CGI: Enterprise and Employment
Investment in micro and small enterprises is often viewed as key to improving poor people’s incomes. Yet growth within this sector is often constrained by a lack of access to finance and skilled labour, as well as weak policy and infrastructural environment. For this reason, the micro, small and medium enterprise sectors have become an area of focus for many funders and organisations that adopt a market-led approach to development and poverty alleviation.
The Common Ground Initiative is co-funded by the Department for International Development and seeks to make a more strategic investment in small and African Diaspora organisations. The Enterprise and Employment strategy within the Common Ground Initiative focuses on disadvantaged groups within the private sector in Africa, specifically entrepreneurs, small (and micro) businesses and producer organisations.
By addressing these key areas of work, the strategy also aims to address Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and MDG 8: to develop a global partnership for development.
The strategy aims to not only contribute to the development of enterprise and job creation, but also to harness the contribution of small and Diaspora organisations to the sector’s growth across all our grant-making programmes in a sustainable and innovative way.
Aim of the programme
Our goal is to contribute to sustainable growth for small entrepreneurs and producers, leading to job creation and poverty alleviation. We believe that small and Diaspora organisations can play an important role in this process by supporting the growth and development of small enterprises and producer organisations throughout Africa.
The Enterprise and Employment strategy will focus mainly on entrepreneurs, small businesses, producer organisations and co-operatives working within both the formal and informal sector. We are particularly keen to support businesses based in, or employing people from, disadvantaged communities.
The CGI Enterprise and Employment theme will fund work in sub-Saharan Africa.
Your work will need to deliver one or more of the following outcomes:
- Innovative and sustainable enterprise initiatives are enabled to succeed and grow, providing incomes and employment to poor and disadvantaged communities.
- Creative and productive relations are fostered between African and Diaspora entrepreneurs, contributing to a better understanding of the enterprise environment and business opportunities. This will result in improved business performance that benefits poor communities.
- Enterprises, producer organisations and others actively contribute to shaping the policy environment for enterprise growth in Africa that improves enterprise and employment opportunities for poor and disadvantaged communities.
Type of grants available
Grants available under the CGI are as follows:
Project grants – these may be up to £1 million over five years. However, the mean grant for most small and Diaspora organisations is under £200,000 over three years. Organisations are strongly advised to submit applications that are proportionate to their size and capacity, the size and capacity of their local partners, and their track record to date.
Research, Consultation and Planning grants – these may be for up to £25,000 and for up to 12 months’ duration. They will enable partners to carry out action research, a needs analysis, a pilot study and related work that enables applicant organisations to develop a well thought through proposal.
Organisational Development grants – of up to £40,000 for up to three years. These grants would function as ‘top up’ grants to project grantees only. They would offer a package of support to strengthen small or Diaspora organisations in the UK.