About the AYuTe Africa Challenge

The AYuTe Africa Challenge aims to be one of the most ambitious agriculture competitions on the continent. We envision combining the power of African youth with the many possibilities of emerging technologies to support smallholder farmers across Africa to grow their businesses and incomes—a transformative force we call AYuTe.

Who

The annual AYuTe Africa Challenge awards cash grants to the most promising young agritech innovators across Africa. In 2021, we will distribute grants of up to US$1.5 million. Our support doesn't end there. We also deploy a team of expert advisers—accomplished business veterans—to support AYuTe Africa Champions as they translate this funding into an aggressive expansion strategy.

What

The annual AYuTe Africa Challenge awards cash grants to the most promising young agritech innovators across Africa. In 2021, we will distribute grants of up to US$1.5 million. Our support doesn't end there. We also deploy a team of expert advisers—accomplished business veterans—to support AYuTe Africa Champions as they translate this funding into an aggressive expansion strategy.

Learn what it takes to become an AYuTe Africa Champion

Reimagining the Future of African Agriculture

Today, across Africa, young professionals are developing and deploying tech innovations that are reimagining farming and food production across the continent. These entrepreneurs are shattering the myth that agriculture is stuck in the past and that farming is a career of last resort.

From drones that can detect the threat of crop diseases to solar-powered refrigeration hubs that prevent food waste to soil testing kits, these new innovations have the potential to make agriculture a promising future for Africa’s youth: one that is profitable and rewarding.

US$1,500,000

in cash grants will be awarded by the 2021 AYuTe Africa Challenge

Why the AYuTe Africa Challenge

The AYuTe Africa Challenge is offering something new for Africa’s young innovators and smallholder farmers. It combines features of prize competitions and business development initiatives to translate the energy and ideas of young African innovators into meaningful impact for African farmers.

We understand that many young tech companies move beyond the start-up phase to reach a plateau: that point where future growth requires a combination of significant investment and expert guidance. The AYuTe Africa Challenge fills that need.

Our hope is that the combination of a significant financial reward and ongoing support from an expert business development team provides a new incentive for other young, tech-oriented Africans to launch their own bold new agritech businesses, and set their sights on joining the league of AYuTe Africa Champions.

Heifer International’s commitment to African smallholder farmers

For over four decades, Heifer International has been a trusted partner for smallholder farmers across Africa. Launched in September 2021, the AYuTe Africa Challenge represents a new chapter for Heifer International’s work in Africa.

Our goal is to encourage young agritech innovators to scale their ambition to reach a million or more farmers across multiple countries—ultimately supporting Heifer International’s Africa strategy to secure a sustainable and dynamic future for the continent’s agricultural sector.

“I encourage [my peers] to do their research and look at the many opportunities now available on and off the farm, especially given all of the new digital innovations available. And for those who develop an interest, my advice is simple: start small, dream big.” - Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, CEO & Founder, ColdHubs