Young Entrepreneur Challenge Fund
Women and young people are the future and backbone of agricultural development. Promoting agriculture as a business has gained currency in recent times to create more economic value and to encourage youth into agriculture.
Agriculture has been supported by rapid developments in information and communication technologies (ICT). Across developing countries mobile financial services are booming. Likewise, social media and apps help farmers forecast the weather or know about market prices. In this time of COVID-19 these farmers need information they can trust to improve their livelihoods and protect their families.
Access Agriculture is a non-profit organisation that supports the distribution of quality training videos to share practical knowledge on farming and food processing across the global South. Farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia can learn from their peers on other continents.
Access Agriculture has developed the concept of Entrepreneurs for Rural Access, who are either individuals or small teams that use a ‘smart projector’ to develop or expand their businesses. Through this scheme, Access Agriculture requests young people to propose innovative ideas to make a business, or expand their existing services, around the dissemination of agricultural videos.
Through a competitive grant, the most inspiring and promising young entrepreneurs will receive a Digisoft smart projector (see below).
By building on the ICT skills and networks of young men and women, we believe we can better support farmers and make organic agriculture more attractive to youth and reach more women.
Digisoft Smart Projectors
The smart projector contains all of the Access Agriculture videos available to play off-line, off-grid and off mobile signal. It comes complete with a solar panel, battery and a sound system suitable for up to 150 people – all in one backpack or hard case.
The projector operates like an off-line version of the website with videos being chosen by category or language. This content is regularly updated.
Videos about the smart projector can be seen here:
Play smart… with the DCS smart projector
On the road with the smart projector - GADC Uganda
Farmers like videos from other countries
Entrepreneurs for Rural Access - India
Click here for more detailed information about the smart projector.
Frequently asked questions
What benefit do I get from winning?
Access Agriculture will provide you with a smart projector on loan for 18 months, after which the projector will become yours as long as you commit to the coaching programme and submit the necessary reports. Access Agriculture will cover the shipment cost and customs duty. Access Agriculture has a devoted team that will train, coach and support you. They will provide advice on how to use the smart projector and support you to develop your plans. You will also be linked to other young entrepreneurs to allow you to share experiences and strengthen or diversify your activities.
How long will I need to wait until I receive the smart projector?
Within 2-3 months of having received the news of being a winner, you will attend a training session where you will receive the smart projector.
If I do not qualify for the competition, can I buy or lease a smart projector?
In case you do not meet the eligibility criteria, or you are not selected as one of the winners, you can contact Digisoft Education (firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase your own smart projector. Leasing is not an option.
Can I submit a business plan which was already implemented by others?
No. We are looking for original ideas from individuals or groups, not one that imitates what others are already doing.
Can I present an application on ideas that I am already implementing?
Yes, we encourage you to expand your current activities or services.
How many applications can I submit?
You can only be part of one application.
What is not funded?
- Dissertations or academic research
- Business plans which promote the use of agrochemicals
- Cost for personnel or travel