An official website of the United States government

Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Spain 2023
July 18, 2022


Funding Opportunity Title:  Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Spain 2023
Funding Opportunity Number:  NOFO AWE 2023
Application Deadline:  October 30, 2022

Please refer to detailed review schedules in section IV.
Award Floor: $18,000 USD
Award Ceiling: $90,000 USD

* NOTE: Cost-share is not required, however, if provided, please detail whether the cost-share is through in-cash or in-kind contribution and approximate dollar amount. Cost-share will not be included in the criteria for evaluation.

CFDA Number:  19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

References:  Standard Department Terms & Conditions  [English PDF] 

Eligibility Category: Spain or Andorra-based non-governmental organizations, foundations, business organizations, academic institutions, think tanks, government agencies, public institutions with a non-profit status, or similar U.S.-based organizations with a partner organization based in Spain or Andorra.

Electronic Requirement:  Proposals must be submitted by email to SpainPDGrants@state.gov.


Funding Opportunity Description

The Public Diplomacy Sections of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona (referred to collectively as “PD Spain”) announce an open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program for participants in Spain and Andorra.

The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has established the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) as a program supporting women entrepreneurs around the world. AWE uses DreamBuilder, an online training program for women entrepreneurs that was developed through a partnership between Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Management and global copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan to teach women how to create their own business plans, understand how to raise capital, and connect with networks of successful business owners.  Additional information is available at the following link: https://eca.state.gov/awe

Applications must follow the instructions outlined below.

Priority Region:

Project activities may take place in any Spanish or Andorran city or rural area.

Program Objectives:

Entrepreneurship is a means to respond to new economic challenges, create jobs, and fight social and financial exclusion. The goal of this project is to share lessons and practices from the United States with new businesses operating in the Spanish and Andorran entrepreneurial ecosystems and prepare them for potential collaboration with U.S. clients, customers, and investors.  The project also aims to empower women entrepreneurs in Spain and Andorra to fulfill their economic potential, and in doing so, create conditions for a more prosperous society.

The objective of the project is to engage English-speaking Spanish/Andorran or non-U.S. foreign resident female entrepreneurs in Spain and Andorra with different profiles and backgrounds in an educational program to equip them with the skills needed for the successful development of their business ideas.

The awardee will develop a program aimed at increasing the entrepreneurial capacity of AWE

beneficiaries that integrates the English-language DreamBuilder (dreambuilder.org) online course as one of its key components. A single AWE program must encompass at least five facilitated in-person sessions that will provide the participants with an opportunity to discuss the topics addressed in each of the DreamBuilder modules, and to build a network of like-minded entrepreneurs amongst the participants. The modules may be augmented to target relevant specific challenges faced by Spanish and Andorran entrepreneurs, and to accommodate the topics of guest speaker talks.

Applicants are encouraged to build a comprehensive program in support of the skills gained by participants through the DreamBuilder sessions. These may include mentorship activities, guest speaker talks, partnerships with business incubators, speed-networking, and/or pitch competitions.

Participants of this program should be comfortable taking a course and completing assignments in English. Awardee should be able to demonstrate extensive experience in organizing entrepreneurship or business programs and should have an established network of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors throughout Spain or Andorra.

Responsibilities of the Awardee:

The awardee will be responsible for:

