Notice of Funding Opportunity

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. EMBASSY
QUITO PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION

Notice of Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity Title:             U.S. Embassy Quito and U.S. Consulate Guayaquil, Public Affairs Sections (PAS)  Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Funding Opportunity Number:      PAS-SEC-FY20-01

Deadline for Applications:               April 10, 2020

CFDA Number:                                19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs

Maximum:     $25,000

 

  1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Public Affairs Sections (PAS Ecuador) of the U.S. Embassy Quito and U.S. Consulate Guayaquil of the U.S. Department of State (U.S. Mission) are pleased to announce an open competition for organizations and individuals to submit applications to organize, plan and implement the AWE Leadership Bootcamp for graduates of Ecuador’s Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), with funding through the Public Diplomacy Grants Program.

The AWE program is the U.S. Mission’s flagship entrepreneurship program.  Ecuador’s program began as a pilot program in 2017 and has nearly 450 graduates in 13 cities, and new cohorts opening imminently in Machala and Galapagos. Given its success in creating jobs and income for women-led businesses, AWE was later scaled from Ecuador’s model to 26 countries worldwide.  In 2020, Ecuador plans to significantly expand the AWE program with an additional 1000 women entrepreneurs in all 24 provinces.

The AWE program consists of a 12-week training program that strengthens business skills among women entrepreneurs in areas like digital marketing, finance, sales, customer service, and business management.  AWE cohorts of 30 women meet weekly and use Arizona State University’s DreamBuilder online platform to develop and refine their business plan.  They also meet with trainers and coaches to deepen their skills with self-assessments, peer-mentoring sessions, and pitch competitions. In some ways, the social capital that develops among women in the AWE cohorts is as valuable as the new knowledge and technical skills they gain in the program because it pays itself forward;  many AWE cohorts continue to meet after the program ends, organizing events and supporting women-led businesses in their communities.

Despite the gains they have made in their businesses, AWE graduates continue to face challenges to growing their businesses and require advanced training in areas like digital marketing and sales, legal issues and registrations, and import/export regulations.  Additionally, the 2020 changes to Ecuador’s entrepreneurship laws are relevant but poorly understood by this target group.  Lastly, PAS Ecuador sees great value in strengthening the leadership capacity of core groups of women from each cohort so that they can conduct trainings, organize events and further support women entrepreneurs in their home communities.

Purpose of the Grant:   

PAS invites proposals to design and implement the AWE Leadership Bootcamp to:

  • Provide advanced training in key entrepreneurship topics where women have expressed a need;
  • Strengthen the leadership capacity of a core group of women from each of 13 cohorts across Ecuador.
  • Increase regional networking among AWE cohorts to increase the inter-connectedness of the national AWE network and promote continued program sustainability.

The proposal should include a U.S. element, connection with U.S. expert/s, organization/s, or institution/s in order to increase understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.

Overview of the AWE Leadership Bootcamp

The AWE Leadership Bootcamp will be a three-day, overnight bootcamp in a centralized location in Ecuador that is easily accessible by most regions of the country.  The AWE Leadership Bootcamp will conduct the following activities:

  1. Provide advanced training on entrepreneurship in areas of expressed need, to help women’s individual businesses grow and prosper;
  2. Conduct leadership training core groups of women from each cohort, to promote an increase in trainings, peer mentoring, and events within AWE cohorts;
  3. Host a pitch competition where AWE teams compete for small pots of money to be to create strategic alliances and promote greater inter-connectedness among cohorts.

The following topics are some of the reported needs by AWE graduates. PAS Ecuador will work with the grantee to determine the final core learning areas. ** This is not an exhaustive list.

