Academy for Women Entrepreneurs


Notice of Funding Opportunity


Funding Opportunity Title: Academy for Women Entrepreneurs 2024
Deadline for Applications: November 25, 2023
Submit to:

Funding Opportunity Number: PAR-AWE24
Assistance Listing Number: 19.040
Total Amount Available: $40,000.00


The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of U.S. Embassy Paramaribo announces an open competition for eligible organizations or individuals to submit applications to implement the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program in 2024 in Suriname. PAS invites proposals from non-profit organizations, civil society organizations, and U.S. government alumni organizations to design and implement an entrepreneurship program based on either the DreamBuilder or the Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. The program should equip women entrepreneurs with skills and knowledge to grow their businesses and adapt to adverse economic situations while growing a local network of women-led businesses.  The intended program should empower women entrepreneurs to realize their full economic potential.

The program may be held in several locations running cohorts of up to 30 participants and should include local facilitators, business leaders, and U.S. exchange alumni mentors.

Please follow all instructions below.

Program Objectives and Goals: 

Implemented in 2019 by the U.S. Department of States’ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), AWE supports women’s social and economic empowerment by providing women with the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch or scale successful businesses and thereby participate in and excel in their local economies. By promoting women’s full participation in the economy, AWE aligns with both the United States’ Interim National Security Strategy and the National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.

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. 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.  This year, implementors may also use a new online curriculum, in whole or in part – the Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative – alongside or instead of DreamBuilder.

The successful applicant will ensure the successful implementation of AWE by liaising with the U.S. Embassy Paramaribo to create the program’s structure, identify and recruit the target audience, and ensure that all logistics and personnel are in place for the successful execution of the program.

Program Objectives:
The proposals should meet the following objectives:

  • Provide resources for women to engage in U.S.-style online education with guided facilitation and localization from ECA exchange program alumni, local women business leaders, or other local partners.
  • Foster networks that support participants’ access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partners, and scaling opportunities with businesses in the region and in the United States.
  • Build a network of female entrepreneurs that is committed to supporting and promoting relationships that help grow businesses and drive local partnerships, and
  • Equip participants with skills and knowledge to build sustainable businesses

Proposals submitted should clearly address program implementation showing the proposed activities and suggested speakers.  Applicants should give a detailed recruitment strategy for the target population, clearly specifying how the Embassy would be involved.  The proposal should include ideas for follow-up activities after program implementation to assess the impact of the program.  Proposals with sustainability and/or cost sharing built in are preferred.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate extensive experience in organizing entrepreneurship or business programs and should have an established network of entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout Suriname.

Responsibilities of the Awardee:
The Recipient agrees to coordinate and administer the program and meet the specific objectives below:

  • Recruitment of AWE participants ages 18 years and older, who have recently started a business or have demonstrated interest and progress in developing an entrepreneurial idea. Selected participants of this program should be comfortable taking a course and completing assignments in English and be willing to commit up to 4 hours a week for participation in the AWE.
  • Design and promote the call for applications through traditional and/or social media platforms and organizational networks that will maximize the number of women reached, including women in underserved communities.
  • Assume responsibility for receiving and reviewing applications and selecting the applicants/participants for this program.
  • Arrange and identify all logistics related to hosting the opening and closing ceremonies as well as any other program events/activities.
  • Identify a skilled and experienced facilitator who will lead class sessions, create content for the sessions that supports DreamBuilder program or 100 Million Learners’ Initiative content and is adaptable to reflect local practices and regulations in Suriname. The facilitator will be present for all sessions to provide program continuity.
  • Assign a representative to review and provide guidance on participant’s business plans and pitch activities.
  • Identify and contract external speakers for the workshop and the pitch competition.
  • Execute a comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation Plan consisting of a series of data collection and assessment activities during the program, and after the program completion to evaluate the effectiveness of this AWE program.
  • Collaborate with the Embassy on the implementation of program/sessions
  • Collaborate with the Embassy to identify external speakers for sessions from the network of ECA alumni of exchange programs.
  • Provide quarterly updates on the execution of the project, inclusive of attendance records and relevant engagement surveys.
  • Liaise with the Embassy and provide immediate updates on challenges or issues encountered
  • Update the Embassy on program design.
  • Maintain a register of AWE participants.
  • Collect and share images and videos of the cohort for use as testimonials by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

PAS Paramaribo welcomes proposals which incorporate participants of former AWE programs or other alumni of U.S. government sponsored programs in their projects.

Participants and Audiences:

  • Female citizens and residents from Suriname selected by a competitive application process. AWE participants should commit to complete the program, have proven computer skills, and have access to the Internet or a reliable data connection
  • Ages 18 years and older
  • Applicants from underserved communities
  • Applicants’ business is not older than 2 years
  • Applicants can also have a business idea


Length of performance period: 6 to 12 months
Number of awards anticipated: one award (dependent on amounts)
Total available funding: $40,000.00
Type of Funding:  FY24 Smith Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds
Anticipated program start date:  August 01, 2024
Proposals should generally be no more than six (6) pages in length.
Funding Instrument Type:  Grant
Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.

This notice is subject to availability of funding.


1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations are eligible to apply

  • Not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations
  • Public and private educational institutions
  • Individuals

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Although cost share is not required, it is strongly encouraged.  When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal.