  • The recruitment of AWE participants between the ages of 20 and 45, who have recently started a business or have demonstrated interest and progress in developing an entrepreneurial idea. Selected participants should feel comfortable speaking in English, and be willing to commit up to 4 hours a week for participation in the AWE
  • The design, publication, and promotion of the call for applications through traditional and/or social media platforms and organizational networks that will maximize the number of women reached.
  • Review applications and preselect program participants. The awardee will organize and conduct final interviews for selection of participants and alternates.  The awardee may determine additional selection criteria beyond the basic eligibility parameters.
  • Designing the format, locations, target regions/audiences, number of cohorts and participants per cohort, within the established framework, as well as the overall coordination and logistics of the project.
  • Structure partnerships with entities, experts, NGOs, foundations, or academic institutions for enrichment of the program. The awardee may identify joint programming opportunities to maximize the project impact.
  • Adequate staffing of facilitated AWE events and relevant travel arrangements.
  • The awardee may propose additional, country-specific teaching modules to complement the DreamBuilder course. These additional modules should target relevant specific challenges faced by Spanish and Andorran entrepreneurs.
  • The recruitment and selection of at least two entrepreneurs or business leaders who will act as facilitators and will coordinate and be in charge of all logistics all virtual and in-person gatherings that will follow the completion of each DreamBuilder module. These facilitators will become mentors and trainers of the AWE participants.
  • Identify and provide an appropriate AWE location with sufficient space and internet bandwidth.
  • Monitor attendance and participation of AWE beneficiaries, maintaining regular communication with the participants to troubleshoot and resolve any unexpected issue.
  • Report program’s progress to PD Spain in a timely fashion, per guidelines and reporting periods identified in the award.
  • 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 Spain or Andorra program.
  • PD Spain welcomes proposals which incorporate participants of former AWE programs in Spain and Andorra or other alumni of U.S. government sponsored programs in their projects.

Participants and Audiences: 

The target audience for the program should be women with newly-created businesses or those with an advanced business idea aged between 20 and 45, with sufficient English skills and computer literacy to complete the English-language version of the DreamBuilder curriculum. Ideal participants will be women who have recently started a business without a structured business plan or have a demonstrated interest in developing a business idea. Participants must be energetic and available to commit up to seven hours a week for studying the course content, participating in discussions, networking opportunities and other events as part of the program.

PD Spain will welcome projects incorporating migrant/refugee female entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs resident in Spain or Andorra who are citizens or nationals of other countries (excluding U.S. Citizens). These projects should detail initiatives and ideas to provide migrant/refugee female entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills relevant to their experiences, an environment where their businesses can flourish and grow, and offer solutions to the more usual problems that they confront.

The number of participants per cohort ranges between a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 30.

Federal Award Information

Length of performance period: A maximum of 12 months.
Number of awards anticipated: A range of 1 to 4 awards.
Number of Participants per cohort: A minimum of 15 and a maximum of 30.
Award amount: Up to approximately $18,000 per cohort, plus follow-on activities.
Total available funding: $90,000 (Subject to availability of funds).
Type of Funding: FY2023, funding authority rests in the Fulbright-Hays Act.
Anticipated program start date: Spring 2023.

This notice is subject to availability of funding.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant.

Program Performance Period: Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less. The Department of State will entertain applications for continuation grants funded under these awards beyond the initial budget period on a non-competitive basis subject to availability of funds,  satisfactory progress of the program, and a determination that continued funding would be in the best interest of the U.S. Department of State.

Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

The following organizations registered in Spain or Andorra are eligible to apply:

  • Registered public or private non-profit organizations, such as business associations, foundations, and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience.
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions; and
  • Governmental institutions

For-profit or commercial entities are not eligible to apply.

U.S. or third-country organizations are not eligible for a grant under this program unless in partnership with a Spanish or Andorran entity.

Applicants must have organizational representation (i.e. an existing office) in Spain or Andorra.

Organizations with extensive experience in business or entrepreneurship and with an established network, all preferably in Spain or Andorra, will have priority among applicants.

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 and valid registration on SAM.gov, as well as a NCAGE code. Please see the grants section of the website for more detailed instructions.

4. Only organizations having valid SAM.gov registration will be considered as eligible applicants.

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. 

Application and Submission Information

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.

1. Application Submission Deadline: All applications must be received by October 30, 2022. This deadline is firm and if an organization fails to meet the deadline noted above their application will be considered ineligible and will not be considered for funding.

2. Application Submission Process: Proposals should be submitted to the U.S. Embassy Madrid and Consulate General Barcelona Public Affairs Sections at the following email address: SpainPDGrants@state.gov. Applicants must include the Funding Opportunity Title and Funding Opportunity Number in the subject line of their email. Applications must be submitted in English. Applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail from the Embassy and/or Consulate to indicate that we have received your proposal.

