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Call For Proposals: ECOWAS Youth Business Incubator Programme (EBIP) 2021 Edition

Date : 01 Sep 2021 - 10 Sep 2021
Venue : Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso,
Town : Ouagadougou
Country : Burkina Faso





ECOWAS is committed to the economic empowerment of youth which is key to the development and integration of the region. To achieve this, relevant policy and programme frameworks are developed and implemented. Youth a major population group but are vulnerable to economic and social challenges confronting the region. Their vulnerability, imposed by prevailing socio economic circumstances, has thrown up issues of unemployment, irregular migration, trafficking in persons, trafficking in illicit drugs etc. Conscious of these development challenges, ECOWAS is not relenting in evolving appropriate measures and working with development partners and other critical stakeholders to address the issues.

Youths represent more than 70% of the population of the region, and are impacted greatly by the Corona virus pandemic and other challenges which include: terrorism, insurgencies, poverty, unemployment, forced migration, human trafficking, drug trafficking and numerous other problems propelled by the effects of climate change and environmental degradation especially in the Sahel axis of the region.

Conscientious efforts are made by ECOWAS to carry along young men and women who are the victims of the effects of these challenges in its regional integration process. Programmes and interventions being implemented are made inclusive to ensure no one is left behind in line with the UN dictum of social inclusion. It became incumbent therefore to expand the list of interventions and projects to include youth empowerment initiatives, which potentially will go a long way in mitigating the impact of covid – 19 and other socio economic challenges in the region. The ECOWAS Youth Business Incubator Programme is a youth empowerment programme adopted as a practical project that will contribute in filling up the gap created, to ensure adequate inclusion and participation of youth of the region.

Business incubation

The Business incubator for ECOWAS Youth Organizations is a youth empowerment initiative which seeks to build the technical, economic and organizational capacities of youth from various ECOWAS member states, and provide them with employable skills to be able to incubate their businesses and be self-employed. The programme is projected also to strengthen the skills of the youth through the exchange of information and coaching, with a focus on experiences, methodologies and best practices. It will further support them to access financial and technical support for their businesses and enterprises.

The project which will commence with three countries in the Sahel region targeting  3000 youths i.e. 1000 youth from each member state in the next five years. It is envisaged in the pilot phase that the process will enable the incubation of 40 innovative projects, which have the potentials for job creation and sustainability.The projects identified will be supported and transformed into sustainable enterprises. Three member states (Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali) in the Sahel region of ECOWAS will be targeted in the first phase of the programme. When implemented successfully, the programme will facilitate taking off the streets youth in these countries, and open up opportunities for young men and women to be self employed


The overall objectives of the ECOWAS BIP project is to provide an enabling environment, and needed support for youth organizations to establish their business entities thereby  creating  jobs in their states.

Specific Objectives

Specifically, the business incubation programme will:

  • Provide capacity building, technical assistance, and financial support to emerging young businessmen and women o create and sustain their businesses.
  • Strengthen the capacity and empower young men and women to be self-reliant
  • Provide business support services to enterprising youth of the region.
  • increase number of youth based SMEs in member states
  • Provide business management skills; access to financial services and capacity building
  • Share knowledge and impart best practices on sustainable enterprises
  • Create employment through small business development and partnerships
  • Mentor young men and women in enterprise development and business


  • Skills training and capacity building workshops (Training on Incubation Modules, Developing and Implementing Business Plans, Business management, Financial management and services, Knowledge sharing and best practices)
  • Business support services (Mentoring, Access to Credit and Financial support)
  • Needs assessment and development of operational document
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Incubator operational Implementation

Expected Outcome


  1. Reduction in rate of poverty among youth of the region
  2. Reduction in the rate of unemployment among youth
  3. Growing a crop of young businessmen and women in the region.



The incubation programme consists of 2 weeks training for youth selected for the incubation capacity training. Selection for the exercise will be based on a competitive process whereby prospective participants will be invited through a call for proposal to submit Concept notes and business proposals on one of the three areas for the incubation workshop. The three areas proposed for the workshop are:

  • Pharmaceutical Products (Covid) enterprise
  • ICT business enterprise
  • Solar energy technology business enterprise

For the pilot phase of the programme, 13 candidates will be selected for each of the three Sahel countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger

The training will involve:

  • Skills training and capacity building on (Incubation Modules, Developing and Implementing Business Plans, Business management, Financial management and services, Knowledge sharing and best practices)
  • Business support services (Mentoring, Access to Credit and Financial support)
  • Needs assessment and development of operational documents (Business Plans
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of Incubator operational Implementation

At the end of the incubation training exercise, each participant is expected to develop and submit a business plan to qualify for the start up support to be provided on graduation.

The Incubation training will be full boarding to be held in a reputable training Centre with all the required facilities for the training. The President of the ECOWAS Commission will award the graduand Incubators with certificates and the start up support to be provided




Participants for this pilot edition of the incubators capacity building workshop will be drawn from three member states from the Sahel area of ECOWAS. The countries are: Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. 13 candidates will be selected from each of the countries. Only candidates from these three countries are eligible to participate in the programme.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the ECOWAS Business Incubators Programme, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen/national of Burkina Faso, Mali or Niger;
  • Be a youth aged from 18 to 35 years by December, 2021;
  • Submit a concept note and business proposal on any of the three areas of focus:
  • Pharmaceutical Products (Covid) enterprise
  • ICT business enterprise
  • Solar energy technology business enterprise
  • Business proposal submitted must bring innovative solutions to the youth challenge in the region
  • Candidates must be graduates of at least a tertiary institution with basic knowledge of area of competence (focus)

Date and Venue


The training will take place at the Zinaire Training Centre, near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in September/October,

Submission of Applications/Business Proposals

Completed applications and business proposals are to be submitted to the following email address

Closing Date

Prospective candidates should submit their applications and business plans on or before 10 September 2021, by 5 p.m. We


Template for the Business Proposal


All candidates should use the template provided below to submit their business proposals


I.  Identification
1.1.      Name:
1.2.        Project Title
1.3.      Country/Organization
1.4.      Business Plan Type:
1.5.      Strategic Business Plan Axis :
1.6.      Business Location:
1.7.        Age
2. Project Description
2.1.      Background and Rationale of the Business:
2.2.      Purpose of the Business:
2.3.      Business Objectives
2.4.      Business Component(s) and Cost
3. Phases and Implementation Timeline
3.1.      Business Plan Timeline
3.2.  Stages of the Business implementation (Please use the table below)
4. Budget
4.1.      Funding available and sources (Funding may be provided as stipulated in the Guidelines)
4.2.      Funding gap (Indicate any funding that may be provided / mobilized to the business)
4.4.       Financial management experience  
5. Business Implementation
5.1. Staff and Technical Partners associated in the business/programme (Please provide information on the number and the experience of staff involved in the business activities)


5.2. Activities to be implemented (Please describe the business activities)
6. Deliverables
6.1.      Beneficiaries:
6.2.      Deliverables:
6.3.      Expected Impact
7. Performance indicators



(Please indicate one or more indicators per activity that will be used to assess the progress and performance of the business, and the achievement of the expected results.)
8. Monitoring provisions Please explain how you will monitor the implementation and performance of the business.)
9. Sustainability (Please describe what the prospects are for the benefits of the business being sustained after the grant has been spent. What measures are being put in place to ensure sustainability?)


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