Entrepreneurship

 

·         Digital Marketing

·         “Legalities” – patents, business registration

·         Accessing credit

·         Financial management

·         Sales techniques

·         Photographing products

·         Export/import

·         Product packaging

·         Branding

Leadership

 

·         Networking

·         Conflict resolution

·         Innovation, creativity

·         Negotiation

·         Self-presentation / image

·         Time management

·         Social entrepreneurship

 

 

Key Responsibilities

The project grantee, with assistance and insight from the U.S. Embassy and AWE leaders, will oversee the following activities:

  • Training Curriculum: Using focus group information already collected by PAS Ecuador, the grantee will design a training curriculum that addresses key expressed needs by AWE graduates.  The grantee will identify trainers and coaches to implement this curriculum during the bootcamp. The curriculum should focus on entrepreneurship topics as well as develop leadership potential.
  • Recruitment: The grantee will open a call to the AWE alumni network of nearly 500 women invite participation in the Bootcamp. The participant requirements and selections will be made in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy. The “AWE Leadership and entrepreneurial Bootcamp” must include 5 leaders of each AWE cohort, for a total of 70 AWE leaders from across the country.

Logistics: The grantee will handle all of the bootcamp logistics, which includes securing and booking venues; ensuring adequate WiFi connectivity and other equipment requirements; arranging lodging and transportation for all participants and facilitators; providing guidance to all participants and facilitators; and securing volunteers as needed.

  • Agenda: The grantee will design an agenda for a 3-day bootcamp that focuses on advanced training in entrepreneurial topics, leadership training, and a pitch competition.
  • Pitch Competition: The grantee will manage a pitch competition during the bootcamp. Participants from each city will present a project proposal that will be developed in each location upon the return of that cohort’s participants. PAS Ecuador will make funding available (through a separate funds not part of this NOFO), to be used to support follow-on activities in each cohort. The best proposals will win additional money to host regional events. The goal is to stimulate both self-organized trainings and events in each cohort, as well as strengthen interconnectivity between cohorts.
  • Media: The grantee is expected to design a media plan and secure media coverage. PAS Ecuador can assist as needed with media and messaging.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: The grantee is expected to implement pre- and post-exposure surveys to gather data about knowledge, attitude and practice among women entrepreneurs before and after the training. PAS Ecuador can assist in designing the surveys. The grantee is also expected to comply with reporting requirements, and submit a six-month and 12-month follow-up evaluation that details the activities reported by each cohort in relation to each city’s activity plans developed during the pitch competition.

Timeline:

A prospective timeline for the program is as follows:

  • April: Grantee is selected, grant awarded.
  • May:             Bootcamp planning, curriculum development
  • June: Recruitment
  • July: Implement the 3-day bootcamp
  • January: 6-month follow-up survey with participants
  • July: 12-month follow-up survey with participants

Participants and Audiences:

This bootcamp will host about 80 participants. Participants should be five (5) graduates from each of 15 AWE graduated cohorts and two (2) training cohorts in the following cities. Since Quito has three cohorts, only 3 participants from each cohort will be requested, for a total of 9 participants from Quito.

  • Quito 1 [3 participants]
  • Quito 2 [3 participants]
  • Quito 3 [3 participants]
  • Guayaquil
  • Duran
  • Ambato
  • Manta
  • Puyo
  • Riobamba
  • Esmeraldas
  • Cuenca
  • Ibarra
  • Santo Domingo
  • Azogues
  • Loja
  • Galapagos (in training)
  • Machala (in training)

Authorizing legislation, type and year of funding:

The source of funding is FY2020 Public Diplomacy Funding.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD INFORMATION

Length of performance period: up to 12 months

Award amount: $25,000

Type of Funding:  Fiscal Year 2020 Public Diplomacy Funding

Funding Instrument Type:  Grant or Cooperative Agreement.

Project and Budget Periods: April 2020 to August 2021

The U.S. Embassy in Ecuador, Ecuador Public Affairs Section reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described in the absence of worthy proposals or under such other circumstances as it may deem to be in the best interest of the U.S. government.

  1. ELIGILIBITY INFORMATION

 

  1. Eligible Applicants

The Public Affairs Section encourages applications from U.S. and Ecuadorian:

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non-governmental organizations with programming experience
  • Individuals
  • Non-profit or governmental educational institutions
  • Governmental institutions

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

  1. Other Eligibility Requirements

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

In order to be eligible to receive an award, all organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet, as well as a valid registration on www.SAM.gov.  Please see Section D.3 for information on how to obtain these registrations.  Individuals are not required to have a DUNS number or be registered in SAM.gov.

