U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY RABAT
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Funding Opportunity Title: Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, Open Cooperative Agreement 2020
Funding Opportunity Number: PAS-MOROCCO-FY20-06
Deadline for Applications: Sunday, June 07, 2020
CFDA Number: 19.040
Total Amount Available: $18,000 – $25,000
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The U.S. Embassy in Morocco is pleased to announce the open competition to award a cooperative agreement for a new program, the “Academy for Women Entrepreneurs” (or “AWE”). The Public Affairs Office invites proposals from established Moroccan associations, committed and organized civil-society organizations, and academic institutions, to design and implement an intensive, one-week entrepreneurship “boot camp” that would provide approximately 50 emerging female entrepreneurs with critical skills for founding or scaling up their businesses and help develop a network among participants and trainers for future collaboration and support. U.S. and third-country organizations or nationals are not eligible for cooperative agreements under this program unless in partnership with a Moroccan entity.
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, which teaches women to create their own business plans, understand how to raise capital, and connect with networks of successful business owners. At this entrepreneurship-focused boot camp, participants will take part in facilitated training sessions featuring DreamBuilder, which offers modules on the fundamentals of launching and scaling up businesses. These sessions should be highly interactive and should be supplemented by in-person talks and workshops, including from successful Moroccan entrepreneurs and alumni of U.S. government exchange programs.
The AWE boot camp will target female Moroccan university students/recent graduates or professionals with aspirations to launch their own businesses, who are approximately 22 to 28 years old. Participants should be recruited via a competitive application process from around the country. TheDreamBuilder curriculum is in English so participants must be able to demonstrate requisite language skills.
The program will be held at a central location, selected by the awardee in consultation with the U.S. Embassy. Participants should be lodged at nearby residences or hotels. The awardee will be responsible for coordinating and paying for the travel and lodging of all participants to and from the program location.
All AWE activities should have a strong American focus. To supplement the facilitated “Dreambuilder” online sessions, the Embassy will work with the awardee to identify and recruit relevant local American business experts and professors in Morocco and/or business experts from the Moroccan branches of American companies to provide complementary lectures and workshops. The Embassy will seek to include a substantial proportion of female role models among these experts. The Awardee will integrate these experts into the boot camp curriculum and arrange and fund their travel and lodging. The sessions involving the Dreambuilder online courses will be conducted in English; supplementary workshops and talks may be conducted in English, Darija, or French.
Each proposal should meet the following objectives, in addition to strengthening understanding of U.S. values, institutions, and precepts:
- Expand participant’s understanding of the fundamentals of developing, launching, and scaling up a business.
- Expose participants to U.S. models for business development and connect them with American entrepreneurship experts.
- Facilitate the development of an ongoing network of female entrepreneurs who can offer support and ongoing best practices while sustaining their relationship with the U.S. Embassy.
Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that use a variety of interactive activities, workshops, and other learning experiences to help participants develop their entrepreneurship skills. All proposals should contain a proposed syllabus briefly describing how in-person speakers and other activities would supplement the online sessions in the attached Dreambuilder course description, and how these activities would relate to overall program objectives. Proposals should also include a detailed explanation of how applicants will be recruited and a description of how institute activities will bring about the intended results. Proposals should include ideas for at least one follow-on activity approximately two to six months after the institute that would allow all or select participants to deepen their entrepreneurship skills (please note that this award would not cover the costs of any such follow-on activity, which would be subject to additional funding resources).
Only Moroccan associations, committed and organized civil-society organizations, and academic institutions with full SAM registration and experience executing youth programs will be eligible to receive funding.
- Awardees will work closely with the Embassy’s Public Affairs Office to design and execute an intensive, week-long facilitated program for 50 Moroccan female entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs (age 20 – 28). Activities should include workshops, mentoring, and other interactive sessions. The activities should be innovative and hands-on.
- Awardees should recruit participants from across Morocco. A clear methodology of participant recruitment and selection should be detailed in the proposal, including efforts to ensure geographic and socio-economic inclusion.
- The cooperative agreement should cover the costs of a venue for the institute and travel, lodging, and full board for participants.
- The cooperative agreement should cover the costs of travel, lodging and full board for at least 10 local facilitators.
- The cooperative agreement should cover the costs of travel, lodging, and full board for at least five expert speakers.
