Project Incubator Award officially launched by EMRC and Rabobank Foundation


The AgriBusiness Forum 2012 to promote innovative business projects with a US$15,000 cash prize.

EMRC and the Rabobank Foundation officially launch the EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award 2012 which promotes and provides a platform for innovative business projects in Africa with a cash prize of US$15,000 for the winner.

Four finalists will be selected and invited to present their business projects to an audience of 400 professionals, composed of interested partners and investors from Africa, Europe, USA, and Asia. The US$15,000 prize will be awarded at the Gala Evening of the AgriBusiness Forum 2012 to the entry that promises the highest level of economic and social impact for their African communities.

The annual pan-African AgriBusiness Forum will be held this year in Dakar, Senegal from 25-28 November 2012 under the official patronage of the Government of Senegal. Entitled “Boosting Africa’s Agriculture through Partnership, Investment and Technology”, the UNDP (UN Development Program) is a co-organiser for the second year running in addition to PanAAC (Pan African Agribusiness & Agroindustry Consortium) joining forces this year. The forum is also taking place in collaboration with FAO and Rabobank, bringing together the sector’s leading figures, renown experts, industrialists, financiers, donors, SMEs, small hold farmers as well as multinationals and civil society partners. Parallel to the forum there will be the Agricultural Exhibition and B2B sessions guaranteeing an environment conducive to launching new partnerships.


The Project Incubator Award highlights African initiatives and spotlights the importance of local and regional partnerships. The Project Incubator Award is critical as it sheds light on potentially lucrative business ideas and projects and most importantly encourages partnership opportunities across Africa.


2011 winner, Everlyne Cherobon head of Emeden Kenya, was determined to win the award to change the course of her business. “Winning the prize was a defining moment for me and my business. It is difficult to put in words, exactly how I felt when my project emerged the winner. It means a vote of confidence on what I hope to do with smallholder farmers in the dry-lands of Kenya. It means there is business sense in working with smallholder farmers in Africa. It means a lot of attention needs to be focused on them.”

The Award’s sponsor, Rabobank Foundation, has been involved since the project’s inception. A global Dutch bank with branches in Africa, it endeavours to provide access to funds for those with innovative and sound projects and especially those that truly make an impact on economic development and food security at the local, national or regional levels, whereby value chain partners can be integrated.

As another past winner Maria Odido of Bee Natural, Uganda, winner of the 2010 Project Incubator Award, testifies: “This prize will incite the future competitiveness of women and men entrepreneurs because the presentations set a tone and generate enthusiasm from a large number of participants to better invest in their businesses and projects.”

The 2009 winner, COOGES, Coopérative Générale de Sepingo, a cashew nut cooperative from Côte D’Ivoire decided to enter the Project Incubator Award for a simple reason: “It was in line with one of our business needs – to gain industry exposure – and we knew that even if we didn’t win, the increased awareness of our business would make it worthwhile and reduce our need to advertise ourselves through other channels.  Anyone from Africa that wishes to launch or improve a project, anyone who wants to have confirmation that their business idea is viable and who wants feedback from the business community should be involved in the AgriBusiness Forum”.

Interested candidates are invited to register for the AgriBusiness Forum and to submit their business ideas that embody the inherent entrepreneurship and innovation of the African continent.

To register for the AgriBusiness Forum 2012 please visit

For information on partnership and speaking opportunities, please contact:

Caterina Giuliano, EMRC Senior Programme Manager

Tel.: +32.2626.1514

Brussels, Belgium


For media queries, please contact:

Jessica Frommer, EMRC Media and Communications Manager


Brussels, Belgium


Prody Mwemena, EMRC Media and Communication Officer

Tel: +32.2626.1510

Brussels, Belgium

About EMRC

EMRC’s mission is to lead the private sector in Africa to sustainable economic development and to drive regional change via partnerships.

Established in 1992 in Brussels, EMRC is a non-profit International Association composed of a network of entrepreneurs, financiers, consultants and officials based throughout the world.

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Committed to improving the lives of underprivileged and disadvantaged groups of people by providing them with the opportunity to live full and independent lives, Rabobank Foundation is active in the Netherlands and in developing countries. The support provided focuses on enabling the development of small co-operatives located in rural regions and is provided through donations, loans, trade financing and technical assistance. In line with Rabobank’s own co-operative background, Rabobank Foundation focuses on establishing co-operative savings and loan systems with small farm holders and producer organisations.

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