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Grant Opportunity: AWE 2024 Statements of Interest
November 16, 2023

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2024


U.S. Embassy Malta’s Call for Statements of Interest from Local Partners to Implement the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2024:

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 they need to start and scale successful businesses.  U.S. Embassy Malta implemented AWE in Malta for the first time in 2021 and continued the program through 2022 and 2023.

AWE directly supports the U.S. government’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality aimed at advancing women’s economic empowerment globally.  Implemented in nearly 100 countries, AWE has empowered an estimated 25,000 women entrepreneurs around the world to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and grow their businesses.  AWE connects women with U.S. -style learning and expertise to advance business acumen and build stronger ties among women entrepreneurs in different markets.

Through AWE, emerging businesswomen participate in online entrepreneurship and business skills training, supplemented with localized in-class discussion, facilitation, mentoring, peer-to-peer learning, and networking.  AWE utilizes DreamBuilder (https://dreambuilder.org/), an online learning platform that teaches the fundamentals of business from a U.S. perspective.  It comprises thirteen online business modules that cover the basics of starting a business, such as marketing, finance, and accounting, and includes a built-in business plan generator.  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 the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.

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 and U.S.-government exchange 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 in Malta 2024 Program Timeline:

November 2023-March 2024

  • By 12:00 (noon) on Friday, December 22, 2023, interested parties submit a Statement of Interest to U.S. Embassy Malta via email to usembmalta@state.gov.
  • U.S. Embassy receives Statements of Interest. A panel evaluates and selects a Statement of Interest to take forward through the proposal process.
  • In January 2024, U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world submit AWE 2024 program proposals and budgets to ECA.
  • ECA evaluates proposals and budgets, communicating funding approval to U.S. Embassies and Consulates in March 2024.
  • U.S. Embassy Malta communicates ECA’s evaluation result to the applicant it took forward through the proposal process.

 April-July 2024

  • ECA trains U.S. Embassy and Consulate representatives and AWE implementers and facilitators, including through best practices and guidance on recruiting AWE participants.
  • The selected AWE implementing partner finalizes its implementation plans and recruits women participants for AWE in Malta 2024 program with U.S. Embassy Malta’s support.

August 2024-March 2025

  • AWE implementing partner executes the AWE in Malta 2024 program, including DreamBuilder and all localized content.
  • AWE participants graduate.
  • ECA collects monitoring and evaluation data from S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, and AWE implementing partners.


What is U.S. Embassy Malta looking for?

We are seeking an implementing partner (non-profit entity or organization) to support AWE from development through graduation.  This implementing partner will develop the AWE in Malta 2024 program, starting with promotion of the program and solicitation of applications.  The implementer will then be responsible for 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.  The organization of networking events with alumni, executives, or successful business owners also represent key elements of the program.  The implementer will also use marketing and communication strategies to amplify the American connection to the program and highlight the program’s partnership with U.S. Embassy Malta, thereby furthering positive local perceptions of the U.S. commitment to open academic and professional exchange with the Maltese public.

Note:  While only non-profit entities and organizations are eligible to apply for and receive this grant, applicants may partner with private-sector companies and for-profit entities if their services are offered pro-bono on the project.


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 schedule to supplement the DreamBuilder modules, including components and ways you will engage and include AWE in Malta alumni and S.-government exchange alumni (U.S. Embassy Malta will assist in identifying alumni)
  • Propose networking events that can be included in the program
  • 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 the progress of participants and communicate with them
  • Describe your communication, media, and outreach plan and how you will promote the program and partnership with U.S. Embassy Malta
  • Describe how you will monitor and evaluate the project
  • Include the budget (maximum $40,000), listing program categories e.g., rental of premises, promotion, honoraria to facilitators, seed money for pitch competition winners, social media publicity etc.

Please send your Statement of Interest to:  usembmalta@state.gov.

Deadline:  12:00 (noon) on Friday, December 22, 2023.