3. Other Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number issued via as well as a valid registration on Please see Section D.3 for more information. Only organizations having valid registration will be considered as eligible applicants. Individuals are not required to have a UEI or be registered in

Applicants are only allowed to submit one proposal per organization. If more than one proposal is submitted from an organization, all proposals from that institution will be considered ineligible for funding.

Applications are accepted in English only, and final grant agreements will be concluded in English.


1. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms required below are available at

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

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

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms
  • SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance – organizations or SF-424-I Application for Federal Assistance –individuals
  • SF-424ABudget Information for Non-Construction programs
  • SF-424BAssurances for Non-Construction programs (note: the SF-424B is only required for individuals and for organizations not registered in
  1. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant’s name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  1. Proposal (6 pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. You may use your own proposal format, but it must include all the items below.
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual applying: A description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous grants from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments on the way to the goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.  Include a logic model as appropriate.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is an important part of successful grants. Throughout the timeframe of the grant, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to make sure it is meeting the goals of the grant?
  • Media/Communications Plan: How will the applicant use traditional and social media to raise awareness about this project and its results?

Other Attachments:

  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • If you have completed the process, a screenshot showing your active status, or if you still have not completed the registration, a screenshot from reflecting that you have started the process.
  1. Budget Justification Narrative:  After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate sheet of paper to describe each of the budget expenses in detail.  See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Use this budget category to describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Use this budget category to estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Equipment: Use this budget category to describe any machinery, furniture, or other personal property that is required for the program, which has a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the program), and costs at least $5,000 per unit.

Supplies: Use this budget category to list and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.

Contractual: Use this budget category to describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Use this budget category to describe other costs directly associated with the program, which do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Indirect Costs:  These are costs that cannot be linked directly to the program activities, such as overhead costs needed to help keep the organization operating.  If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, attach a copy of your latest NICRA. Organizations that have never had a NICRA may request indirect costs of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   It also includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time and donated venues.

Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain a SAM registration in order to be eligible for a grant. (Registration is free of charge).

If an organization plans to issue a sub-contract or sub-award, those sub-awardees must also have a unique entity identifier (UEI number).  Those entities can register for a UEI only at

The UEI will be assigned when an organization registers or renews its registration in at  To access an organization is required to have a account. Organizations can create an account at   As a reminder, organizations need to renew their registration annually.

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. is the Federal government’s primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements.  OMB designated as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance.  Under the law, it is mandatory to register in

Any applicant with an exclusion in the System for Award Management (SAM) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.”

US-based organizations: A CAGE code will be automatically assigned when the U.S. organizations registers in  CAGE must be renewed every 5 years.  Site for CAGE: Grantees may be asked for more information to finalize the process and must comply.

Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than Friday, November 25, 2023, at midnight.

Funding Restrictions

Award fund cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages or to settle personal expenses of the project implementer. Award funds cannot be used for construction.

Other Submission Requirements

All application materials must be submitted by email to



Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below:

  • Strength and feasibility of program design – 20 points:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.
  • Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Grants – 15 points: The applicant/organization has expertise in its stated field and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
  • Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – 15 points: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Degree of ECA exchange alumni engagement in AWE programming – 5 points: A clear description of how applicant/organization will incorporate participants of former AWE program or other alumni of U.S. government sponsored programs in the program.
  • Budget – 10 points: The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.
  • Monitoring and evaluation plan – 15 points: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured.
  • Sustainability – 10 points: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.
  • Support of Equity and Underserved Communities – 10 points:  Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in program administration, design, and implementation.
Review and Selection Process 

A review committee will evaluate all eligible applications.


Federal Award Notices:

The grant award or cooperative agreement will be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer. The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document and it will be provided to the recipient for review and signature by email. The recipient may only start incurring program expenses beginning on the start date shown on the grant award document signed by the Grants Officer.

If a proposal is selected for funding, the Department of State has no obligation to provide any additional future funding. Renewal of an award to increase funding or extend the period of performance is at the discretion of the Department of State.

Issuance of this NOFO does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government, nor does it commit the U.S. government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, the U.S. government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.

Payment Method: The standard form SF-270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement Payments may be submitted in the amounts required by the recipient to carry out the purpose of this award. Payments will be made in multiple installments.

Administrative and National Policy Requirements:

Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications which will apply to this award, to ensure that they will be able to comply.
These include:

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of State will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following:  NOTE:

  • Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register’s 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:
    • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR part 200.205),
    • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115—232) (2 CFR part 200.216),
    • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (§§ 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341),
    • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR part 200.322), and
    • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law, if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR part 200.340).


Reporting Requirements: Recipients will be required to submit financial reports and program reports.  The award document will specify how often these reports must be submitted.   The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner.

Foreign Assistance Data Review: As required by Congress, the Department of State must make progress in its efforts to improve tracking and reporting of foreign assistance data through the Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR). The FADR requires tracking of foreign assistance activity data from budgeting, planning, and allocation through obligation and disbursement.  Successful applicants will be required to report and draw down federal funding based on the appropriate FADR Data Elements, indicated within their award documentation.  In cases of more than one FADR Data Element, typically program or sector and/or regions or country, the successful applicant will be required to maintain separate accounting records.


If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact: