PACE Initiative Partnerships

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Since September 2014, the Lab has announced the following partnerships formed under the PACE initiative:

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) leverages its extensive experience in Tajikistan, to deliver innovative local solutions to expand financing and facilitate mentorships, supporting USAID's priority to create smart partnerships. More information.

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) works to support the growth of SGBs by strengthening local organizations that promote economic growth and increase social and environmental impact through enterprise in emerging markets. Through the PACE initiative, ANDE strengthens entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. More information.

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative is a partnership between ANDE, USAID, and the VISA Foundation, to pilot, test, or expand scalable solutions that tackle the financing gap for women-led SGBs in South and Southeast Asia. More information.

Catalyst for Growth aims to increase transparency in the business development services marketplace in South Africa by standardizing quality tracking systems of accelerators, incubators, and other service providers for early-stage entrepreneurs. More information.

Edge Growth, along with Association of Savings and Investment in South Africa (ASISA), aims to close a critical gap in the South African market by combining hands-on business development support with access to ASISA’s investment fund and integration of small and medium enterprises into corporate supply chains. More information.

FINCA International and USAID are collaborating to develop “FINCA Forward,” an innovative platform to solve the gap between fintech SGBs and MFIs through targeted business development services and investment capital. Through FINCA Forward, fintech enterprises will have an opportunity to partner with and support the digital transformation of participating MFIs in Africa and Latin America. More information.

Global Accelerator Learning Initiative: In order to ensure that PACE not only tests innovative acceleration models but also contributes significantly to the sector’s knowledge base, the Lab is partnering with the Omidyar Network, The Lemelson Foundation, the Argidius Foundation, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), and Emory University to launch the most comprehensive research project to-date on the efficacy of accelerator programs. As a result of this Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), accelerator programs will have statistical data and market insight to better inform their own decision-making as they train the entrepreneurs who create the goods and services that benefit all sectors of society. This data will also be made available to researchers and practitioners for their own analyses, providing greater understanding to all involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, from managers to policy makers. More information.

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing.  The GIIN is partnering with USAID on initiatives to help build the impact investing market in four key areas:  i) enabling sound practices in impact measurement and management, ii) catalyzing product development, iii) creating high-impact research, and iv) strengthening the capacity of impact investors.  These activities are expected to accelerate the growth of a robust and effective impact investing market and increase capital flow to innovative enterprises and initiatives that are addressing critical social and environmental challenges globally.

GrowthAfrica partnered with USAID and the Argidius Foundation to refine the Scaleup Accelerator and introduce the EverGrowth Fund, a new financing vehicle that is owned by investors who are directly involved in the selection of ventures for the Scaleup Accelerator. This new method incentivizes investors to stay involved in the SGBs’ progress and improve the alignment of interests between investors and SGBs. It will also provide further evidence on the most efficient methods for driving scale and investment-readiness for early-stage impact ventures. More information.

The IIX Foundation (formerly Shujog) is a technical assistance program implementing blended methods of providing business development services to entrepreneurs across Asia. USAID is supporting the IIX Foundation to create and deploy network of organizations to provide a full suite of investment support services for social enterprises in the Southeast Asian countries in which USAID works. More information.

Intellecap is accelerating social enterprises through corporate partnerships and angel networks in East Africa. With USAID support, Intellecap is expanding their proven model from India to East Africa, providing a broad set of acceleration and corporate partnership support services to entrepreneurs in the region. Read a recent report, summarizing the results and highlighting the key learnings from this effort. More information.

Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is partnering with USAID to support the creation of three new locally funded and locally managed seed-stage impact investing funds in Sénégal, Burkina Faso and Niger. Click here for more information on the I&P partnership. More information.

Jibu is a social enterprise focused on delivering affordable water to underserved urban populations. By partnering with USAID, Jibu has been able to rapidly expand their franchises to new markets and close on two rounds of private growth capital. More information.

MCE Social Capital is partnering with USAID to use an innovative loan guarantee model to expand their existing work in funding micro-finance institutions and to launch a fund dedicated to supporting small and growing businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. More information. Latest report.

