Most enterprises supported by IAP aim to bring a new product or service to the market and expect to achieve at least ‘proof of concept’ during the period of IAP support, which typically lasts for two to three years. Follow-on financing is required for the enterprises to further scale up their innovative and inclusive business ideas and become commercially viable businesses. From a sustainability point of view, this will allow the enterprises to continue creating social and environmental impact beyond the project duration. To this end, IAP provides impact readiness and match-making support targeting impact investors. At the same time, IAP also facilitates linkages between the enterprises and local financing sources (grants and loans) such as national development banks, MFIs, and other donors and development partners. A good example of the latter is the grant awarded to Afriseed by the origination facility of the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) project managed by SNV. Afriseed is a Zambian agribusiness operating from Lusaka with national outreach.
Under IAP, Afriseed is promoting the cultivation of the highly nutritious, economically lucrative, and climate resilient Mbereshi beans, using improved seed, combined with a smallholder seed multiplication scheme, and a ‘last mile’ distribution system. With the grant from DFCD (EUR 308,862), Afriseed is expected to increase its legume production capacity. The grant will enable the company to onboard more smallholder farmers as seed multipliers starting in Central, Southern, Lusaka, and Northern Provinces. On the environmental side, CO2 omissions will be avoided due to the nitrogen fixing capacity of legumes like the Mbereshi bean. In addition, climate-smart agronomical practices will be promoted for legume cultivation. The DFCD grant is expected to push up Afriseed’s market share by expanding their distribution of seed into the broader Southern African region.