The Challenge FundAbout the Challenge Fund

The Challenge FundOverview

ENTERPRISE Zambia is a challenge fund established to contribute to increased smallholder farmers opportunities in agriculture, including agroforestry and aquaculture value chains in Zambia.

ENTERPRISE Zambia Challenge Fund supports the achievement of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy, one of the cornerstones of the European Green Deal, and the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 by funding business investments that improve the sustainability of agro-food systems.

The Fund will support actions enabling SMEs and smallholders to transition to greener and more sustainable agri-food systems and tackle the challenges presented by Covid-19 as well as actions in support to gender and youth focused opportunities and to nutritionally sensitive (regional/national) value chains.

  • A financial support component that will be managed by Self Help Africa and Imani Development Ltd;

  • A Grant/Loan component (blending), delivered through the African Investment Platform (AIP) blending scheme, whereby the Challenge Fund will be complemented by loans originating from European Investment Bank (EIB) and managed by local financial institutions.

Download The Brief
Download The EU Grant Beneficiaries Brief

The Challenge FundObjective

ENTERPRISE Zambia will promote the increase of investment in agriculture (including agroforestry and aquaculture) by providing grants to support agribusinesses with the potential to benefit smallholder farmers through increasing access to services (including agro-inputs, financial services, extension advice, aggregation and transport, climate smart technologies, etc.).

The design ensures that financial support incentivises greater smallholder farmers commercialisation, their integration into value chains and creation and strengthening of smallholder farmers’ and agribusiness associations. This will generate employment opportunities, particularly for women and youth. Agri businesses will also be supported with measures that improve their operating environment.

The Challenge FundWho Will The Fund Target?

Enterprise Zambia will target at least 40 small and medium enterprises (agri-businesses, cooperatives, associations and other value chain actors) who will reach 150,000 smallholder farmers.

Project activities will be delivered under four outputs:

  • OP1

    Grant scheme providing incentives to the development of the smallholder agriculture sector in Zambia established.

  • OP2

    Technical advisory services component for agri-enterprises established

  • OP3

    Strengthened Farmer/Aquaculture Associations, with an increased impact upstream and downstream the value chains

  • OP4

    Increased access to financial services and finance (credit, banks, investment) for complementaryinvestments by value chain actors.

The Challenge FundImpact At A Glance

Financial SUPPORT:


(2020 – 2025)

full-time equivalent Jobs

smallholders / fish farmers

of which:
using climate-smart land management