AfDB calls African Women Entrepreneurship Enablers to apply for Funding, $5 billion.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has launched a call for proposals for projects that enhance the viability and sustainability of women entrepreneurship enablers.

Women’s business associations, incubators, accelerators, and cooperatives that advance women’s entrepreneurship are invited to apply for funding for innovative projects to enable them to strengthen the skills of African women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Although entrepreneurship enablers- business associations and civil society organizations- have a vital role in empowering women to establish scalable businesses, however, the promoters oftentimes face challenges, such as long-term growth plans and lack of financing, reducing their reach, impact, and sustainability.

Explaining the purpose of AfDB’s initiative, Esther Dassanou, AFAWA’s Program Manager said, “Women business enablers are critical to creating a viable enabling environment in which women entrepreneurs can grow and create businesses that generate jobs for the continent.

Through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative (AFAWA), the Bank is committed to supporting enablers to strengthen the business and financial skills as well as wealth-creating capacity of their members.”

An initiative launched by the African Development Bank, AFAWA uniquely offers a multi-dimensional approach to remove the constraints women entrepreneurs face in Africa.

AFAWA aims to unlock up to $5 billion of financing for Women Small and Medium Enterprises (WSMEs) by leveraging the Bank’s financial traditional instruments (lines of credit, trade finance, and equity funds) and through the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth (G4G), an innovative mechanism de-risking women entrepreneurs and enhancing Financial Institutions’ (FIs) appetite in lending to WSMEs.

These financial mechanisms are supported by technical assistance to financial institutions and WSMEs to ensure that adequate products and services are developed to address women’s financial needs, as well as adequate knowledge to build bankable and sustainable projects.

The Bank will assess applicants’ track record in supporting women SMEs, innovation, and strong development impact, as well as their capacity to mobilize other sources of funding. Eligible organizations may request funding of between $100,000 and $250,000, provided through the Bank’s Gender Equality Trust Fund.

Expectations

Submitted proposals must:

  • Demonstrate innovative approaches to build a supportive ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship aimed at improving access to finance for WSMEs;
  • Develop innovative ways to disseminate advisory services addressing capacity constraints, skills enhancement, and digital presences for WSMEs;
  • Enhance visibility and access to mentorship and role models for WSMEs.
Themes

Through the proposed interventions, the enablers must showed increased access to finance, skills, and mentorship, demonstrating the following:

  • Track record in supporting women SMEs;
  • Innovation and strong development impact;
  • Mobilization of additional funding;
  • Partnership with both public and private sectors;
  • Additionality and value for money;
  • Long term plan and sustainability;
  • Collaboration between two or several applicant enablers.
Funding

The Bank will assess applicants’ track record in supporting women SMEs, innovation, and strong development impact, as well as their capacity to mobilize other sources of funding. Eligible organizations may request funding of between $100,000 and $250,000, provided through the Bank’s Gender Equality Trust Fund.

Scope

Though all countries will be considered, however, preference will be given to proposals implemented in these countries: Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republique of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zambia.

How to apply

Proposals (Not more than 10 pages) either in English or French should be submitted using the attached template via email to the following e-mail address: Benard Chitunga: b.chitunga@afdb.org Senior Officer- Partnerships, Donors and Special Projects, AFAWA and copy Esther Dassanou: m.dassanou@afdb.org Manager, AFAWA.

Deadline

Call for Proposals closes on Sunday, May 30, 2021, and should follow the format given Awards will be announced on July 15, 2021. Selection of beneficiaries will be done in accordance with the Bank’s policies, rules, and procedures.

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