An official website of the United States government

November 2, 2022

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program

The US Embassy in Azerbaijan is pleased to announce the call for proposals to implement the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program in Azerbaijan.


This global competition will provide USG exchange program alumni with resources to promote women’s social and economic empowerment through AWE. Programs should be designed with the objective of promoting women’s economic opportunities and ensuring women have the skills, capabilities, and resources they need to participate and excel in the economy. The AWE Team encourages proposals with both a high degree of alumni engagement and cost-sharing mechanisms.

AWE Program Overview:

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) established the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in 2019 to provide women with the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch or scale successful businesses. AWE (https://eca.state.gov/awe) is a flexible educational opportunity that combines localized coaching and mentoring with the online platform DreamBuilder, created through a partnership with Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School for Global Management and the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.

Program Format:

Program is held for 2-4 months (on average). Cohorts of approximately 30 women meet online and in-person to learn core business skills such as strategic planning, marketing, and finance, then discuss the material with local facilitators, business leaders, and U.S.exchange alumni mentors. (Note: DreamBuilder is available only in English and Spanish, although the implementing team may conduct mentoring and facilitation in local languages.)

The Embassy will accept proposals to support the implementation of AWE to strengthen business skills among women entrepreneurs and stimulate greater alumni engagement.

We expect to receive proposals of no more than six (6) pages that support initiatives such as opening new AWE cohorts, offering follow-on entrepreneurship programming to AWE alumni, and conducting AWE alumni engagement activities locally or regionally.

There is no set amount of funding for this proposal. Last year’s proposals had an average budget of $45,000. 

Proposals must carefully and clearly justify the budget amounts requested. To maximize budgets, alumni are encouraged to leverage funds when possible and seek cost-share and in-kind support for AWE from local organizations, host government partners, and private sector businesses.


Eligibility/Special Considerations:

Special consideration will be given to proposals that:

          have an active involvement of alumni of U.S. exchange programs and demonstrate strong engagement of alumni in AWE program design;

          focus on the participation of disadvantaged or marginalized persons or communities;

          are willing to collaborate with private and public-sector partners on cost-sharing arrangements;

          commit to begin programming by July 31, 2023.


Application Closing Date:

Deadline: November 25, 2022 17:00

Competition results announcement: February 2023

AWE implementation start date: by July 31, 2023


Info Sessions:

Online Info Session (Teams): November 4, 2022, at 11:30

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 251 487 906 82

Passcode: 6WZkvc 

In-person Info Session (AAA Conference room): November 10, 2022, at 18:30

Info-session registration: https://forms.gle/Wnv6gxMHhbLUdYo18


AWE Participants and Audiences:

The intended beneficiaries are young women from regions and the capital looking for ways to improve their economic opportunities as entrepreneurs or finding quality jobs through building skills, knowledge, and networks. Selected candidates must be available for both online and in-person programming.

Application Review Process:

The AWE Team will assess all applications for technical eligibility based on the following scoring criteria:

          Quality of the executive summary (15 points);

          Strength of program design (20 points);

          Degree of ECA exchange alumni engagement in AWE programming (20 points);

          Budget and budget narrative; inclusion of cost-sharing mechanisms (20 points);

          Strength of communication, media and outreach plans (15 points);

      Structure of monitoring and evaluation strategy (10 points).


Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins.

If you are interested in applying to the AWE2023, please request an application package from Alumni Outreach Program Coordinator Lamiya Suleymanzada SuleymanzadaLH@state.gov.

Applications should be emailed to Alumni Outreach Program Coordinator Lamiya Suleymanzada SuleymanzadaLH@state.gov until November 25, 2022, by 17:00.  Please be sure to send all attachments in one email message and include your first name, last name, and program name in the subject line of the email.