Accra - On Tuesday January 12, Penplusbytes will host the 7th Accra Technology Salon at the New Media Hub, Osu, on the topic: "How Can Mission Driven Organizations Access USAID Funding?" in order to facilitate a discussion on how companies and individuals can access funding opportunities for their social ventures.
Led by two experts, Daisy Chang, Science, Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Advisor at USAID and Erica Daniels, Program and Project Development Advisor also at USAID, Accra Tech Salon will dive deeply into how local non-profits, start-ups, and entrepreneurs can access USAID funding opportunities.
Mission-driven organisations, nonprofits, start-ups and entrepreneurs need seed funding to build infrastructure and get their projects off the ground, yet they face intense competition to attract funds, and most grant making bodies have a long list of requirements before they sign off on a grant, such as evidence of impact, low overhead percentages, and measurements of scalability.
Consequently, the US Global Development Lab at USAID has several potential funding opportunities that are designed for innovative mission-driven organizations, including: Development Innovation Ventures - seed funding for transformative ideas; Grand Challenges for Development - contests for groundbreaking solutions; Global Development Alliances - public-private partnerships for development; and Echoing Green - comprehensive support for emerging social entrepreneurs.
According to Kwami Ahiabenu, II, Executive Director of Penplusbytes, mission driven organizations find it twice as difficult to secure funding from investors due to the unique nature of cultural and business resource issues and investor networks available to them. "Traditional investors usually depend on comparable investment activity that helps validate and support an investment thesis around market opportunity and valuation levels. This peer justification does not exist in social venture markets because there is less investor activity and such businesses have yet to demonstrate clear trends in delivering investor returns." he said. Mr Ahiabenu added that in spite of the prevailing difficulties, the upcoming Tech Salon is going to help to empower social entrepreneurs to easily secure funding from USAID for their viable businesses.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.
Technology Salon™ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
- technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
- private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.