The following requirements must be met for all submissions:

  • Budgets can be listed in USD or EUR
  • All documents must be in Microsoft Office file formats.
  • All documents must be single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.
  • All pages must be numbered.

3. The application package should include:

  • Cover Letter (optional): Applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter on the organization’s letterhead containing the proposal’s submission date, project title, project performance period, and primary purpose of the project.
  • Proposal Summary: Brief narrative that outlines the proposed project, including its objectives and how it advances the Embassy’s policy goals. Project summary should be one page maximum and clearly indicate the organization DUNS number.
  • Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information so that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. Applicants must submit a complete proposal that includes the items listed below. (The proposal should not exceed 10 pages total.)
  • Introduction to the Organization: A description of past and present operations. Please include information on 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 project is needed.
  • Project Goals and Objectives: The “goals” describe what the project intends to achieve at its completion. How will the project further the relationship between the United States and Spain?  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments that lead to the achievement of the goals.  The goals should be measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and indicate how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the project is expected to work and how it will solve or address the stated problem.
  • Proposed Project Schedule: The proposed timeline for undertaking and completing the specific project activities. Dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events should be included.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles of the key personnel to be involved in the project. Who will work on the project? What responsibilities will they have? What qualifications do they have?  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this project (e.g. total monthly/yearly salary at 5%)?  Please indicate if any of the key personnel are alumni of a U.S. government-funded exchange program.
  • Project Monitoring and Evaluation: This is an important part of successful applications. 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 project? Include indicators the award will track to report on the program’s progress. At minimum, a monitoring and evaluation plan for an AWE Spain award must include the following:  the number of participants, demographic information of those participants, the number, type, and location of viewing sessions offered, course enhancement activities and meet-ups, routine follow-up surveys and, in some instances, follow-up calls/meetings to determine programmatic effectiveness as well as how program participants applied information gained through AWE Spain
  • Potential for Multiplier Effect/Longer-term Impact/Sustainability: The proposal should include a discussion of the follow-on impact of the project, even after the end of the program through the multiplier effect or through expected follow-on activities by the AWE participants, mentors and facilitators
  • Media/Communications Plan: How will the applicant use traditional and social media to raise awareness about this project and its results?
  • Proposed Budget: Listing of all project expenses, consistent with the proposal narrative, project activities and USG-wide budget categories. Types and amounts of funding your organization has received for the current project from other partners should be included. Include a budget narrative to explain any costs that are not self-explanatory. Please see below “Guidelines for Budget Submission.”
  • Other Attachments:
    • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
    • Letters of support from program partners, if applicable, describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner. The letters must identify the type of relationship to be entered into (formal or informal), the roles and responsibilities of each partner in relation to the proposed project activities, and the expected result of the partnership. The individual letters cannot exceed one page in length.
    • If your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA) and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a PDF file.
    • Official permission letters, if required for program activities
    • If you have completed the SAM.gov process, a screenshot showing your active SAM.gov status, or if you have still have not completed the SAM.gov registration, a screenshot from SAM.gov reflecting that you have started the process.

4. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM.gov)

All organizations applying for grants must obtain these registrations. All are free of charge:

  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Request for a NCAGE

Application page here, clicking on the REQUEST CODE button: https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/CageTool/request-new-cage

For NCAGE help from within the U.S., call +1-888-227-2423
For NCAGE help from outside the U.S., call +1-269-961-7766
Email NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in getting an NCAGE code.

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM.gov by logging onto: https://www.sam.gov

System for Award Management Non-Federal User Guide is available here.

Please note that your registration in www.sam.gov must be renewed annually.