- The cooperative agreement should cover funding for any materials necessary for the promotion of the AWE boot camp/recruiting participants and other materials for use in program activities.
- Awardees should be prepared to design and implement surveys, polls, or other methods for evaluating the institute’s effectiveness before, during and after the boot camp’s completion.
- The proposal should include information about how the awardee will identify and recruit local facilitators and experts.
- The proposal should contain a detailed sample agenda of sessions and activities.
- Awardees should be available to participate in weekly planning calls with the Embassy and/or the American trainer(s) until the launch of the institute.
- Equipment cannot account for more than 10% of the total project cost.
- The cooperative agreement will be only awarded to Moroccan associations, committed and organized civil-society organizations and academic institutions that already have a final registration receipt and an established bank account at the time that they apply.
- Moroccan associations, civil-society organizations and academic institutions applying to this program should have experience both in organizing large-scale programs as well as demonstrated knowledge of the entrepreneurship and business environment in Morocco.
- U.S. and third-country organizations or nationals are not eligible for awards under this program unless in partnership with a Moroccan NGO.
- All proposals must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy by June 07 2020. No late proposals will be considered.
- All applicants will be notified of funding decisions by Mid-June 2020, subject to the availability of funds.
C. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION
- Number of awards anticipated: one award.
- Approximate award amount: The amount may range from a minimum of $18,000 to a maximum of $25,000. Projects for lesser or greater values will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Funding may be renewed for up to an additional two years on a non-competitive basis pending successful performance and availability of funds.
- Type of Funding: FY20 Smith-Mundt Public Diplomacy Funds
- The awardee should plan to end the project by July 2021 with dates to be set in coordination with the Embassy.
This notice is subject to availability of funding.
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement. The Public Affairs Office will be actively involved in the award implementation. U.S. Embassy staff will:
- Provide standardized logos/branding guidelines for AWE promotional materials
- Initiate and participate in promotional activities, to include promotion of the AWE through the U.S. Mission to Morocco’s social media platforms and media engagements.
- Assist in identifying possible institute venues. Approve the selection of the venue.
- Approve participant, facilitator, and expert speaker recruitment and selection plans.
- Assist the implementing partner in developing a multistage review process for applicants, including an initial technical review of applications, review and creation of a short list, and process for interviews, which will include a panel of reviewers with Embassy representation.
- Assist in identifying and contacting alumni of U.S. government exchange program, representatives of U.S. companies, and U.S. Mission personnel as potential speakers or trainers. .
- Review and approve proposed institute speaker and trainer rosters and activity/workshop/site visit topics and formats.
- During the boot camp, use social media and outreach to print and television networks, as well as engagement by senior Mission officials, to showcase AWE for a wider Moroccan audience
- Collaborate with the awardee in assessing participant needs for post-boot camp additional training and assist in designing a follow-on activity.
D. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION
- To apply, please complete the Project Narrative Form, the Organizational Information Form, and the Budget Proposal template (in USD)
- A copy of the final registration papers for the organization and a copy of RIB certificate should be included
- Proposals must include a detailed syllabus of daily activities (Please use and attach your own form)
- Budgets must follow the budget template and should be submitted in U.S. Dollars (please use $1 = 9.500 MAD as exchange rate)
- If other partners are willing to support the proposed activity, please list them as well as their contribution.
- The following documents must be submitted to Rabatgrants@state.gov no later than Monday June 07, 2020.
- Project Narrative Form (in English)
- Applicant Organizational Information Form (in English)
- Budget Proposal (in USD)
- Evaluation and measurement plan – AWE (in English)
- Syllabus activities (Use your own template – in English)
For any questions, please contact: Rabatgrants@state.gov
All applicants must have the following registrations:
- Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number;
- NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code; and
- System for Award Management (SAM.gov) (If you have applied and have not yet received the registration number, provide proof of application).
Please apply for the D&B DUNS Number and NCAGE Code at the same time to reduce waiting time of information. The Legal Business Name and Address must MATCH EXACTLY when entering it into the D&B DUNS, NCAGE, and SAM.gov websites – this includes spaces, parentheses, capitalization, small letters, punctuation, etc. Self-registration in D&B DUNS, NCAGE, and SAM.gov is free of charge.
