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Grant Opportunity: AWE 2023 Statements of Interest
November 1, 2022

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2023


U.S. Embassy Malta’s Call for Statements of Interest from Local Partners to Implement the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2023:


What is the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs?

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) launched the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in 2019 (https://eca.state.gov/awe), a program and educational opportunity that provides women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners with the knowledge, networks, and access needed to start and scale successful businesses.

AWE supports the U.S. government’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality aimed at advancing women’s economic empowerment globally.  Implemented in nearly 90 countries, AWE has helped more than 16,000 women entrepreneurs around the world to grow their businesses and adapt to new economic realities.  U.S. Embassy Malta implemented AWE in Malta for the first time in 2021.

Through AWE, emerging businesswomen participate in facilitated online entrepreneurship and business skills training, supplemented with in-person localized content and networking and mentorship opportunities.  AWE utilizes DreamBuilder (https://dreambuilder.org/), which comprises thirteen online modules that cover the basics of starting a business.  It includes relevant topic areas, such as marketing, finance, and accounting (https://dreambuilder.org/programs/).  The course includes testimonials from successful entrepreneurs, who share their challenges and lessons-learned from starting a business.  DreamBuilder was created through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan.

AWE also allows for a flexible framework that enables U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world and their implementing partners to customize their programs and supplement DreamBuilder coursework with localized sessions and networking and mentorship opportunities.  This additional content should address country-specific topics relevant to the local entrepreneurial and business environment (e.g., mentoring, influencer talks, pitch competitions, conferences/forums, etc.).  With the support of U.S. Embassy Malta, localized content should include the participation of AWE in Malta alumni, who can support current participants.

Key Objectives:

–  To provide women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills, and access needed to start and scale successful businesses through U.S-style online training with locally guided facilitation.

– To foster networks that support the participants’ access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region.

 AWE 2023 Timeline:
November 2022-February 2023
  • By 12:00 (noon) on November 21, 2022, interested parties submit a Statement of Interest to U.S. Embassy Malta via email to usembmalta@state.gov.
  • S. Embassy receives Statements of Interest. A panel evaluates and selects a Statement of Interest to take forward through the proposal process.
  • In December, U.S. Embassies and Consulates in 75+ countries submit AWE 2023 program proposals and budgets to ECA.
  • ECA evaluates proposals and budgets, communicating funding approval to U.S. Embassies and Consulates in February 2023.
 February-March 2023
  • ECA trains U.S. Embassy and Consulate representatives and AWE implementers and facilitators, including through best practices and guidance on recruiting AWE participants.
  • Teams finalize their implementation plans and recruit women participants.
April-December 2023
  • AWE teams implement AWE 2023 programs, including DreamBuilder and localized content.
  • AWE participants graduate.
  • ECA collects monitoring and evaluation data from S. Embassies and Consulates, implementing partners.
What is U.S. Embassy Malta looking for?

We are seeking an implementing partner (university, NGO, incubator, etc.) to support AWE from development through graduation.  This implementing partner will develop the AWE in Malta 2023 program, including identifying 30 or more women entrepreneurs and early-stage business owners who will participate in the AWE program and facilitators who will guide these participants through the DreamBuilder coursework and deliver localized training and activities.  Facilitators should understand the local entrepreneurial environment and supplement the course as discussion leaders and guides.  Participants should be women aged approximately 25 or over who are aspiring to start a business or who have recently started a business.  They must commit to the entire course of training.  The implementing partner will serve as a liaison with U.S. Embassy Malta and AWE stakeholders, leading implementation, facilitating communication with the participants, encouraging their successful completion of the program, monitoring and reporting on progress, promoting the program with the public, and amplifying the core goals of the initiative in supporting women and economic prosperity in Malta.

 What we need to know from you for you to be considered as implementing partner:
  • Name of organization
  • Brief background of organization
  • Projected number of facilitators and their qualifications
  • Projected number of women participants and their general business profiles (owners vs nonbusiness owners, levels of education, etc.)
  • Describe how you will recruit and select the women participants
  • List any local partners (NGOs, private sector, government) and describe how they will augment the experience for participants
  • Describe what country-specific sessions you will include in the course scheduleto supplement the DreamBuilder modules, including components that engage AWE in Malta alumni (U.S. Embassy Malta will assist in identifying alumni)
  • Include the timeline of the training schedule
  • Where and how the training sessions will take place (online or in-person)
  • Describe how you will monitor progress and communicate with participants
  • Describe your communication plan and how you will promote the program and partnership with U.S. Embassy Malta
  • Include the budget (minimum $15,000 and maximum $50,000), listing program categories e.g., rental of premises, promotion, honoraria to facilitators, seed money for pitch competition winners, social media publicity etc.
You can write to usembmalta@state.gov if you have any questions.
Please send your Statement of Interest to:  usembmalta@state.gov
Deadline:  12:00 (noon) on Tuesday, November 22, 2022