The Lab is interested in collaborating with organizations working to engage diaspora communities in addressing development challenges in their countries of origin. The Lab is particularly seeking to identify catalytic, diaspora-centric partnership models centering on economic development, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and/or investing.

USAID is proactively seeking to catalyze private investment from diaspora communities to businesses and social enterprises in countries of origin. They are seeking partnership ideas from investors, entrepreneurs, and others that incentivize and support diaspora investments. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Crowdfunding: Supporting initiatives that secure small amounts of funding from a large number of diaspora sources to invest in businesses or social enterprises in countries of origin. (Note: funding raised via crowdfunding from individuals does not count toward the private sector leverage requirement under the GDA APS).
  • Early Stage and/or Angel Investing: Coordinating the activities of diaspora investors to provide financial support for entrepreneurs, startups, or early stage enterprises operating in the diaspora’s country(ies) of origin.
  • Harnessing Remittances: Creating catalytic mechanisms that tap into remittance flows for collective (rather than individual) benefit.

Enabling Environment for Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs are critical engines of growth and job creation in developing countries and USAID seeks to work with the diaspora community to foster and develop institutions, systems and environments conducive to entrepreneurship in diaspora countries of origin. USAID is interested in ideas that include but are not limited to:

  • Entrepreneurship Accelerators: Competitive initiatives open to new or early stage growth-oriented businesses to help them scale faster. Accelerators may be cohort based, have a fixed term, and include mentorship and educational components as well as direct investment or support in securing private investment.
  • Entrepreneurship Incubators: Initiatives designed to help develop startup enterprises by providing management training and other supportive services.

New Philanthropic Models: USAID seeks innovative ideas and models which harness diaspora philanthropy to foster investment in economic growth and entrepreneurship in developing countries. Such models might include:

  • New Platforms: Creation of platforms through which philanthropic resources can fund business ventures that produce social and economic benefits for targeted communities or populations.
  • Social Enterprises: Creation or strengthening of enterprises focused both on creating positive societal impact and earning a profit.

Funding Information: USAID anticipates funding no more than five projects via this call for partnerships at a level between $100,000 and $250,000 per partnership.

In order to be considered, concept papers must be received by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on April 20, 2017. USAID will provide a response to all concept papers by June 5, 2017.

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