Applications are now open for the Financial Resilience and Economic Empowerment (FREE) Fund to achieve Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality. FREE Fund aims to ensure long-term investment in the economic empowerment of adolescent girls and young women.
FREE is envisioned as a pooled funding mechanism designed to support the needs of adolescent girls and young women. With foundational investment from Standard Chartered, FREE will accelerate progress towards SDG 5 and SDG 8 by increasing the economic opportunities available to girls and women.
FREE will fund proposals that prioritize the long-term economic resilience of adolescent girls and young women. In particular, it is envisioned that FREE will aim to support adolescent girls and young women
Regain Employment: Regain employment and be re-trained for new opportunities.
§ Setup Small Business: Set up/evolve micro and small businesses, including seed funding, training, or the adaptation of existing businesses to focus on new products or services.
§ Develop Skills: Develop skills that will allow girls and women to earn a living and put these to use in the job market or through entrepreneurship, including boosting engagement with STEM subjects.
§ Enhance Financial Literacy and Engagement: Ensure adolescent girls and young women can access financial information, products and services that cater to their specific needs.
§ Address Unpaid Work: Address the disproportionate burden of unpaid work on girls and women, ensuring that they can attend school or other training opportunities, take part in paid work and participate in social and community-building activities.
§ Ensure Freedom from Violence: Ensure adolescent girls and young women have the right to live free from violence. This includes domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, infanticide, early & forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and sexual exploitation and assault.
§ Expand Influence: Expand young women’s and girls’ representation, voice, and decision-making influence in their communities or at the workplace.
§ Access Health: Increase access to girl-friendly information and services about sexual and reproductive health and rights, including proper nutrition, family planning and mental health.
§ Create Role Models and Networks: Create role models and give adolescent girls and young women a support network.
§ Tackle the lack of freedom of Movement: Ensure that adolescent girls and young women have the agency and independence to move freely and safely.
§ Individual women (18+) can apply for:
§ Up to $2,500
§ Up to $5,000
§ Registered youth-led, women-led, and other community-based organisations and Women’s Funds can apply for:
§ Up to $10,000
§ Up to $25,000
§ Up to $50,000
In the first round of funding, FREE will fund projects in the following seven countries