UNDP Invests US$860K to Grow Liberian Businesses, Agri Cooperatives

Chief Executive Officer of iCampus, Luther Jeke, 2nd to from left, and UNDP Resident Representative, Stephen Rodriques (right) pose for a photo after the launch of the Growth Accelerator Programme Cohort II.

UNDP and iCampus Liberia have launched the second round of the Growth Accelerator grant competition, which is designed to provide finance, business skills, and mentoring to accelerate the growth of impactful business start-ups in Liberia. 

This year the competition seeks to identify and provide grant funding and training to seven promising business ventures, as well as five (5) agricultural cooperative societies as a means of spurring the growth and development of agribusinesses in Liberia.

Each successful venture will receive up to US$40,000 in funding to expand their profit-making activities, as well as business development training and mentoring to ensure they succeed and transition into fully-fledged commercial businesses that are generating value for their owners and stakeholders, as well as providing employment to people with disabilities, the youth, and women. 

The Growth Accelerator grant competition, which is part of UNDP Liberia’s Livelihoods and Employment Creation program, will this year invest US$860,000 towards spurring the growth of micro, small and medium-sized business enterprises (MSMEs) and agricultural cooperatives into full-fledged commercial entities contributing to the reduction of poverty and inequality in the country through the creation of sustainable businesses that can employ the youth, people with disabilities and women. 

“In 2021, we received many entries in the first round of the Growth Accelerator grant competition and noted a great demand for all-round business development support. 

The interest highlighted the entrepreneurial passion and energy of Liberians, which must be harnessed and fully developed to accelerate the country’s growth and development,” said Stephen Rodriques, UNDP’s Resident Representative in Liberia.

This year’s competition scales up its support to 12 winners, up from last year’s five winners.

“This is a huge investment made by UNDP that will go directly to impacting the lives of individuals who will emerge successful,” said iCampus CEO, Luther Jeke.