Affirmative Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA)
This program seeks to improve WSMEs’ access to finance across the African continent using a unique risk sharing mechanism dedicated to WSMEs. It also focuses on overcoming some of the institutional challenges constraining women’s access to finance. By employing a holistic approach, the program offers innovative and tailored financial products, including a credit enhancement instrument, specialized capacity building trainings to financial institutions and WSMEs, and targeted initiatives to transform the business-enabling environment for WSMEs. AFAWA comprises the following components:
1. Improving access to finance for WSMEs by implementing a first-loss risk sharing facility to de-risk the WSME portfolio of banks, SME impact funds, and financial institutions-focused funds that invest in Tier 2 and 3 banks and microfinance institutions that target WSMEs.
2. Providing technical assistance to partner financial institutions on developing products for WSMEs, and providing capacity building to WSMEs, cooperatives, and other women’s associations on financial literacy, business plan development, and financial management.
3. Improving the policy and enabling environment for WSMEs across Africa by assessing legal and policy frameworks in target countries, highlighting gaps and policies to enhance women’s financial inclusion, and promoting grassroots advocacy and enactment of policy and legal reforms.
4. Promoting special initiatives to expand access to financial and non-financial services and develop activities that complement and maximize outreach to underserved urban and rural women entrepreneurs and WSMEs.
Funding requests may be for a specific project or for an indicative program of several projects, or over several countries. The minimum threshold for requesting funding from this call for proposal is $100,000 and the maximum threshold is $250,000. This is a one-time grant.