AWIEF, AfDB’s AFAWA Join Forces To Increase Access To Finance For Women SMEs

AWIEF Announces Registration For 2023 Conference

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 WSMEs will be supported for scale, access to markets and investment readiness across 8 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.

Programme Components

The programme is organized under 4 components:

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.

Mentorship and Advisory – enhancing the visibility and access to role models for WSMEs through a mentorship platform.

Call for Applications for 2022 Cohort

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.

Selection Criteria

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.

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