Senegal Gender-Smart Accelerator Challenge - Grant winners announced

Entrepreneurs in the AICCRA Senegal Gender Smart Accelerator Challenge presented their projects to a jury composed of investors from across Senegal's financial sector in February. Six companies were chosen to be awarded amounts ranging from 6 to 15 million CFA francs.

En février, les entrepreneur.e.s du Gender Smart Accelerator Challenge ont pu défendre leur projet devant un jury composé d’investisseurs et d’acteurs de l’écosystème entrepreneurial sénégalais. A l’issue, six entreprises ont été choisies pour recevoir des montants variants entre 6 et 15 millions de FCFA.


Launched in September 2022, the Gender Smart Accelerator Challenge is an investment pipeline building effort initiated by AICCRA Senegal and implemented by the WIC Academy, with the support of the CGIAR Sustainable Finance Team (OneSF) and the CGIAR Climate Change Resilience Initiative (ClimBeR).

After a national call for applications, nearly 250 companies from Senegal and the West Africa region applied to join the accelerator. Following a screening process, 21 companies were chosen to participate in the program.

For four months, the beneficiaries were coached on various topics such as business development, financial strategy, personal development, in addition to climate smart agriculture practices and the use of climate information services. They were also able to participate in various events to help them connect with various actors in the ecosystem and develop partnerships.

On February 16-17 the entrepreneurs of the Gender Smart Accelerator Challenge were able to present their projects in front of a jury made up of investors and stakeholders in the Senegalese financial ecosystem. At the end of the competition, six companies were chosen to be awarded grant amounts ranging from 6 to 15 million CFA francs (USD 10,000-25,000).

The six grant winners

FRUITY, a company specializing in the processing of fruits and vegetables into juices, soups and smoothies, and developing practices to reduce post-harvest losses.

ACASEN, a company specializing in the production of cashew-based appetizers and snacks for large distributors. It is also active in the promotion of local products.
NUTRIVIE, which produces and markets vegetable meat made from cashew apples, thus limiting post-harvest losses.
AT-TEEN Groupe, which specializes in the packaging of medicinal plants into herbal teas and oily macerates, encouraging the empowerment of women.
DAKANE AGRO COSMO, a company specializing in the transformation of mangoes into cosmetic and food products, which fights against waste while integrating people with disabilities.
FERME LA BARAKAH, an agro-ecological farm, which produces and markets organic fruits and vegetables, and promotes local consumption.

Beyond the grants, the six winning companies will continue to receive support from AICCRA’s partner, Africa Entreprise Challenge Fund (AECF), to implement their project and secure additional investments from the private sector.

Thank you to all the partners who believed in this project, and congratulations to all the participants!

About the partners and stakeholders

Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) is a project that helps deliver a climate-smart African future driven by science and innovation in agriculture. It is led by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and supported by a grant from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank. AICCRA Senegal is coordinated by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with the Alliance of Bioversity Alliance and CIAT.

ClimBeR is a CGIAR initiative that aims to increase the capacity of smallholder production systems to withstand the severe effects of climate change. In the context of the accelerator, it is co-funded by the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

OneSF is a CGIAR facility that aims to produce locally relevant analysis and evidence to mobilize capital aligned with the impacts of the SDGs and enabling the transformation of food production systems in the context of climate change.

WIC Senegal was created in 2016, to provide women with privileged access to financial instruments and achieve inclusive economic development. The objectives are (1) to create innovative financial mechanisms for women, (2) to promote women's entrepreneurship and leadership, (3) to accompany the empowerment of African women to enable them to fully participate in the economy. WIC Academy has a strong expertise in supporting women entrepreneurs from various sectors.

AECF is a leading nonprofit impact investor and is a leading non-profit development organisation that supports innovative enterprises in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities and creating jobs. AECF is an AICCRA strategic implementation partner.



Marie Ena Derenoncourt, Gender-Smart Investment Specialist, AICCRA   

Stéphanie Jaquet, Research Team Leader, AICCRA Senegal

Lamine Diedhou, Communications Specialist, AICCRA Senegal