AFAWA to give financial support to African women startup enablers

The Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA ) says it will give financial support to projects enhancing the viability and sustainability of women entrepreneurship enablers.

It wants women’s business associations, incubators, accelerators, and cooperatives that advance women’s entrepreneurship, to apply for funding for innovative projects or programs to bolster the skills of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) owned and run by women across Africa.

AFAWA is an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) that seeks to bridge the $42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa.

It will assess applicants’ track record in supporting women SMEs, innovation and strong development impact, as well as their capacity to mobilize other sources of funding.

Eligible organizations will get between $100,000 and $250,000 as startup support, provided through the Bank’s Gender Equality Trust Fund.

Applications from the following countries will be given priority: Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia.


“Women business enablers are critical to creating a viable enabling environment in which women entrepreneurs can grow and create businesses that generate jobs for the continent. Through the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative, the Bank is committed to supporting enablers to strengthen the business and financial skills as well as wealth-creating capacity of their members.”

Esther Dassanou, Manager of the AFAWA

Applications must be received by midnight on 30 May 2021.

AFAWA is supported by the Bank’s partners and donors, the Group of Seven (G7) countries as well as the Netherlands and 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.