The African Development Bank Group’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative is launching its second call for proposals for the Women Entrepreneurship Enablers program, targeting women’s business associations, incubators, accelerators, cooperatives led by organizations and civil society organizations that promote the development of women entrepreneurs on the continent.
AFAWA is offering grants of up to $250,000 to organizations that help prepare African women-led businesses to boost the continent’s economies.
The program supports projects that improve the viability and sustainability of formal women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and enable them to access financing opportunities to grow their businesses.
Successful proposals will present innovative approaches to creating a favorable ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship, aimed at improving access to finance for women’s SMEs. Facilitators should develop a comprehensive and sustainable capacity building program to enable access to finance in partnership with financial institutions.
Applicants from all 54 African countries are welcome and organizations from the Sahel region and North Africa are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal. Eligible organizations can apply for one-time funding of between $100,000 and $250,000, which will be provided through the Bank’s Gender Equality Trust Fund.
“Our first call for proposals for women’s entrepreneurship enablers attracted nearly a thousand applications from organizations doing innovative work to equip women with the tools to grow their businesses,” said Malado Kaba, director of the Bank for gender, women and civil society.
“Today, we are excited to continue this initiative by bringing in a second cohort and funding the development of their capacity building activities for women entrepreneurs to achieve significant funding and scale,” she said. declared.
“Entrepreneurship enablers play an important role in building women’s skills to create ‘bankable’ SMEs. However, the catalysts themselves often face challenges, such as viable long-term growth plans and a lack of funding, which reduce their reach, impact and sustainability,” said Esther Dassanou, Director of AFAWA.
Following the first call for proposals, launched in May 2021, AFAWA selected ten pan-African organizations that have demonstrated success in mobilizing finance for women entrepreneurs. They are: AECF (Kenya); Seedstars (Tanzania); African Women’s Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (South Africa); Graça Machel Trust (South Africa); Entrepreneurarium (Rwanda); Women in Africa Initiative (WIA) (Nigeria); Transformational Business Network (Kenya and Uganda); Creative SpaceNG (Nigeria); E4Impact (Kenya); and PAWA Africa (South Africa).
Click here to watch the first cohort of AFAWA Women Entrepreneurship Enablers
To learn more about the call for proposals, click here.
All proposals must be received by November 11, 2022 at 23:59 GMT. A webinar will take place on Friday October 21, 2022 at 10:00 GMT to provide additional information. Please use this link to register.
AFAWA aims to unlock $5 billion in financing for women-owned and managed small and medium-sized enterprises by 2026. AFAWA is supported by the Bank’s partners and donors, G7 countries, as well as the Netherlands, Sweden and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. (We-Fi). The financing, which aims to strengthen the female entrepreneurship ecosystem, is in line with the Bank’s agenda to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.