farmers more prosperous by providing quality farm supplies on credit, and agricultural training to improve harvests. Find out more.

FAO: Investment Operations Specialists. Due date: 31 December 2020.

FAO is seeking a number of Investment Operations Specialists to join its Investment Centre Division (DPI) to support in promoting investment in food security, agriculture, rural development and more in developing countries. Find out more.

U.S. Department of Treasury: Senior Financial Inclusion Advisor. Due date: 31 March.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) is hiring a Senior Financial Inclusion Advisor with experience in SME lending to join the Banking & Financial Services team to provide a range of policy, managerial and technical advice focused on increasing responsible access to finance in the developing world. The team focuses on the establishment and maintenance of inclusive financial sectors across the globe. Find out more.

ISF: Strategy Associate.

ISF is seeking a Strategy Associate to work closely with financial sector innovators, agriculture supply chain experts, and entrepreneurs to advance financial inclusion for small farmers and rural enterprises. ISF focuses on transforming rural economies through the creation of business models and delivery of investment advisory services. Find out more.

HarvestPlus: Consultant - SME Finance. Due date: 20 February 2021.

HarvestPlus seeks a highly motivated SME Financial Consultant, expected to enable medium - size enterprises to access both technical assistance and financig in four target countries - Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Bangladesh. The consultant will work as part of focusing on COVID related stimulus financing for agribusinesses. Find out more.

FAO: Senior Investment Support Officer (multiple specializations). Due date to: 16 March 2021.

FAO is seeking Senior Investment Support Officers to join its Investment Centre (CFI) in various locationsto support the design, implementation and evaluation of investment operations. CFI is a multidisciplinary centre promoting investment in food security, agriculture, rural development, natural resource management and agro-processing in developing countries and countries in transition. Find out more.

AECF: Head of Programmes, Agribusiness and Fragile Contexts. Due date: 28 February 2021.

AECF is seeking to recruit a Head of Programmes, Agribusiness and Fragile contexts responsible for developing and executing the organization’s agribusiness strategy. The incumbent is expected to work to scale agribusiness investments while ensuring effective strategies for delivery in fragile contexts/conflict areas. Find out more.

Alterfin: Investment Manager for Central Asia. Due date: 15 April 2021.

Alterfin is looking for an Investment Manager to manage its portfolio of microfinance and sustainable agriculture partners in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan. The position will be based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and require frequent travel within the region. Find out more.

Palladium: Director, Emerging Technology.

Palladium is seeking qualified candidates to serve as Director, Emerging Technology for the USAID funded CATALYZE Peru programme, and lead the activity’s Digital Information Systems work. CATALYZE Peru’s objective is mobilizing significant and primarily commercial financing and investment at scale to micro, small, medium and large businesses and financial institutions of all sizes in the nine regions of Peru’s Amazon. Find out more.


Call for applications: Right Sharing of World Resources provides seed grants to small grassroots organizations to implement women-led, income-generating projects.

Right Sharing of World Resources is offering seed grants to small grassroots organizations to implement women-led, income-generating projects in Sierra Leone, Kenya, and south India. Find out more.

Call for applications: SME Impact Fund.

SME Impact Fund provides loans, skills and knowledge to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in agricultural value chains in order to reinforce linkages between rural entrepreneurs and regional, national and export markets. Find out more.

Call for applications: Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme.

The Nirsal Microfinance Bank is offering an Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme that provides training and funding for the promotion of agricultural businesses and small/medium enterprises as vehicles for sustainable economic development. Find out more.

Call for applications: Hortifin Facility.

Hortifin is a ring-fenced loan facility targeting fruit value chains in South Africa. The facility is willing to provide to applicants, innovative and comprehensive financing and support systems in a manner that promotes job creation, transformation and sustainability. Find out more.

Open call for proposals: Common Fund for Commodities (CFC).

CFC provides a range of financial and technical instruments to support projects proposed by SMEs/enterprises, cooperatives, and institutions along the entire commodity value chain in its member countries. All interested and edigible entities are invited to submit qualifyng proposal no later than 15 April 2021. Find out more.

Funding Opportunity: Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Systems for Nutrition.

USAID is seeking concept notes from qualified entities to implement the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Systems for Nutrition program. All interested and eligible entities are invited to submit qualifying proposal no later than 8 March 2021. Find out more.

Call for applications: Southern Africa Agricultural Trade & Investment Activity.

Market Systems and Partnerships is pleased to invite for-profit businesses in Southern Africa to submit an application for an award. The Southern Africa Agricultural Trade & Investment Activity is offering businesses in southern Africa the opportunity to co-invest with USAID to achieve the following objectives: 1) increase agricultural trade from regional countries to South Africa; 2) increase agricultural investment from South Africa to the region; and 3) increase agricultural exports from southern African countries to the United States through the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Find out more.

