SADC Project: Economic Empowerment for Women – In response to the impacts on women arising from COVID-19, the SADC Challenge Fund is now open to support non-profit organizations and women in business associations that are already supporting the capacity building and/or training of women entrepreneurs to improve their skills in business and product development.
The Challenge Fund is implemented under the SADC Project on Industrialization and Women Economic Empowerment (IWEE) and is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as part of the CESARE programme.
The aim is to contribute towards increasing the participation of women-led businesses and female entrepreneurs in selected priority sectors and value chains in line with the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap (SISR).
Fundable activities include, but are not limited to:
Training initiatives covering aspects of financial management; IT skills / use of digital tools; marketing, sales and customer service; negotiation and pricing and trade/export;
Business skills development covering areas such as expanding customer base; scaling up production; entering new markets / geographies; developing new products / services; developing new sales / marketing channels and developing networking opportunities;
Product development support such as training in value addition skills or techniques; technical assistance related to a specific issue / challenge e.g. prevention of post-harvest losses, meeting standards, etc and purchase of capital equipment to enhance product development / value addition opportunities e.g. processing equipment; and/or leadership.
Up to 16 subsidies will be offered at the value of up to EUR 20,000 each. Support can be provided to NPOs capacitating women enterprises that aim to establish new business activities or expand their existing services and products.
Applicant NPOs have to fulfil a number of criteria during stage one of the two-step process to qualify and be shortlisted for the Challenge Fund as follows
The NPO has been duly registered in a SADC Member State as a non-profit organisation for at least two consecutive (2) years prior to the application. Profitmaking organisations and government bodies or their proxy are not eligible.
The NPO must demonstrate compliance with all national and local laws and regulations that are relevant to its registered status and activities.
The applicant NPO must be directly responsible for the preparation and implementation of the action, and it cannot act as an intermediary.
Preference will be given to organisations established by women to support women but not to the exclusion of others that can support organisations working in sectors dominated by men or where the capacity of the organisation is extensive and with strong track records of working with women entrepreneurs.
The NPO must provide evidence in its project proposal of current or future women empowerment activities in one or more of the following sectors/value chains.
At registration stage: Copies of valid registration and/or operation /licensing and tax clearance certificates, demonstrating proof of registration for the last 2 years at minimum.
A budget in local currency with no lump-sum administration allowance and no transfer of funds to other end recipients, in the template provided.
Applications can be submitted in English, French or Portuguese and will not be judged on the basis of the language used nor on the level of proficiency in English.
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