Funding brief: ANDE has run Catalyst and Challenge Funds since 2009 with the purpose of fueling initiatives poised to improve the capacity of organizations within the small and growing business (SGB) sector. These funds have taken many forms and addressed various sector challenges since then, but their core function remains constant – the fund awards SGB support service providers with the risk-tolerant capital they need to test or pilot innovative approaches to SGB sector challenges and distribute learnings within the ANDE community and SGB sector at large. The 2019 Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund (AWEF) will provide grant capital to test models for increasing investment into women-led SGBs in emerging markets.
There is a significant financing gap for women-led businesses in emerging markets. To put this in perspective, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates a financing gap for female entrepreneurs in formal sector small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries at $320 billion. One of the most common methods of increasing access to finance is through business accelerator programs. ANDE’s Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) has tracked the performance of more than 20,000 firms around the world who applied to 190+ accelerator programs to compare the performance of accepted and rejected firms and identify the accelerator programming features that correspond with increased firm performance in employment, revenue growth and access to finance. However, this research revealed a concerning finding that while acceleration tends to benefit businesses on these three dimensions, on average women-led firms do not achieve increased access to finance, and in fact lose ground to mixed gender and all male teams’ post-acceleration. GALI data shows that on average, all-female founding teams in emerging markets have raised approximately one quarter of the equity financing of all-male founding teams ($16,006 vs. $61,562) when applying to accelerators and have lost further ground in the year following participation.
It is clear that acceleration services as commonly delivered are not sufficient to close the investment gap for women-led businesses. The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Visa Foundation, invites proposals that address this financing gap by testing models that catalyze investment into women-led SGBs through innovative approaches. The Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund (AWEF) will source, test, and promote creative and impactful solutions to address this investment issue, starting in South and Southeast Asia.
ANDE seeks proposals to pilot, test, or expand scalable solutions that tackle the financing gap for women-led SGBs in South and Southeast Asia to create learnings and insights for uptake by the broader SGB sector. ANDE is specifically focused on submissions catalyzing early-stage, growthoriented capital. They encourage submissions employing creative solutions to the financing gap that fit any of the following categories:
● More gender transformative approaches to delivering acceleration services including recruitment, selection, cohort and program design or other elements seen as constraints to the success of women entrepreneurs
● Supplemental services delivered independently or in coordination with traditional accelerator programs including tailored consulting services, bespoke matchmaking, investment facilitation, mentorship or other approaches to address gender deficits in traditional acceleration.
● Novel approaches to addressing systemic constraints that result in less investment being received by women entrepreneurs.
● Initiatives that support informal enterprises converting to formal enterprises.
These activities should also, when possible, build the capacity of implementing organizations to continue to expand access to financing for women-led SGBs in the future.
Donor Name: Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
Funding name: Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund
Deadline: Wednesday, January, 8th, 2020 no later than 11:59pm ET
Funding details link: Click to view
Funding limit: Submissions should be for activities of up to 12 months with a maximum total request of US $150,000.
Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.
Project start date: Not found
Project duration: 12 months
Eligible organization: As below
● Incubators, Accelerators, Investors, Capacity Development Providers, and Research and Advisory Service Providers are welcome to apply. Note that donor agencies, foundations, and corporations are not qualified to apply. ANDE intends to support a minimum of eight proposals for this round, from a total funding pool of $1.2 million. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Visa Foundation have provided the capital for this round of funding.
● Organizations may form a consortium and submit a joint proposal. An organization may submit or be involved in up to two proposals.
● The Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund is open to ANDE member organizations and non-member organizations.
Eligible Country: SGB service providers with programs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam will be considered. Unfortunately, programs taking place outside of these countries will not be considered.
Submission mail: Not found
How to apply: Interested applicant may apply through the website (Click to view).
Facebook page-Fund for Bangladesh