The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) through its institution, COMFWB with support from the NEPAD Spanish Fund for African Women Empowerment (NEPAD Spanish Fund) which is financed by the Kingdom of Spain is implementing the Business Incubator for African Women Entrepreneurs (BIAWE).  BIAWE aims to establish and upgrade a network of business incubators in the COMESA region that will contribute to the increased survival and growth of women enterprises. Specifically the project aims to:

  1. To increase the number of women entrepreneurs accessing business support services from business incubators
  2. To increase the women entrepreneurs that access affordable credit to improve and grow their businesses
  3. To strengthen partnerships between public and private sector  and establish a women mentorship initiative

BIAWEis a pilot project is aimed at addressing some of the major challenges faced bywomen involved in small and medium scale enterprises. The Business Incubatorfor African Women Entrepreneurs are working environment designed to foster thegrowth of new and emerging small businesses, nurturing young firms, helpingthem to survive and grow during the start-up period when they are mostvulnerable. The business incubators will be designed to;

  1. Provide business support services to women involved in agro processing, ICT and handcrafts (including textiles) where the project provided the required equipment for these sectors activities.
  2. Address the major challenges facing these women entrepreneurs such as inadequate value added and processing skills, business management skills, support to access to financial services, conformity to quality norms and standards
  3. Mentoring and Coaching of the incubates through an effective linkage and partnership with the National COMFWB Chapters


The project focuses on value added agro-processing, handcrafts and ICT as demand driven and also guided by regional experience and its activities involve training; follow up assessment and support provision, and credit guarantee to assist women to access credit to finance their enterprises, which will focus on providing business incubation services. The entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to select viable business options based on personal interest, regional, national priorities and engage in mentorship of other women entrepreneurs.

SEDCO Stakeholders Meeting - 4 Sept 2018

COMESA Members States’ Institutions that participating the project implementation are:

  1. Burundi Business Incubator (BBIN): 30 residential incubatees in textiles
  2. Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI): 35 (30 residential and 5 non-residential/virtual incubatees in agro-processing)
  3. Sudanese Women General Union (SWGU): 36 (30 residential incubatees in agro-processing and 6 residential/virtual in ICT), The project will target the Sudan 18 states where two participants will be selected to be and trained and with the cooperation with states authority the participant will established the state branch of the business incubator.
  4. Small Enterprise Development Company (SEDCO): 50 (5 residential and 45 non-residential/virtual incubatees in agro-processing – poultry processing)

BIAWE targeted 145 African Women Entrepreneurs. The new enterprises formed by these 145 women entrepreneurs are expected to generate 580 jobs, assuming 1 enterprise will employ 4 people. Each of the entrepreneurs that will undergo the business incubation program will be expected to mentor 10 entrepreneurs in their countries of residence. Therefore an estimated 1,450 entrepreneurs will benefit indirectly through multiplier effect of the project.

Expected Outputs

  1. At least 80% of entrepreneurs successfully complete business incubation training in agro-processing, handcrafts, and ICT.
  2. At least 60% of the entrepreneurs will access finance through the credit guarantee scheme and/or any other financial institution in the respective member states.
  3. At least 50% of the incubated women entrepreneurs linked to the public and/or the private sector for enhanced market outlets and ease of access to raw materials and ingredients.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat and the European Union (EU) signed a Grant contribution agreement for the Regional Enterprise Competitiveness and Access to Markets Programme (RECAMP) in November 2019.

The actual implementation of the programme commenced on 1 January 2020 with the aim to align the programme implementation with the financial calendar of the COMESA secretariat. The implementation period for the programme is set for 48 months and is a total of EUR10,000,000.

Overall Objective

To contribute to the deepening of regional economic integration in the COMESA region through enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector

Specific Objective

To increase private sector participation in sustainable regional and global value chains by increasing access to markets and improving business climate.

COMFWB Activities

  • Training session on marketing and branding of goods and services.
  • Training session on financial literacy and access to finance
  • Training session on e-commerce and utilization of the women connect platform (50MAWSP)
  • Training on meeting regional and international market standards, testing and certification requirements
  • Building capacity of women to enhance their connectivity to global production networks.

Aim of activities: To build the capacity of the women entrepreneurs in the COMESA region on market to overcome barriers to internationalization and value addition.

RECAMP Resources

RECAMP Documents

On the RECAMP Documents page you will find various documents to that you will need to familiarise yourself with in order to participate in the programme. These documents are only available to qualifying candidate and as such the page in locked. For access to the page, kindly contact jmasanche@comesa.int (cc jmasanche@comfwb.org).

recamp documents

RECAMP Fact Sheet

RECAMP Fact Sheet
In English
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RECAMP Fiche d'Information
En français
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RECAMP Fact Sheet
بالعربية
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Participating Nations

RECAMP 1

Comoros
DR congo
eritrea
eswatini
madagascar
rwanda
seychelles
sudan
tunisia
uganda
zambia

RECAMP 2

burundi
djibouti
egypt
ethiopia
kenya
libya
malawi
mauritius
somalia
zimbabwe

Implementing Partners