Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs

Building the gender-lens investing ecosystem for women climate entrepreneurs to grow scalable climate-related businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

About AWCE

Through this project, ANDE, in consortium with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) and World University Service of Canada (WUSC) with funding support from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), seeks to build the gender-lens investing ecosystem for growth-oriented women entrepreneurs to grow scalable climate-related businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. AWCE will contribute to poverty reduction and response to climate change by identifying and promoting good practices to support women entrepreneurs in climate-related value chains and developing a road map for international development stakeholders to provide further gender-responsive support to women climate entrepreneurs and intermediaries.

In April 2022, ANDE extended the opportunity to support two additional projects for the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs (AWCE) project, with funding support from FMO, Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank. ANDE is providing one-year grants of up to $65,500 per entrepreneur support organization to build the gender lens investing ecosystem for women climate entrepreneurs to grow scalable climate-related businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. In July 2022, ANDE announced three winning organizations drawn out of more than 300 total applications within the first round of applications in July 2021 and another two projects funded under the second round. Learn more.

AWCE Fund - Current Grantees

The AWCE Fund has awarded projects in Sub-Saharan Africa to address the financing gap and support the growth of women climate entrepreneurs in the SGB sector. Winners receive one-year grants of $30,000-$65,500 to test models for increasing gender-lens investing into women climate entrepreneurs through innovative approaches. The call for applications was released in July 2021 and three winners were announced in November 2021 and an additional two winners were announced in July 2022.

Westerwelle Foundation

Implementing a green sector hackathon for 100+ female entrepreneurs in Rwanda and supporting up to 15 selected teams to develop and validate their sustainable solutions over a period of eleven months.

Kawjo Foundation

Promoting women-led markets in Malawi through upscaling and promoting the use of climate-smart fish processing technologies.

Future Females Empowerment Initiatives

Piloting 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.

Africa Aquaculture Resource Center [AARC]

Piloting a fish farming social enterprise in Kenya that uses solar powered aquaculture production technology to intensify fish yields from subsistence levels to profitable commercial levels. The project aims to establish a ‘Fish Farming Estate’, consisting of a group of at least 12 women entrepreneurs, to field test and ascertain the operational, economic, financial, and climate adaptation viability of the technology.

Tele-Bere Green AgroFarms

Piloting four model integrated farms in Ghana that use small solar-powered irrigation systems in Ghana’s semi-arid Northern Savanna Ecological Zone. Working closely with 65 women climate entrepreneurs the project will promote Agroforestry, year-round cultivation of vegetables integrated with economic fruit trees and the development of small aquaculture schemes. This project will also create decent green jobs.

Learnings from AWCE Project

After one year of implementing the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs (AWCE) project at ANDE, a learning brief was created to share key takeaways.  The report discusses strategies for supporting women entrepreneurs in climate-related value chains  as well as investment and programming opportunities in the climate entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. 

ANDE hopes to expand the knowledge base of stakeholders in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem and encourage best practices in the climate–and gender–lens field. The brief is specific to the AWCE project and does not capture all related research regarding the topic.

Read the report in English or French.

Read the report
The Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs project is possible thanks to: