The African Development Bank Group, established the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), a flagship initiative that specifically focuses on increasing inclusive finance for women entrepreneurs on the continent.
AFAWA’s primary objective is to bridge the finance gap for women entrepreneurs and to unlock their entrepreneurial capacity and full potential. AFAWA is unique in that it offers a multi-dimensional approach to removing the constraints that women entrepreneurs face through three pillars of intervention:
- Strengthening access to finance for women-owned/led businesses 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.;
- Building the capacity of women entrepreneurs and financial institutions;
- Strengthening the enabling environment to increase WSMEs ability to access financing.
In order to achieve its objectives, AFAWA partners with women entrepreneurship enablers to reinforce the capacity of women SMEs to access finance and scale up their businesses.
Within the framework of the Women Entrepreneurship Enablers program, the Bank is looking to support projects which aim to enhance the viability and sustainability of formal women SMEs and allow them to access financing opportunities to grow their businesses.
The Bank encourages women’s business associations, incubators, accelerators, women formal cooperatives, eligible civil society organizations and other legal entities to share proposals aligned with the objectives and themes set out below.
Guidelines for Proposals:
- Demonstrate innovative approaches to build a supportive ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship aimed at improving access to finance for WSMEs and accelerate business growth;
- Develop innovative ways to disseminate advisory services and technical assistance addressing capacity constraints, and skills enhancement for WSMEs to support access to funding;
- Develop a comprehensive and sustainable capacity-building program to enable access to finance in partnership with financial institutions;
- Enhance visibility and digital presence for WSMEs;
- Enhance access to mentorship and role models for WSMEs.
Funding requests may be for a specific project or for an indicative program of several projects, or over several countries. The minimum threshold for requesting funding from this call for proposal is $100,000 and the maximum threshold is $250,000. This is a one-time grant.
Who can apply?
Applications are welcome from all 54 Africa countries, transitional/fragile, Sahel and North African countries are strongly encouraged to submit proposals.
Funding Principles and Criteria
- The projects should be implemented in more than 2 countries;
- The project duration should not exceed 2 (two) years;
- Recipients and project sponsors should be Africa-based or provide evidence of partnership with African entities and show that the proposed activities, operations, and projects will be implemented in Africa;
- Applicants must be legally constituted institutions that have been in existence for at least three years with strong financial and procurement procedures;
- Collaboration between two or several applicant enablers is encouraged;
- Partnerships are strongly encouraged particularly with one or multiple financial organizations and with both public and private sectors;
- Previous experience in managing external funding and executing projects from donors is required;
Assessment: Proposals received will be assessed based on the following considerations:
- Track Record and Leverage
- Clarity and Viability
- Project Impact
Application Deadline – Friday, 11th November 2022
A webinar will be held on Friday 21st October 2022 to answer any questions.