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Call for Proposals: Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi)

The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) has announced its second call for proposals.

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).

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 percent of its resources to activities in IDA countries and/or fragile and conflict affected countries/territories.

We-Fi welcomes proposals for global/regional, multi-country, and single country programs/projects.

Funding Information

  • The minimum threshold for a We-Fi funding request is USD 10 million.
  • Up to USD 120m of financing is available for this call and is likely to be allocated to the three to four highest ranking proposals.

Types of Activities

  • We-Fi seeks proposals that demonstrate comprehensive and strategic approaches to supporting the growth and impact of women’s entrepreneurship.
  • We-Fi is a platform to align country-level reforms and private investment, build on and implement lessons learned about what works for starting and growing women owned/led firms, collect key data from the public and private sector on women entrepreneurs and their firms, and support innovation and learning for results at scale.
  • We-Fi proposals should break down barriers to financial access and provide complementary services such as capacity building,access to networks and mentors, and opportunities to link with domestic and global markets as well as improve the business environment for women-owned or women-led SMEs in supply chains across the developing world.
  • Special consideration will be given to proposals that focus on women entrepreneurs operating in rural settings.

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Funding Principles

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

  • mobilization/leverage of significant additional funding from other sources;
  • a focus on low-income countries, IDA and/or fragile and conflict-affected countries/territories and/or underserved women entrepreneurs in middle-income countries;
  • effective use of grant financing or blended finance;
  • complementarity between public and private sector activities, and coordination with existing or planned activities of other development partners or initiatives;
  • partnerships with organizations that have a strong track record for developing innovative approaches and delivering results.

Allocation decisions will be made by the We-Fi Governing Committee (GC) based on the strength of the proposal, keeping in mind the overall composition of the portfolio that is most likely to achieve the overall goals of the We-Fi.

Country Eligibility

We-Fi can finance programs or projects in ODA-eligible countries and territories that are eligible to receive funding from the IBRD and/orIDA, including through trust funds administered by the World Bank (list of eligible countries mentioned below). For those proposals targeting Africa, special consideration will be given to those with activities in G-20 Compact Countries.

Implementing Partner Eligibility

  • The following accredited multilateral development banks (MDBs) are eligible to apply for We-Fi funding under this Second Call for Proposals: African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, International Finance Corporation, Islamic Development Bank Group, and World Bank (the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association).
  • MDBs are encouraged to partner with UN agencies, international financial institutions (IFIs), civil society organizations, the private sector, business groups, and/or other entities currently working at the country or regional level.

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How to Apply

Deadline: 4 February 2019

Proposals should be submitted as a PDF file via email at the address given on thew website.

Eligible Countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina   Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia,Comoros, Congo, Dem. Rep., Congo, Rep., Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Arab Rep., El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea,Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, The Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Rep., Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati,Korea,  Dem. People’s Rep., Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, FYR, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico,Micronesia, Fed. Sts., Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique,Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Panama,Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Helena, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname,Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan,Vanuatu, Venezuela, RB, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen, Rep.,Zambia, Zimbabwe.

For more information, please visit https://we-fi.org/funding/

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