What is the Enterprise Challenge Fund (ECF) for the Pacific and South East Asia?

The ECF was a six year (2007-2013) Australian Government pilot grant fund that provided funds directly to businesses in Asia and the Pacific. The ECF closed in October 2013. The fund ran competitions for private sector applications offering innovative solutions to address market failures and stimulate long-term inclusive pro-poor economic growth. Businesses contributed at least 50% of the total project costs - and in most cases substantially more than 50% - and money was distributed against agreed milestones. Over six years, $11.012 million was provided to 21 projects operating in 8 countries across the Asia Pacific, providing jobs, increased incomes and access to vital goods and services to over 78,000 people. To learn more about the fund we invite you to review our ECF Reports or our ECF funded projects.

Will there be any further funding rounds?

The ECF is now closed.

What is a challenge fund?

A challenge fund is a demand driven grant funding mechanism. They are run as competitions where only the best bids are successful in receiving funding.
Challenge funds are not generally suitable for start up businesses because they require bidders to contribute substantially to the costs of the project. Where does ECF operate? 21 projects were funded and operated by private sector businesses in Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Papua New Guinea, southern Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

What are the proposed benefits/impacts of ECF?

Through the successful implementation of projects, ECF provided the direct creation of jobs, improved incomes, and increased access to goods and services for local communities.
Review the ECF Development Series or read about the impacts of invidual projects to understand the impacts of this pilot program on reducing poverty in the Pacific and parts of Asia.

Who is funding the program?

The $A20 million pilot program is an Australian Government initiative managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Coffey is responsible for marketing and managing the Fund.