  1. APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

 

  1. Application Package

Application forms required below are available at:  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html

  1. 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
  • All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and
    • All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory application forms

Application Requirements for awards to Organizations:

  1. Summary Coversheet:  Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, start and end date of program, and brief purpose of the program.
  2. Proposal (three pages maximum): The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do and what the program will accomplish. 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.  What aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and Ecuador will be improved?  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.
  • Proposed program schedule: 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?
  • Media plan: All submissions must include a detailed press and social media plan that outlines how the implementer will publicize the activities and goals of the 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 time-frame 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?
  • Future funding or sustainability: Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the grant period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  1. Budget Justification Narrative: After filling out the SF-424A Budget (above), use a separate spreadsheet to describe each of the budget expenses in detail. See section H. Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
  2. Attachments (if applicable):
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities
  1. Required Registrations:

All organizations applying for grants (except individuals) must obtain these registrations.  All are free of charge:

  • Unique Identifier Number from Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS number)
  • NCAGE/CAGE code
  • SAM.gov registration

Step 1: Apply for a DUNS number and an NCAGE number (these can be completed simultaneously)

DUNS Registration:  Request a DUNS number online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.  For technical difficulties, contact Dun & Bradstreet by email at govt@dnb.com.  U.S.-based entities may also request a DUNS number by telephone by calling the Dun & Bradstreet Government Customer Response Center, Monday – Friday, 7 AM to 8 PM CST at the following numbers: U.S. and U.S Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711

D&B Resources:

http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/index.jsp – United States

https://www.dnb.com/about-us/our-worldwide-network.html – International

Once assigned a DUNS number, entities are responsible for maintaining up-to-date information with Dun & Bradstreet.

NCAGE registration: application page here https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/scage/CageList.aspx

Instructions for the NCAGE application process:

https://eportal.nspa.nato.int/AC135Public/Docs/US%20Instructions%20for%20NSPA%20NCAGE.pdf

For help from within the U.S., call 1-888-227-2423

For help from outside the U.S., call 1-269-961-7766

Step 2: After receiving the NCAGE Code, proceed to register in SAM by logging onto: https://www.sam.govSAM registration must be renewed annually.

  1. Submission Dates and Times:

Pending funds availability, applications submitted for consideration before April 30, 2020, will be considered for this fiscal year.

  1. Funding Restrictions:
  • Infrastructure/construction
  • Development projects/programs
  • Individual scholarships
  • Personal development
  • Social travel/visits
  • Gifts or prizes
  • Alcohol
  • Food and drink not directly related to the program outcome
  • Venture capital
  • For-profit endeavors

All application materials must be submitted by email (.pdf or .doc formats only, not iCloud) to contactocultural@state.gov.

 

  1. APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

 

  1. Criteria

A grants review panel will review and evaluate each application based on the criteria outlined below:

U.S. Component:  The project has a clear U.S. component that incorporates U.S. expertise, processes, or personnel.

Organizational capacity and record on previous grants:  The organization has expertise in its stated field and PAS is confident of its ability to undertake the program.  This includes a financial management system and a bank account.

Quality and feasibility of the program idea:  The program idea is well developed, with details about how program activities will be carried out.  The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Goals and objectives:  Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Embassy priorities:  Applicant has clearly described how stated goals are related to and support U.S. Embassy priority areas and target audiences outlined in section A.

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.

Sustainability:  Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

 

  1. FEDERAL AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

 

  1. Federal Award Notices

 

A U.S. government Grants Officer will award, sign, and administer the grant award or cooperative agreement.  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.  No actions or costs can be incurred before the grant is approved and 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:  Payments will be made in at least two installments, as needed to carry out the program activities.

Organizations whose applications will not be funded will also be notified via email.

  1. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

 

Terms and Conditions: Before submitting an application, applicants should review all the terms and conditions and required certifications that 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.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm.

Note the U.S Flag branding and marking requirements in the Standard Terms and Conditions.

  1. Reporting

 

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.

  1. FEDERAL AWARDING AGENCY CONTACTS

If you have any questions about the grant application process, please contact PAS at: contactocultural@state.gov

Note:  We do not provide any pre-consultation for application related questions that are addressed in the Program Statement.  Once an application has been submitted, U.S. government officials and staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is complete.

  1. OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel:  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. 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 and administration 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.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.