Frequently Asked Questions
Business Resilience Assistance for Value-Added Enterprises (BRAVE) Women Program is a 5-year multi-donor fund implemented in Yemen, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. BRAVE Women Program focuses on developing and increasing the economic opportunities for female entrepreneurs through skills training aimed at business viability-specific value chains. It will enhance the bankability, entrepreneurial, and market development skills of female-owned/led Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) critical to sustainable local growth and job creation.
Which countries are currently implementing BRAVE Women Nigeria? The BRAVE Women project is currently being implemented in Yemen, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso.
No. The program has as its primary target audience as women-led/owned SMEs. Under the programme, woman-owned / women-led SMEs are defined as having:
- ≥ 51% owned by a woman/women; or
- ≥ 20% owned by a woman/women, and have ≥ 1 woman as CEO/COO
- (President/Vice-President); and have ≥ 30% of the board of directors comprised of women, where a board exists;
Lead firms are well-established formal businesses that would be potential clients for private-sector financial services. They can impact a large number of MSMEs, including producers and other lead firms, by setting industry trends.
Read more about Lead Firms.
- Business Resilience capacity building: train at least 600 SMEs on risk assessment and develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
- Business Recovery support: provide matching grant support of $15,000-$50,000 for 500 SMEs and $40,000-$50,000 for Business Associations and Lead Firms.
- Value Chain resilience: assistance to firms with functional, process and product upgrades.
The stipulation set by a grant-providing body that the recipients of a grant raise a certain percentage of the money they require, generally a sum more or less equal to that of the sum of money being granted
Under the programme, a matching grant is a concept whereby 50% of the total fund is contributed by the business while BRAVE Women Nigeria contributes 50%. For example, if an entity requires $10,000 grant, it needs to deposit $5,000 into one of the Local Partner Banks while BRAVE Women Nigeria contributes the same amount.
You can expect to get trained on how to assess risk for your business and the process of developing a Business Continuity Plan.
Business associations support members in developing their production and business activities, protecting their interest, and representing them.
Each Business Association will be supported with a matching grant of up to US $50,000, of which a portion will be directly utilised to supporting other chain actors.
The training is open to the following groups/entities:
- Women entrepreneurs that have at least one year of business experience in a legitimate running enterprise from different sectors in the agribusiness, health, education, clothing and textile, and energy sectors.
- Women who own an independent entity business and hold a valid license, commercial license, or rental contract that proves their ownership.
- Women business owners that own another business investment elsewhere (mall, business incubation, or other business) and can provide an official rent contract for the business location.
SMEs that do not have legal licenses must get a license before signing a grant agreement.
No. You only need to have at least one year of experience legitimately running your business. However, you need to become formalised by registering at the CAC if you intend to apply for the matching grant.
For Women-led/owned MSMEs, Lead Firms, and Business Associations, the qualification criteria differ. Below are a few of those criteria
It is expected that all interested firms must have completed the Business Continuity Trainings (capacity building training). Additional selection criteria requires the SME to:
- Join and complete the Business Resilience Support training
- Prepare and submit their business continuity plans and commitment letters;
- Open a new bank account in one of the local partner banks.
- Provide a ‘Know Your Client’/KYC statement after opening the master accounts with the local participating banks.
For firms considering an application under this section, the eligibility criteria require lead firms to be formal businesses that can impact many MSMEs within their value-chain. These MSMEs could be producers, distributors, etc. Additional requirements include:
- Lead Firms should have commercial linkages with many MSMEs, that are consistent with the programme’s target group, e.g. fishers/farmers/beekeepers/health clinics, as either a buyer or supplier of products and services.
- Lead Firms should have sufficient financial strength to make investments or dedicate resources to business operations that will improve and expand relations with MSMEs, not just as corporate social responsibility but as a part of plans and strategies for their business.
- Lead Firms should invest in improved or expanded relations with MSMEs that may only show results over a period of 2-5 years.
- Lead Firms should be able to influence other Lead Firms and actors in the value chain in short timeframe (0-3 years).
Criteria for Business Associations
- Business Associations should invest in providing vital market and regulatory information to its members and supporting them to take advantage of opportunities or comply as needed.
- Business Associations should have the potential to reduce transaction costs and create economies of scale.
The grant can be used for any of the following:
- Product upgrading – to introduce new or improve existing products.
- Process upgrading – to improve the efficiency of existing production process.
- Functional upgrading: to identify activities to focus on, aid outsourcing activities and acquire new functions.
Vertical Activities: Provide information about market requirements, support member compliance, and provide training to improve production and management techniques.
Horizontal Activities: Help reduce transaction costs and create economic scale through partner grouping to increase small producers bargaining power.
- Construction of a warehouse: The grant can be used to finance material and labour cost
- Installation of machines/equipment: The grant can be used to procure will assets as well as cover related training costs
- Quality assurance and control systems, quality certification, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) or similar certification; minor measurement and test equipment
- Packaging and labelling design and production machines
- Introduction of information systems and telecommunication technology
- Training activities that are related to the applied assets
- Opening a new branch: The grant can be deployed towards procuring equipment, decoration, furniture etc
- Re-opening a business in another city: The grant can be deployed towards procuring equipment, decoration, furniture etc. as well as finance the rent
- Storage facilities
This means the product are per ISDB guidelines.
- the Disbursement is not in reimbursement of, or to be used for, expenditures for goods and services supplied by Israel;
- the Disbursement is not in reimbursement of, or to be used for, expenditures for any of the following:
- Production or trade in any product or activity deemed illegal under the laws and regulations of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, international conventions and agreements, or subject to international ban/sanctions.
- Production or trade in weapons and ammunition.
- Production or trade in alcoholic beverages.
- Production or trade in tobacco or qat.
- Gambling, casinos, and equivalent enterprises.
- Production or activities involving harmful or exploitative forms of forced labor.
Grant & Disbursement Questions
Once the grant application is received on the BRAVE Women Nigeria CRM, the application would immediately be evaluated by the Grant Judging Panel (GJP), who will ascertain the strengths of the application. After the GJP approval of the BCP, the PMU will provide the approvals case by case for each beneficiary to the partner banks to start the process of cash disbursements of the matching grant.
No. However, working together with the BRAVE PMU and the bank, the funds in the matching account would be disbursed for vendor payments of procured goods.
Yes, your money is very safe in the banks.
No. The matching grant support requires a 50-50 contribution to be eligible, with your full contribution paid into your account before receipt of the contribution from the Project.
The grant is meant to be used solely for the procurement of assets and business services that would make your business resilient and that support business recovery and growth.
In choosing supplier or vendor, beneficiaries should consider getting at least three competitive quotations to compare and arrive at the best to ensure they get value for money, receive the best quality, and enjoy good/reliable services.
Vendor or supplier requirement:
- The vendor/supplier must be a registered company with an office location
- The vendor/supplier must be ready to send quotation duly sign on its company letter head with full name, address of the company, telephone number and email address of the company
- Vendor/supplier must have invoice, receipt and other sales document
- Supplier/Vendor must have a functional account for payment
- The vendor or supplier must have tax identification number (TIN) to remit withholding tax on payment
- The vendor/supplier quotation must meet beneficiary specification
Yes, Lead Firms may procure equipment that may assist product upgrading