Funding opportunity: Advancing Women's Empowerment Fund.

ANDE, in partnership with USAID, is launching a new round of funding for its Advancing Women's Empowerment Fund. In this round, ANDE seeks to fund projects that will pilot, test, or expand scalable solutions to the financing gap for women-led Small and Growing Business (SGBs) in eastern, western, and southern Africa. Prospective applications must submit a concept note by March 5, 2021. Find out more.

Call for applications: Investment projects focused on agro-processing in Northern Uganda (START Funding Facility for SMEs).

START Facility is inviting proposals for commercially viable investment projects focused on agro-processing / value addition. Priority will be given to enterprises engaged in the apiary, cassava, coffee, groundnuts, livestock, rice, sesame, sorghum, soybean, and vegetable value chain projects. The deadline for submission is 15th March 2021. Find out more.

Call for applications: SGB Evidence Fund. Due date: 30 April 2021.

The small and growing businesses (SGBs) Evidence Fund aims to address knowledge gaps in the SGB sector by commissioning high-quality, practitioner-researcher co-generated research projects that yield insight into what works to stimulate the growth of SGBs. Applicants can submit their proposals by April 30, 2021. Find out more.

Call for applications: Business Partnership Facility - Enterprises for SDGs. Due date: 7 September 2021.

The Business Partnership Facility (BPF) is an initiative financed by the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD) to stimulate private sector involvement in achieving the SDGs in developing countries. The BPF supports viable, entrepreneurial business initiatives with a strong social impact through a non-refundable grant between €50,000 and €200,000 covering maximum 50% of the total investment. Applicants should complete their applications by 7 September 2021. Find out more.

Call for applications: Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund.

The Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF) is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to uplift Africa's agricultural potential for the benefit of the poor. The Fund aims at improving food security and providing additional employment and income to farmers, entrepreneurs and labourers alike by investing patiently and responsibly in efficient local value chains. Using the online funding application applicants can submit one or more investment opportunities for the Investment Manager to review. Find out more.

USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge. Due date: 9 May 2021.

The USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge, as part of the Feed the Future initiative, seeks to spur, recognize, and reward outstanding business plans from both commercially viable youth-led enterprises and mid-stage enterprises in Nigeria that can rapidly expand their activities to improve food production and/or food security. Find out more.

Best Small Business: Good Food for All Competition. Due date: 4 June 2021.

The UN Food Systems Summit competition ‘Best Small Business: Good Food for All’ will identify the best small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the world transforming food systems for a better tomorrow. The competition will uncover not only the small businesses and their employees who are leading the charge for more sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems, but also the ways in which they can be supported to scale up their trades sustainably. Each of the 50 finalists will be spotlighted as the “Best 50 Small Businesses: Good Food for All”, receive a US$2,000 cash prize and will have the opportunity to actively participate in events around the Pre-Summit in July 2021. Find out more.

Call for applications: FFA Venture Scale and Venture Build programmes.

Founders Factory Africa (FFA) is looking for innovative African agtech startups to transform business models and improve the delivery of a range of services to smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the agricultural sector. FFA is a venture development and investment company that builds and scales businesses across Africa through their unique approach providing founders access to both capital and their skilled team. Find out more.

Call for applications: GAFSP. Due date 8 September 2021.

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) announces the launch of a Call for Proposals and hereby invites eligible country governments, and producer organizations to submit proposals for grant funding respectively by September 8, 2021. GAFSP is a global financing instrument that offers a range of public and private sector investment tools along the entire agriculture value chain. Find out more.

Call for applications: Global SME Finance Awards

The SME Finance Forum invites banks, fintech companies, and others delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients, to submit an application for the awards. Awards will be given in the SME Financier of the Year and the Product Innovation of the Year categories for entries that present work and innovations focused in any of the World Bank Group’s designated IDA countries and/or fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS). Find out more.


Course: Macroeconomic implications of Financial Development and Inclusion.

The IMF Institute is offering courses explaining the macroeconomic implications of financial development and inclusion. The course presents financial inclusion as an integral dimension of financial development. Find out more.

Course: Rural Finance, Agricultural Lending and Value Chain Finance.

The Boulder Institute is providing courses for practioners to learn about Rural Finance, Agricultural Lending, as well as Value Chain Finance. Find out more.

Course: Advanced Credit Analysis & SME Lending for Microfinance Managers. From 9 - 13 November 2020.

The Financial Inclusion Advocacy Centre is providing a course on advanced Credit Analysis and SME lending for Microfinance Managers. Find out more.

Course: Leading Inclusive Finance in the Digital Age. From 16 - 20 November 2020.

