USADF Business Plan Winners for YALI


The U.S. African Development Foundation is providing the next generation of young African leaders with a $1.25M grant program of seed capital to start or expand their social enterprises.

2016 USADF YALI Entrepreneurship Grant Winners and Judges

Washington, D.C.—August 2, 2016— Entrepreneurs from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), will be returning home with $1,250,000 in seed capital awarded by the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF). This year’s 50 winners from over twenty countries will be using these funds to launch or grow their business ventures to tackle social problems. These young leaders are already creating jobs, solving social issues with business solutions, and impacting thousands of Africans in their communities. On Monday, August 1, the 2016 YALI Entrepreneurship winners were officially announced at an awards dinner hosted by USADF, and held at Halcyon House in Washington, D.C.

Shortly before the 2016 YALI Summit on August 1-3, the grants winners were notified they had just won up to $25,000 in seed capital. Carolyne Ekyarisiima, founder of Apps and Girls, said, “I’m excited to partner with USADF who are investing in the future of Tanzanian girls.”

Another YALI Fellow, Miriam Odabe of Esteem Rice and Mill in Nigeria, said, “I’m exceptionally glad to be given this opportunity by USADF to be able to transform the agricultural sector of Nigeria and enhance self-sustainability in my country.”

The YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship is empowering exceptional young people, ages 25-35, who are already leaders in their fields. For the class of 2016, 1,000 African leaders were competitively selected from over 50,000 applicants to receive advanced training at top U.S. academic institutions. The program is providing the opportunity for this next generation of leaders in civil society, business and government to come to the United States to develop their professional and leadership skills. The USADF YALI Entrepreneurship Grants are a tangible part of continuing this catalytic program in Africa through mentoring, training, networking and professional placements.

This $1,250,000 in grant funding is part of USADF’s $7.5 million commitment over three years to fund young African entrepreneurs’ who are launching and expanding their businesses and social ventures across Sub-Saharan Africa.