To finalize your registration or if you need further assistance in connection with registration in www.sam.gov, you may contact the Federal Service Desk at https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/home.do

5. This Notice of Funding Opportunity and the related project contest cannot finance any of the following:

  • Long-term infrastructure needs and construction projects.
  • Materials and equipment (unless purchased for the purpose of providing training to the participants and contingent on a maintenance plan)
  • Partisan political activity
  • Trade activities.
  • Fund-raising campaigns.
  • Commercial projects.
  • Scientific research.
  • Projects aiming only at primary institutional development of the organization
  • Programs that support specific religious activities
  • For profit endeavors
  • Programs intended primarily for the growth or institutional development of the organization
  • Charitable activities.
  • Projects that duplicate existing projects.
  • International travel, unless specifically justified within the project and in line with the Fly America Act (see more at https://www.gsa.gov/policy-regulations/policy/travel-management-policy/fly-america-act);
  • Although on rare occasions PD Spain does fund the travel of U.S. experts who are participating in conferences in Spain, such programs must be part of wider public programming coordinated with the U.S. Embassy, rather than limited to the presentation of scientific or academic research or participation in a single conference or event.

Application Review Information

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

  • Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea – 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 – The 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. The project proposal demonstrates that the organization has sufficient expertise, skills, and human resources to implement the project. The organization demonstrates that it has a clear understanding of the underlying issue that the project will address. The organization demonstrates capacity for successful planning and responsible fiscal management. This includes a financial management system and a bank account. Applicants who have received grant funds previously have been compliant with applicable rules and regulations. Where partners are described, the applicant details each partner’s respective role and provides curriculum vitae (CVs) for persons responsible for the project and financial administration. Proposed personnel, institutional resources, and partners are adequate and appropriate. Organizations with extensive experience in business or entrepreneurship and with established network, all preferably in Spain or Andorra, will have priority among applicants.
  • Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives – Goals and objectives are clearly stated, and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
  • Budget – 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 – 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.
  • Media/Communications Plan – Applicant explains how traditional and social media will be used to raise awareness about this project and its results.

A Review Committee will evaluate all eligible applications. Successful applicants will receive official written notification by email and detailed information on finalizing grant awards.  Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

Grant awards are contingent upon availability of U.S. Government funding and signing of official grant documents.  Verbal or other informal communications cannot be considered official notification of an award, and applicants may not incur expenses for a proposed project until all required administrative procedures have been completed.

Award Administration

Award Notices: The grant award shall be written, signed, awarded, and administered by the Grants Officer.  The Grants Officer is the U.S. government official delegated the authority by the U.S. Department of State Procurement Executive to write, award, and administer grants, fixed amount awards and cooperative agreements.  The assistance award agreement is the authorizing document, and it will be provided to the recipient.  Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified in writing.

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

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 generally be made in one installment.

Reporting Requirements: All awards issued under this announcement will require both program and financial reports on a frequency specified in the award agreement.  The disbursement of funds may be tied to submission of these reports in a timely manner.

All other details related to award administration will be specified in the award agreement as well.  Final programmatic and financial reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period. Progress reports at a minimum should be submitted via electronic mail to an address to be provided in the award.

Guidelines for Budget Submissions 

  • Personnel: Use this budget category for wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the project.
  • Travel: Use this budget category for the estimated costs of travel and per diem for this project. If the project involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel either in the Project Activities Description or as an attachment.
  • Equipment: Use this budget category for all tangible, non-expendable (non-disposable) machinery, furniture, and other personal property having a useful life of more than one year (or a life longer than the duration of the project), and a cost of $5,000 or more per unit.
  • Supplies: Use this category for building, conservation, and other materials that will be consumed (used up) during the project.  If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, then put it in the budget under Equipment.
  • Contractual: Use this budget category for goods and services that the applicant intends to acquire through a contract with a vendor, such as masonry repair and re-pointing services that include the costs of materials as part of a contract, or professional photographic services that include photographic prints as part of the contract.
  • Other Direct Costs: Use this budget category for other costs directly associated with the project, which do not fit any of the other categories. Examples include shipping costs for materials and equipment, and the costs of utilities (water, electricity, Internet) required for the project.  Applicable taxes, if any, should be included as part of your budget. “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

“Cost Sharing” refers to contributions other than the U.S. Embassy Madrid grant being applied for. It includes in-kind contributions such as volunteers’ time, donated venues, admin support, etc.

“Counterpart contributions” by the involved organizations are encouraged and funds or in-kind, such as staff time, space, etc., should be mentioned in the estimated value.


If you have any questions about the grants application process or would like a proposal template, please contact PD Madrid at SpainPDgrants@state.gov