By Adedapo Adesanya
The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) and the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) have joined forces to drive increased access to finance and markets for women-owned and women-led small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) across Southern, East and West Africa.
The new AfDB-funded AWIEF programme Solutions Catalysing Increased Access to Capital for the Success of Women Entrepreneurs aims to accelerate efforts to address gender inequality and drive inclusive economic transformation.
More than 500 growth-oriented women SMEs will be supported for scale, access to markets and investment readiness across eight African countries: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
The two-year programme will create a profitable pipeline of investable businesses ready to access finance.
The programme is organized under components including AWIEF Growth Accelerator (in partnership with Nedbank) – to enhance investment readiness and increase access to finance.
eCommerce Capacity Development (in partnership with UNIDO) – for building knowledge, capacity and skills in digital channels to increase participation and success in online business.
Digital Skills (in partnership with Amazon Web Services) – to strengthen WSMEs capacity to embrace technology innovation.
Applications are invited from WSMEs for participation in any one of these programme components: 1) AWIEF Growth Accelerator; 2) eCommerce Capacity Development; 3) Digital Skills.
WSMEs registered and operating in: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Priority sectors include Technology, Agriculture & Agribusiness, Creative Industry, eCommerce, Renewable Energy, Manufacturing, Retail, Construction, and Logistics.
They would be required to submit their applications via this link: https://bit.ly/3zOvzW0 and the deadline for submission is Monday, July 18, 2022, at 11:59 pm Central Africa Time (CAT). Applications will only be accepted through the link above.
Programme Timeline for 2022 Cohort
Applications open: June 20, 2022
Applications close: July 18, 2022
Recruitment of participants: July – August 2022
Training: September – December 2022.