ANDE Announces Winners of the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs Fund

November 29, 2021

The fund will allow three organizations to undertake projects to build the gender lens investing ecosystem for women climate entrepreneurs to grow scalable climate-related businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Washington, DC, November 29, 2021 – The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) today announced that three organizations in Africa have been selected to receive funds under the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs (AWCE) Fund.

The AWCE Fund, an activity under the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs project, aims to contribute to poverty reduction and respond to climate change by identifying and promoting good practices to support women entrepreneurs in climate-related value chains. The AWCE project also places an emphasis on developing a road map for international development stakeholders to provide further gender-responsive support to women climate entrepreneurs and intermediaries.

This first round of AWCE funding, with critical financial support from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), will support projects that build the gender lens investing ecosystem for women climate entrepreneurs to grow scalable climate-related businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. “ANDE’s catalyst and challenge funds help organizations address challenges in the SGB sector, in this case bridging the gender finance gap for women-led climate enterprises,” said ANDE Executive Director Richenda Van Leeuwen. “We look forward to sharing key project insights with the sector and enhancing our collective support to African women climate entrepreneurs.”

An expert panel selected the three winning proposals out of a pool of more than 500 applications, based on their clear understanding of AWCE funding goals, project feasibility and intended impact, and the extent to which lessons learned from the project will inform the work of SGB service providers and investors going forward.

Each winner will receive up to $65,500 over one year to test models for increasing gender lens investing into women climate entrepreneurs in SGBs through innovative approaches. Projects will begin in December 2021. The selected winners are:

  • Westerwelle Foundation, to implement a green sector hackathon for 100+ female entrepreneurs in Rwanda and to support up to 15 selected teams to develop and validate their sustainable solutions over a period of eleven months;
  • Kawjo Foundation, to promote women-led markets in Malawi through upscaling and promoting the use of climate-smart fish processing technologies;
  • Future Females Empowerment Initiatives, to pilot a technology-enabled, scalable and needs-responsive digital “FutureFinance” platform that will list and match at least 200 women climate entrepreneurs in Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, and South Africa to stage-appropriate funding.


About ANDE

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in developing economies. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.

As the leading global voice of the SGB sector, ANDE believes that SGBs are a powerful, yet underleveraged tool in addressing social and environmental challenges. Since 2009, we have grown into a trusted network of nearly 300 collaborative members that operate in nearly every developing economy. ANDE grows the body of knowledge, mobilizes resources, and connects the institutions that support the small business entrepreneurs who build inclusive prosperity in the developing world.

ANDE is part of the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society.

About Global Affairs Canada

The mandate of Global Affairs Canada is to manage Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations, to encourage the country’s international trade and to lead Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance. This includes efforts to contribute to economic prosperity with an emphasis on expanding and diversifying commercial relationships with emerging and high-growth markets, especially focusing on SMEs (or SGBs).



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