The U.S. Embassy in Cameroon announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to implement the 2024 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Cameroon.
AWE is a U.S. Department of State-led initiative around the globe to support gender equity and equality by promoting women’s economic opportunities and giving enterprising women the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch and scale successful businesses.
The U.S. Embassy Yaounde Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) invites proposals to design and implement a three-month training program in the summer or fall of 2024 to train 40 women social entrepreneurs for AWE in Cameroon. The program will be a hybrid model, combining the U.S. online platform DreamBuilder or Thunderbird’s 100 Million Learners courses, with localized in-person mentorship and facilitation. Successful projects will harness the power of public-private sponsors, local partnerships, and U.S. exchange alumni networks to help participating women and their business grow, driving localized prosperity.
- Equip participants with knowledge and skills from both U.S. and Cameroonian training materials to build and scale up sustainable businesses.
- Expand participants’ understanding of social enterprise models.
- Foster participants’ ability to promote economic opportunities for women and increase the number of women-led businesses.
- Facilitate the development of a network of female entrepreneurs and investors to grow women businesses and drive local partnerships.
- Length of performance period: 06 to 12 months from the date of award
- Number of awards anticipated: One award
- Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $38,000
- Total available funding: $38,000
- Phase 1: Develop and Recruit
- Develop a curriculum and training materials.
- Identify, recruit, and train facilitators and mentors from the USG alumni community, American Chamber of Commerce, and African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) network.
- Phase 2: Train the Cohort
- Organize a 3-day AWE Bootcamp with an official launching ceremony in Yaounde.
- Facilitate training of the online DreamBuilder or Thunderbird’s 100 Million Learners courses through weekly virtual or in-person sessions to discuss challenges, share best practices, and receive guidance from facilitators.
- Phase 3: Milestone Finale
- Organize a 2-day final gathering on “Women’s Investment Network” in Douala to showcase AWE participants and alumnae’ businesses, connect them with potential investors, and increase their access to funding opportunities.
- Session topics include, but are not limited to:
- Addressing the unique challenge, needs, and opportunities of women entrepreneurs in accessing investment.
- Inviting potential investors to participate in the forum and provide funding opportunities for promising women-led businesses.
- Conducting a pitch competition where selected AWE participants and alumnae present their business plans to a panel of investors.
- Conducting a social media campaign to showcase AWE success stories.
Participants and Audiences
The 2024 AWE participants will consist of 40 Cameroonian women entrepreneurs who:
- Reside in Cameroon.
- Own social enterprises or businesses focused on professional development, business incubation, or startup support for women.
- Have 2-5 years of business experience and demonstrate computer proficiency and internet access.
- Are recruited from all 10 regions of Cameroon via a competitive application process.
- PDS encourages applications from the United States and Cameroon:
- Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks, community associations, and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
- Alumni of U.S. government exchange programs
- Non-profit media organizations
- Professional trade organizations
- Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
- Private educational institutions
- For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.
For more information, visit Grants.gov.