African Development Bank (AfDB) 2023 AFAWA Initiative


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, women-led cooperatives, and civil society organizations that promote the development of women entrepreneurs on the continent.

AFAWA aims to unlock $5 billion in financing for small and medium-sized enterprises owned and managed by women 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 funding, which aims to strengthen the ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship, is in line with the Bank’s agenda to further gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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About African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Established to promote economic and social development efforts on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group comprises three entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB) which is the parent institution, created following an agreement signed by 23 founding member states on August 14, 1963 in Khartoum, Sudan. This became effective on September 10, 1964. The group includes two concessionary windows – the African Development Fund (ADF), established on November 29, 1972 by the African Development Bank and 13 non-African countries; and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF), set up in 197… read more

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AfDB Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Initiative

Aim and Benefits of AfDB Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Initiative

  • AFAWA is offering grants of up to $250,000 to organizations helping prepare African women-led businesses to drive the continent’s economies.
  • The program supports projects that enhance the viability and sustainability of formal women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and enables them to access financing opportunities to grow their businesses.

Requirements for AfDB Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Initiative Qualification

  • Successful proposals will demonstrate innovative approaches to building a supportive ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship, aimed at improving access to finance for women SMEs. Enablers are expected to 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 welcomed, and organizations in the Sahel region and North Africa are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal. Eligible organizations may request one-time funding of between $100,000 and $250,000, which will be provided through the Bank’s Gender Equality Trust Fund.

Expectations

Submitted proposals will:

  1. Demonstrate innovative approaches to build a supportive ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship aimed at improving access to finance for WSMEs and accelerate business growth;
  2. Develop innovative ways to disseminate advisory services and technical assistance addressing capacity constraints, and skills enhancement for WSMEs to support access to funding;
  3. Develop a comprehensive and sustainable capacity-building program to enable access to finance in partnership with financial institutions; 
  4. Enhance visibility and digital presence for WSMEs;
  5. Enhance access to mentorship and role models for WSMEs. 

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Interview date, Process and Venue for AfDB Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa Initiative

Funding Principles and Criteria 

  1. The projects should be implemented in more than 2 countries;
  2. The project duration should not exceed 2 (two) years; 
  3. 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;
  4. Applicants must be legally constituted institutions that have been in existence for at least three years with strong financial and procurement procedures;
  5. Collaboration between two or several applicant enablers is encouraged;
  6. Partnerships are strongly encouraged particularly with one or multiple financial organizations and with both public and private sectors;
  7. Previous experience in managing external funding and executing projects from donors is required;

Assessment: Proposals received will be assessed based on the following considerations:

  1. Clarity and Viability (score : 15), 

    • Has the applicants demonstrated a clear understanding of the main issues (WSMEs’ access to significant fundings scalability of their businesses)?  (8)
    • Is the timing, sequencing, and resourcing of the effort reasonable and effective? (7)

  2. Track Record  and Leverage ( Score : 35),

    • Has the applicant demonstrated a track record (strong results and impacts) in supporting women SMEs in accessing significant fundings and developing their businesses? Has the organization demonstrated its ability to achieve the milestones laid out in the concept note (consider team size, partnerships, and track record)?  (7)
    • Has the proposal demonstrated an innovative approach to build a supportive ecosystem for women SMEs to access to finance and scale up their businesses? Does the proposal include a partnership with one or multiple financial organizations, with both public and private sectors, with other entrepreneurship enablers? (8)
    • Are the funds provided being leveraged (through partnerships, matching funds, skin in the game etc.) to ensure maximum impact? (20)

  3. Project Impact ( Score : 30) ,

    • Has the proposal demonstrated strong development impact (number of beneficiaries, the funding mobilized by women SMEs? (10)
    • Is there a well-defined roadmap for how the proposed intervention would draw more women SMEs to access finance and scale up their business? (10)
    • Has the proposal demonstrated alignment with national or regional priorities on access to financial services/financial inclusion for WSME to maximize the impact and the scalability of the model? (10)

  4. Monitoring-Evaluation-Scaling ( Score : 20)

    • Does the project demonstrate the potential sustainability and scalability of the model going forward? (10)
    • Does the applicant articulate M and E plan and mitigation to risks? (10)

Total score : 100 

Application Deadline

November 11, 2022

How to Apply

The call for proposals will be financed through the Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) of the African Development Bank Group.

  • Proposals should be submitted through the application platform and include the Application proposal template available on the platform in Word format; (you can also download it here)
  • Application proposals can be submitted either in English or French and they should not exceed 10 pages including cover page and any annex. NB: Any proposal of more than 10 pages will not be assessed.
  • Application proposals should be submitted via the platform with the subject title “Name of lead organization_Name of project”, by Midnight GMT on Friday 25th November 2022.

Application process on the platform

  • Step 1 : Answer the preliminary questions
  • Step 2 : Download and complete the Application proposal template (in Word format) 
  • Step 3 : Upload your Application proposal (maximum 10 pages) on the platform
  • Step 4 : Submit your application through the platform

Download this Call for Proposals here

To learn more about the call for proposals click here

For more details, click here

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