The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) is pleased to announce its second call for proposals. Up to $120m of financing is available for this call and is likely to be allocated to the three to four highest ranking proposals.

70 percent of women-owned SMEs in developing countries can’t get the capital they need, resulting in a credit deficit of nearly $1.5 trillion per current estimates. It is nearly impossible to start or sustain a business without access to capital.

The objective of We-Fi is to address financial and non-financial constraints faced by women-owned/led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in countries/territories that are eligible for financing from the International Development Association (IDA) and/or the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), provided they are also eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) (refer the list of eligible countries).

We-Fi aims to achieve its objectives by using funding to mobilize billions of dollars in additional financing from commercial and international financial institutions (IFI) to provide women entrepreneurs with access to debt, equity, venture capital, insurance products, capacity building, networks and mentors, and opportunities to link with domestic and global markets; and for governments to improve the business environment for women-owned/led SMEs. We-Fi has a strategic goal of allocating 50% of its resources to activities in IDA countries and/or fragile and conflict-affected countries/territories.

Criteria

The We-Fi Governing Committee seeks a portfolio of programs/projects that demonstrate:

  1. Mobilization/leverage of significant additional funding from other sources
  2. A focus on low-income countries, IDA and/or fragile and conflict-affected countries/territories and/or underserved women entrepreneurs in middle-income countries
  3. Effective use of grant financing or blended finance
  4. Complementarity between public and private sector activities, and coordination with existing or planned activities of other development partners or initiatives
  5. Partnerships with organizations that have a strong track record for developing innovative approaches and delivering results

We-Fi welcomes proposals for global/regional, multi-country, and single country programs/projects. The minimum threshold for a We-Fi funding request is USD10 million.

How to Apply

Proposals should be submitted as a PDF file via email to the We-Fi Secretariat at [email protected] Proposals should be no longer than 25 pages, must be in English, and all funding amounts/costs should be presented in U.S. dollars. No one organization may submit more than two separate proposals.

The applicant should obtain all internal management clearances for the proposal in accordance with their own policies and procedures, prior to submission. Deadline for proposals is by midnight EST on Monday, February 4, 2019.


Do you have an opportunity or initiative for African entrepreneurs or SMEs? Tell us about it via [email protected]