The AECF supports businesses to innovate, create jobs, leverage investments and markets, create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalized communities in Africa. 

In the new 2018-2020 strategy, our goal is to “double our impact in half the time”. To achieve this, we will continue to focus on the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors, increase support to climate smart technologies, refine our challenge model, expand regional presence, deepen focus on gender, youth and employment by expanding our products and partnership approach to better meet our investees’ current needs; and ensure they rapidly scale and transition to external financing 

Thank you for registering and starting the Concept Note application process. 

This stage involves submitting the initial Concept Note application, setting out your project idea being proposed to the AECF REACT SSA Ethiopia Competition for funding.

You must complete all mandatory fields in order to complete the application process. Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

You can save your progress and return to the application any time by clicking the 'Save Draft' button at the bottom of the form. The form autosaves your progress, however we recommend that you manually save your progress. 

The deadline for your Concept Note application is 7 September 2018 at midnight East African Time. Applications received after this date will not be considered.   

Remember to click the 'Submit' button at the end of the form. AECF can only access your Concept Note after you have submitted it. We will send you a confirmation e-mail once you have submitted your application.

The Concept Note will be judged in a transparent manner by AECF’s independent Investment Committee. If your application is successful, you will be notified by 26 October 2018 and invited to progress to the Business Plan stage of the competition. Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified, with a brief summary of the main reason(s) for rejection. 

If you seek further clarifications regarding the Concept Note, please email 


You must meet the following criteria for your application to be considered (see term sheet for more details): 

  • Your company is a private sector for-profit enterprise aligned with the funding focus areas and target technologies.
  • Your company is legally registered and physically established in Ethiopia.
  • Your project idea will be implemented in Ethiopia. 
  • Total grant funds requested from AECF must be between US$100,000 and US$1,500,000. 
  • Your company (including 3rd parties such as co-investors or banks and other lenders) is providing at least 50% of the requested funds from AECF. Up to 25% of the matching funds may be in kind. Examples of acceptable in-kind contributions can include sweat equity; allocations of stock; or existing machinery and equipment  allocated for use in the proposed project.
  • The project must deliver low cost, affordable, quality clean energy products and services that benefit the rural, peri urban poor or internally displaced persons; especially women.
  • You must demonstrate that the project will contribute to environmental sustainability, including environmental and climate change aspects.
  •  Your company must be compliant with fundamental in country and international human rights, labour standards, environmental management laws. 
  • Your company must NOT be involved in any act of terrorism or support terrorists’ activities and must allow regular due diligence on this.

Important points 

New businesses (start-ups) may be considered by AECF. However, the businesses must provide strong evidence that the new company has credible and experienced investors and demonstrable capacity to implement the project. 

Your company may partner with other organizations, including NGOs and community organizations. However, it is a condition that the lead applicant and implementer of the project idea must always be a commercial company.