Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs (AWCE)

Duration: 2021-2023 

Location: Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania)

Budget: $2.1 million (Global Affairs Canada: $2 million; AKFC: $100,000) 

Reach: 6,325 people (2,742 women) 

This number does not include the women entrepreneurs, their families, and other stakeholders within the climate entrepreneurship ecosystem who will benefit from program interventions over the longer term.  


AWCE is a $2.1 million, two-year initiative contributing to poverty reduction by identifying and promoting good practices to support women entrepreneurs in climate-related value chains. It will develop a road map for international development stakeholders to provide further gender-responsive support to women climate entrepreneurs and intermediaries. 

This program is implemented through a partnership between the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), World University Service of Canada (WUSC), and Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC). AKFC is leading on program implementation in Kenya and Tanzania. 

By supporting both capacity-building and the creation of an enabling environment, the program aims to foster a gender-smart, sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

Key activities include: 

  • Strengthening local entrepreneurship support organizations (i.e., incubators and accelerators) by providing training to enhance their capacity to apply a gender lens to their portfolio. 
  • Providing technical assistance on the integration of gender equality in operations through ANDE’s Catalyst Fund and AKF’s Accelerate Prosperity (AP) program. 
  • Engaging key stakeholders on the importance of integrating gender equality in climate finance. 
  • Providing training to enhance the capacity of investors to integrate gender lens investing in their portfolios. 

“Women entrepreneurs are leaders in addressing climate change. Together we can help break down barriers they still face in growing green businesses and increasing the capital available to them to succeed in bringing innovative climate-smart products and services to market.” — Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director of ANDE

Program Highlights: Video


Icon of a report.

Infographic: Program Overview (PDF, 703 KB)

Icon for a report.

Infographic: Meet some women climate entrepreneurs (PDF, 795 KB)

Report: Towards a Gender-Transformative Climate Finance Roadmap (PDF, 8 MB)

Learn more