Open Capital Advisors (OCA) is a management consulting and financial advisory firm based in Africa that helps businesses, investors, development partners, and the public sector identify opportunities and deliver unique, impactful solutions.  USAID's first partnership with OCA (2014 - 2017) and five investors extended OCA's services to earlier-stage enterprises through a tiered support model. Read more information on the first OCA partnership.  Building on learnings from the first partnership, the new partnership with OCA and seven investors aims to streamline the diligence process for early-stage investments and demonstrate a new model of post-investment support driven by local talent.

Palladium and Agora Partnerships, collaborated with USAID, Santa Clara University's Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and the Banco de America Central (BAC) Nicaragua, in Nicaragua on the Variable Payment Option (VPO) program in Nicaragua. The VPO program seeks to expand access to finance for small and growing businesses, targeting women-owned or -led, with a loan product that assesses risk and repayment of loans through variable payments and cash flow, rather than traditional assets. More information.

The VPO Program was expanded to Colombia to support Bancamía bank develop specialized business development services and to assist in the design and adaptation of appropriate financial products, including a financial product that would allow women-led businesses to confront cultural barriers to finance after the life of the project. More information.

Three smiling young children in school uniforms
Through PACE, Unitus Seed Fund will expand its work with start-ups like Hippocampus Learning Centres, a leader in rural kindergarten programs for low-income students in India.
Hippocampus Learning Centres

Root Capital is partnering with USAID to invest in the growth of early-stage agricultural small and growing businesses (SGBs) and improve their access to more formal and/or commercial markets. Through the partnership, USAID and Root Capital will examine the costs, impacts, and returns associated with lending to early-stage businesses, and build the case for increased investment in blended capital approaches to accelerating business growth and graduation to commercial markets. More information.

Shell Foundation supports entrepreneurs seeking to provide access to modern clean energy services for low-income communities in developing countries. USAID and Shell are jointly supporting early-stage clean energy technology start-ups through Factor(E), an incubator based in Colorado, and Sangam Ventures, an investment firm based in India. More information.

Stage Six and its partners in the Stage Six Social Franchise Alliance build investment-ready, commercially-viable social business franchises and help reduce or eliminate the need for grant financing. The Alliance matches high-performing social businesses with the financial, technical, and human resources support they need for impact, scale, and sustainability, such as franchise design, franchise law, research, investment capital, corporate partnerships, and more. More information.

Unitus Seed Fund is a micro venture capital firm that applies the best practices of for-profit investing to early-stage social enterprises in India. With USAID support, Unitus Seed Fund is helping Indian accelerators improve their services to entrepreneurs and expanding their investments into ten new cities. More information.

A man works on an electrical box
Simpa Networks, a business supported by PACE partner Village Capital, provides affordable solar energy that customers can pay for in small increments by mobile phone. To date, Simpa Networks has sold its product to over 3,000 customers.
Simpa Networks

Villgro Innovation Foundationis partnering with USAID to replicate their early-stage highly customized incubation model in Kenya and Vietnam.

  • In Kenya, Villgro and USAID are working with the Lemelson Foundation to support Villgro-Kenya’s health-focused incubator. Read more information on the Villgro Kenya partnership
  • In Vietnam, Villgro and USAID are working with Lotus Impact to set up an incubation and investment program alongside new local angel investor networks, such as the Mekong Angel Investor Network.

Village Capital finds, trains, and funds entrepreneurs through a unique peer-selected investment approach.  With financial support from USAID, Village Capital was able to raise a $15 million fund that leverages the peer selection process to make small, early-stage investments in a cost-effective way. More information.

The Women's Investment Club Senegal (WIC) is a network of 80 high-net-worth professional women that works to provide financial products that are tailored to women-led businesses to advance economic empowerment and foster women-friendly entrepreneurial ecosystems in Senegal. Click here for more information on the WICS partnership. More information.

Yunus Social Business and USAID have partnered to support to help increase the sustainability and impact of social enterprises. More information.