Funding Opportunity Notice: Scaling Quality Basic Education in Africa through Blended Finance
Our quest is simple. We want to drive significant amounts of commercial financing and investment to increase access to high quality education in select African countries, especially for low-income households. We are seeking your bold and innovative actionable plans to leverage our funding to achieve the greatest scale possible. (Or something tried and true that can be scaled.) Tell us how your plan will benefit the non-state education sector with the potential to be financially sustainable beyond our funding. Commercial capital mobilized should achieve measurable improved educational outcomes and improve equitable access in basic education. All proposals should primarily focus on serving low- and lower-middle income communities with average income of $3.20 per day or less. (See select definitions at the end.)
Despite significant enrollment increases, accessible and affordable quality education remains a huge challenge globally. There is a pressing need to greatly expand access to high quality education to improve learning outcomes for low-income households. USAID’s CATALYZE program believes that commercial capital investment in education can expand access and improve learning outcomes at scale.
We will award up to US$ 2 million in total funding to the winning proposal(s), with a minimum eligible bid of US $500,000. Tell us how you will deploy blended finance to significantly mobilize commercial capital that can deliver scalable and sustainable solutions for high quality education. Tell us the multiple by which you will leverage these USAID funds to mobilize additional financing and investment. Pitch us your best idea!
You should demonstrate a proven track record of successfully raising and deploying financing or investment, and ability to deliver the solution you propose. Institutions that are not yet partners with USAID are encouraged to apply. You may come from any and all types of organizations, entities, or type of financing and investment vehicles. This includes, but is not limited to, local, national, regional, or international financial institutions; non-bank financial institutions or companies (NBFIs and NBFCs); microfinance institutions (MFIs); cooperatives; equity, venture capital, debt, venture debt, hybrid, or other investment funds; special purpose vehicles (SPVs); investment structures; impact investors; insurance companies; local or national school chains; edtech companies; other types of companies; and donor-advised funds.
Your proposal should focus on catalyzing commercial financing in one or more of the following countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a regional or single country focus: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Your submission is due May 10, 2021. Please include the reference number for this FON “FONCATALYZE-Edu-2021-0139” in the subject line of your email.