- DUN & BRADSTREET (D&B) DUNS/UNIQUE ENTITY IDENTIFIER (UEI) NUMBER
The DUNS/UEI number is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities.
Log onto the D&B website at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/searchAction.do
For assistance, contact D&B at the following email address: SAMHelp@dnb.com
While acquiring the D&B DUNS/UEI Number, please register to receive an NCAGE Code Number with NCS at the same time. See instructions below. Step by step information is also included here (Word – 567 KB).
- NATO COMMERCIAL AND GOVERNMENT ENTITY (NCAGE) CODE
NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) codes are required for all foreign entities to create an account in SAM.gov. The Code is a five-character ID number, and can take, at a minimum, 4-5 business days to create.
Steps to register: (Please use the Internet Explorer web browser)
Foreign registrants must log into: CAGE Code Request at https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx
Once in the NATO Codification Tools website, scroll to the right-hand corner and click the “Magnifying Glass.” The magnifying glass will open a new page.
Scroll down the right-hand side until you see “Request New,” click on this link and it will take you to the next page to apply for an NCAGE Code Number.
When asked if the entity to be registered is a supranational organization please click “No” (if you are not part of a member state).
Validate the newly assigned NCAGE Code via the Business Identification Number Cross- Reference System (BINCS) at https://www.dlis.dla.mil/bincs/begin_search.aspx.
If the assigned NCAGE is not listed in BINCS, the recipient should call 001-269-961-4623 or send a message to NCAGE@NSPA.NATO.INT.
For assistance by telephone, please call: 1-888-227-2423 (inside the U.S.) OR 001-269-961-7766 (outside the U.S.). E-mail NCAGE@dlis.dla.mil for any problems in obtaining an NCAGE code.
- SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT (SAM.gov): (Please use either the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browser)
SAM is a U.S.-government wide registry of vendors doing business with the U.S. federal government and requires annual renewal. The system centralizes information about grant applicants/recipients, and provides them with a central location to change their organizational information. More information about SAM.gov and useful guides for setting-up a new account, updating an existing account, or renewing an expired account can be found at: https://statebuy.state.gov/fa/Pages/SAMInfo.aspx.
Please complete ALL of the above steps before attempting to register in SAM.
- Log onto https://www.sam.gov
- If you have had an active record in The Central Contractor Registration (CCR), you may already have an active record in SAM. To check for an active registration, please conduct a “search” for your record using the organization name and/or DUNS Number in SAM. If you are not registered, your organization or entity will not be found.
- If your organization does not have an active registration, you must create a user account and input all information in the exact manner as you have for the IRS, D&B DUNS, and NCAGE.
- Complete and submit the online form.
If the applying organization already has the necessary information on hand (see the SAM User Guide), the online form takes approximately one hour to complete, depending upon the size and complexity of the applying entity. Because of the different steps in the process, it might take anywhere from three to fourteen business days to complete the process of creating an account with the system.
If you encounter any error, please contact the SAM Federal Service Desk to report problem at https://www.fsd.gov/clients. There is a standard (not toll free) number that customers can use 334-206-7828.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below.
Quality and Feasibility of the Proposed Institute Program: The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline, including for recruitment of participants, facilitators and expert speakers. Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program outline is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.
Organizational Capacity, Entrepreneurship Experience, and Record on Previous Grants/Program Implementation: The organization has expertise in the Moroccan entrepreneurship ecosystem, has experience managing complex projects, and has the internal controls in place to manage federal funds. This includes a financial management system and a bank account.
U.S. Component: There is strong participation of facilitators/expert speakers with a connection to the United States and application of U.S. business models.
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.
- Review and Selection Process
The Public Affairs Section will evaluate all eligible applications. The evaluation process will consist of two stages. First, a technical review will be completed to ensure that proposals and organizations meet the criteria set forth above. Second, a Grant Review Committee comprised of personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Rabat and the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca will evaluate eligible proposals on the basis of the criteria identified above.
F. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
- 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.
- Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Terms and Conditions: 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:
2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 600, Certifications and Assurances, and the Department of State Standard Terms and Conditions, all of which are available at: https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/pages/home.aspx
Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.
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.
G. OTHER INFORMATION
Guidelines for Budget Justification
Personnel and Fringe Benefits: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.