Notice of Funding Opportunity: The Road to Global Entrepreneurship Week

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Celebrated for one week each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest festival of the innovators, change makers and job creators who launch startups and initiatives that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare.

The purpose of  The Road to Global Entrepreneurship Week grant is to implement activities during and leading to the week of 8–14 November 2021 that will inspire Palestinian entrepreneurs through local, national, regional and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, will aim to enhance the participants skills and connect them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors in the United States and throughout the world—introducing them to new and exciting opportunities and creating partnerships with the American business sector.

It is anticipated that the award resulting from this NOFO will be a cooperative agreement; therefore, the recipient will be expected to closely coordinate with PAU-PD and leverage other PAU-PD programs and tools through the substantial involvement of the Grant Officer and his/her designee.

Innovation and creativity in proposals are highly encouraged.  In addition to a clear substantive American and Palestinian exchange or engagement element that must be included in all projects, successful projects should incorporate many of the following elements (elements are listed in no specific order):

1. Clearly defined specific project objectives, with specific supporting goals, quantifiable project benchmarks and/or milestones and a robust monitoring and evaluation plan.

2. A series of events, academic and professional lectures, seminars, speaker sessions, roundtables, networking, trainings, during and leading to GEW official commencement large event.

3. A focus on GEW 2021 programming that complements, harmonizes, and synchronizes to the extent possible with other current and past GEW activities. Examples include playing a leading role in coordinating GEW activities with other non-governmental organizations/institutions, and/or by reaching currently underserved populations, working in areas where little exposure or opportunities are currently offered, or addressing important topics underrepresented in ongoing or past programs.

4. Programming of activities that seek to increase global awareness about and investment in Palestinian startups and IT outsourcing options, while also offering practical training to Palestinian entrepreneurs and freelancers who are looking to scale, such as:

  • Palestinian Pitch Day:  An event offering an opportunity for top Palestinian startups (5-10 total) to pitch their ideas in front of investors and venture capital firms, with a focus on making connections to American organizations and generating capital for Palestinian business ideas.  In the lead up to the event, the implementing partner would ideally work with the startups to refine their pitches and provide needed skills and knowledge to be successful.
  • Palestinian IT Outsourcing Roundtable:  An event focused on connecting up-and-coming Palestinian outsourcing firms to regional, American, and European tech companies with a goal of creating new business partnerships.  The Palestinian participants would ideally have an opportunity to present their companies, describe their value proposition, and offer testimonials from satisfied customers.

5. Programming of activities that encourage regional connectivity with private sector ecosystems in tech that further integrate Palestinian tech into regional markets

6. The creation, strengthening, or expansion of youth and women’s entrepreneurship networks that encourage and facilitate the transfer of skills and sharing of resources between members.

7. Subject matter roundtables with the participation of other international development organizations, American companies or experts, and key stakeholders to discuss specific issues such as the role of the higher education to promote employment, social responsibility in the Palestinian private sector, regulation to empower innovation, and fostering diversity to cultivate entrepreneurship.

8. A social entrepreneurship component that focuses on empowering change makers and partnerships with the private sector through approaches such as networking events, competitions, and small grants.

9. A sustainable strategic plan to provide program participants with knowledge, networks or skills of lasting value and application beyond the term of the project, focusing on American business best practices and ideas

10. An integrated project messaging/media plan designed to amplify the reach of key program messages and opportunities to the Palestinian public.

11. An innovative approach that highlights American expertise or U.S.-Palestinian partnerships and creates/strengthens networks between Americans and Palestinians.

Note that no funding distributed under this NOFO may be used for investment or seed funding for a for-profit entity.  

Priority Region: Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza.

Program Objectives: 

All proposed projects must aim to advance the PAU-PD mission goals stated above, contain a substantive American element, and achieve maximum possible impact meeting the overall objective to empower the Palestinian entrepreneurial ecosystem to thrive as well as celebrate innovation through focused activities utilizing the elements illustrated above. As well as achieve at least one of the following objectives:

  • Increase and Create awareness of and interest in entrepreneurship and turning ideas into action.
  • GEW participants gain relevant skills through offered technical trainings and opportunities to develop soft skills like teamwork, problem solving, and pitching.
  • Increase global awareness about and investment in Palestinian startups and IT outsourcing options.
  • Connect Palestinian start-ups to investors and venture capital firms, with a focus on making connections to American organizations and generating capital for Palestinian business ideas.
  • Connect up-and-coming Palestinian outsourcing firms to regional, American, and European tech companies with a goal of creating new business partnerships.
  • Create, strengthen, or expand youth and women’s entrepreneurship networks that encourage and facilitate the transfer of skills and sharing of resources between members.
  • Foster connections and dialogue between international development organizations, American companies or experts, and key stakeholders in higher education and private sector that will result in collaboration opportunities and established partnerships.
  • Increase awareness of Social Entrepreneurship aspects and empower change makers.
  • Improve the Palestinian people’s knowledge of American expertise, American businesses best practices and U.S.-Palestinian partnerships.

In accordance with the proposed activities, applications must include specific project objectives, with specific supporting goals, quantifiable project benchmarks and/or milestones and a robust monitoring and evaluation plan. Based on which, award specific objectives and outcomes will be developed and included in final award.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible primary applicants for grant funding must be not-for-profit American or Palestinian organizations based in or with experience and/or partners working in Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza.

Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than: June 21, 2021. Applications must be submitted electronically (by e-mail) to the Jerusalem PAU Private Sector Engagement Office (PSEO) at JerusalemPAUPSEO@state.gov by the due date specified above. Please reference the NOFO number in the subject field of the e-mail.

Organizations wishing to submit proposals to the Public Affairs Section should review the following documents and forms:

Note: The SF-424, SF-424-A, and SF-424-B are available at https://www.grants.gov/forms/sf-424-family.html

Please find the optional templates below:

  1. Optional Template – Project Proposal Template (MS Word 51 KB)
  2. Optional Template – Detailed Budget Spreadsheet Template (MS Excel 34 KB)
  3. Optional Template- Budget Narrative Template (MS Word 59 KB)