African Development Bank’s AFAWA – Young Women Entrepreneurship Enablers Program (second round of Funding worth up to $250,000)


African Development Bank’s AFAWA – Young Women Entrepreneurship Enablers Program (second round of Funding worth up to $250,000)

The Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative of the African Development Bank Group is launching its second call for proposals for the Women Entrepreneurship Enablers program, which will target women’s business associations, incubators, accelerators, women-led cooperatives, and civil society organizations that promote the development of women entrepreneurs on the continent.

AFAWA is providing grants of up to $250,000 to organizations that are assisting in the preparation of African women-led companies to drive the continent’s economies.

The program funds projects that improve the viability and sustainability of formal women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and provide them with access to financing to help them grow.

Successful proposals will demonstrate novel techniques to creating a supportive ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship, with the goal of boosting access to funding for women-owned small businesses. In collaboration with financial institutions, enablers are required to establish a comprehensive and sustained capacity-building program to facilitate access to finance.

Applicants from all 54 African countries are urged to apply, and organizations in the Sahel region and North Africa are especially encouraged to do so. Eligible groups may request one-time assistance ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 from the Bank’s Gender Equality Trust Fund.

“Our inaugural call for proposals for Women Entrepreneurship Enablers garnered nearly a thousand applications from groups undertaking some ground-breaking work to empower women with the tools they need to grow their enterprises,” said Malado Kaba, the Bank’s Director for Gender, Women, and Civil Society.

“Today, we are excited to pursue this program by bringing in a second cohort and subsidizing the development of their capacity building initiatives, which will empower women entrepreneurs to get considerable financing and scale,” she said.

“Entrepreneurship enablers play a significant role in enhancing women’s abilities to develop ‘bankable’ SMEs.” However, the enablers themselves frequently encounter problems, such as feasible long-term growth plans and a lack of funding, which limit their reach, impact, and sustainability,” stated Esther Dassanou, Manager of AFAWA.

Following the first call for proposals, issued in May 2021, AFAWA selected ten pan-African organizations with demonstrated success in mobilizing finance for women entrepreneurs. They are: AECF(link is external) (Kenya); Seedstars(link is external) (Tanzania); African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum(link is external) (South Africa); Graça Machel Trust(link is external) (South Africa); Entreprenarium(link is external) (Rwanda); Women in Africa (WIA) Initiative(link is external) (Nigeria); Transformational Business Network(link is external) (Kenya and Uganda); Creative SpaceNG(link is external) (Nigeria); E4Impact(link is external) (Kenya); and PAWA Africa(link is external) (South Africa).

Click here(link is external) to watch AFAWA’s first cohort of Women Entrepreneurship Enablers

To learn more about the call for proposals click here(link is external).

All proposals must be received by 25 November 2022 at 23:59 GMT. A webinar will be held on Friday 4th November 2022 at 10 am GMT to offer additional information. Please use this link(link is external) to register.


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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  1. I am Ilodeipe Ogbokuma CEO Atik Global Services, an Agro based and Entrepreneurship Development Company that is Passionate about adding Value to African Indigenous Products Motivating Encouraging and Inspiring Vulnerable groups of Women, Youths and Farmers to become Professional Entrepreneurs in Rural Communities.


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