Boulder Institute of Microfinance, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, is offering a programme on inclusive finance with a special focus on digital transformation. The course is designed for senior financial inclusion professionals. Find out more.

Course: Agricultural Value Chain Management and Market Linkages. From 2 November – 15 March.

Devimpact Institute is providing courses through diverse activities on agricultural value chain management and market linkages, with a special module on value chain financing. Find out more.

E-learning: MSMEs in the Forest Sector. Self-paced.

The World Bank’s open learning campus is providing a self-paced e-learning course to learn more about issues related to access to finance for MSMEs in the forest sector. Find out more.

Course: E-Commerce for SMEs: An Introduction for Policymakers. Starting date: 23 November.

ITC and Diplo Foundation are providing a course to assist participants in identifying the key components of competitiveness from a business perspective across the e-commerce process chain, from establishing a business online, to international e-payment, cross-border delivery and aftersales. Find out more.

Course: Impact Investing. From 5 - 7 May 2021.

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is hosting an Impact Investing programme. During the training, participants will develop skills in investment strategy, outcome appraisal techniques and the art of “deal-making”. Find out more.

Course: Agricultural and rural finance training programme. From 9 - 20 November 2020

ADA is offering a training program on agricultural and rural finance. After attending, participants will be able to use the principles and tools provided to formulate strategies to design and deliver products which contribute to the financing of agricultural value chains. Find out more.

Certificate: Food & Agribusiness Management in a Digital Age

Agribusiness Academy is offering an executive certificate for Food and Agribusiness Management in a Digital Age. The training provides the opportunity to analyse value chains, design business models and understand agrifood trends and technologies. Find out more.

Online Course: Certified Expert in SME Finance. From March - August 2021.

The Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is offering a training course on good practices in micro and SME finance in developing and transition countries. Find out more.

Training: IFC Agribusiness Leadership Programme.

IFC launched a training program to support the professionalization of farmers’ organizations. The programme integrates SCOPEinsight assessments for capacity and creditworthiness, classroom training and coaching designed to improve the management skills and professionalism of farmers’ organizations. The program is delivered in-person or online in local languages and is customized for organizations of varying sizes, crop sectors and education levels. Find out more.

Online Course: Agricultural credit management and risk analysis. From 2-5 Februrary 2021.

Fontini Consulting has launched an online course on credit analysis and risk management for agricultural credit managers. The online program integrates group discussions, case studies and exercises designed to enable partecipants identify major risks, mitigate them, appraise clients' credit needs and measure portfolio quality. Find out more.

Online Course: Establishing and strengthening farmers organizations. From 22 - 26 March 2021.

Foscore Development Center is hosting a course to enable partecipants support the establishment and effective functioning of farmer organizations. The course is designed for agriculture extension workers, governments, funding agencies, research organizations and non-government organizations, among others. Find out more.

Online course: Green Finance - Certified Expert Online Programs. From 01 March - 31 August 2021.

The Frankfurt School of Finance and Management is offering a six-month online certification course on: 1) Climate & Renewable Energy Finance; 2) Climate Adaptation Finance; 3) Sustainable Finance (in English or German); 4) and Financing NDCs (in English or French). The course will be conducted online, and the final exam will also be taken in digital form. Find out more.

Training: Training Series on Supply Chain Finance Innovation. From 23 February - 30 March 2021.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), together with the SME Finance Forum, is hosting a training series to extend awareness and increase knowledge about Supply Chain Finance (SCF) in the countries of IFC operations. This is a regional event for Middle East and Africa members and IFC clients. Find out more.

Online course: Financial Inclusion – Certified Expert Online Programs. From 01 March - 31 August 2021.

The Frankfurt School of Finance and Management is offering a six-month online certification course on: Microfinance (in English or French). Islamic Microfinance. Microinsurance. 1) Agricultural Finance (in English or French); 2) Digital Finance (in English or French); 3) SME Finance (in English or French); 4) Financial Inclusion Policy; 5) ESG and Impact Investing. The course will be conducted online, and the final exam will also be taken in digital form. Find out more.

Training: Inclusive insurance for SMEs. From 21 - 22 April 2021.

ILO's Impact Insurance Facility Nigeria is launching an online training to learn all about: 1) the various types of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and how to reach them ; 2) the different insurance types and how these are offered to SMEs; 3) designing products and distribution strategies to meet the needs of SMEs. Payment of N50,000 should be made preferably by bank transfer before the start of the training on April 21. Find out more.

Agricultural and Rural Finance Training Programme. From 11 May - 31 October 2021.

FAR 2021 organised by ADA (Appui au Développement Autonome), the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg (MAEE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through the CABFIN project, aims to improve capacity building in rural finance. The programme will be held in 2 sessions: online session from May 17th, 2021 (4 weeks) and in-person from October 11th, 2021 (1 week). Find out more.