The launch of the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) and the opening for the call for the first round of proposals was held at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre during the morning of 23th April 2014.
The MICF is a new US$ 8 million facility designed to challenge the business sector in Malawi to propose innovative new business models in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors that engage and benefit the poor, on a replicable and sustainable basis. MICF builds on the strengths of the private sector – i.e. its creativity, speed of response, delivery capability – and seeks to help empower the private sector in pushing the boundaries of inclusive business in new directions in Malawi.
The launch event was attended by Chief Executive Officers, Directors and Finance Directors from leading businesses operating in Malawi’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors as well as leading local and international NGOs active in Malawi, a number of commercial banks and financial sector providers, as well as Government departments and donors active in the private sector development space. MICF was launched by the United Nations Development Programme’s Resident Representative in Malawi, Ms. Mia Seppo and opening remarks were provided by Sarah Sanyahumbi, the UK Department for International Development’s Country Head for Malawi.
The event provided an opportunity for over 100 CEOs and business executives, to understand how challenge funds operates, what the MICF is looking for in terms of competitive applications to the fund and the process applicants had to follow to be considered for funding.
The deadline to receive first round concept note applications is at 17:00 hours (Central African Time) on 23rd May 2014.