South Africa Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Funding and Training

South Africa Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Funding and Training

South Africa Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Funding and Training

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy South Africa of the U.S. Department of State announces an open competition for organizations to submit concept notes to carry out a training program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and Arizona State University.

Funding will be made available from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is centered around the online training program on women’s entrepreneurship, DreamBuilder, developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.

AWE participants will engage in facilitated lessons on business management and network with like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors from their regions and the United States.

Led by an in-person course facilitator, participants will learn how to create business plans, hire staff, and research the market for their product or service.

Participants will gather in person to view each DreamBuilder session (ten in total) and/or to discuss the topic after each participant views the session online.

Facilitators selected in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will lead the in-person discussions and serve as mentors for the participants.

The implementing partner will also be expected to organize a pre-launch training program for facilitators throughout South Africa, to occur in Johannesburg.


Overarching Goal:

  • Promote prosperity and good governance.

    Program Objectives:

  • Provide a resource for women entrepreneurs to engage in online education with guided facilitation and localization;
  • Foster networks that support participants’ access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region and in the United States;
  • Provide access to a range of educational programs tailored to women’s economic empowerment to expand the effects of participation.

    Funding Information

  • Awards may range from a minimum of $24,000 to a maximum of $37,000
  • Length of performance period: 12 - 18 months.

    Priority Regions

    Project activities must take place in South Africa and be directed at South African audiences/participants.

    Specific locations where the project will be implemented are:

  • Pretoria – American Corner Pretoria (25 participants);
  • Soweto – Rosa Parks American Centre (25 participants);
  • Bloemfontein – American Corner Mangaung (20 participants);
  • Cape Town – American Corner Cape Town (20 participants);
  • Durban – Venue to be identified by implementing partner (20 participants).

    Participants and Audiences

  • Female participants;
  • Ages 21 – 35;
  • South African citizen or legal resident;
  • Resident in urban, semi-urban, and semi-rural areas of Gauteng, Bloemfontein, Kwa-Zulu Natal;and Western Cape;
  • Aspiring entrepreneurs with a viable business idea, or who have already-existing businesses;
  • Able to commit on average five hours per week to AWE;
  • Basic computer skills;
  • Fluent in English.

    Eligibility Criteria

    The following United States and South African organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/nongovernmental organizations;
  • Public and private non-profit educational institutions.

    Evaluation Criteria

    Each concept note will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.

    Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 40 points: The organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds. This includes a financial management system and a bank account. The organization has capacity to execute the plan as conceptualized.

    Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 30 points: The organization’s plan is consistent with the program’ goals and objectives; the program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

    Budget – 30 points: The budget estimate includes reasonable costs in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results.

    The budget estimate is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

    How to Apply

  • Applications are accepted in English only. Final grant agreements will be concluded in English.
  • All documents must be submitted in Word or Excel format by email at the address given on the website.

    Apply by 15th March.

    For more information and application details, see; South Africa Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Funding and Training

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