Awa Prize 2023 - Entrepreneurs with impact

The prize for women entrepreneurs in the green and circular economy.

Kathia Gretta Iradukunda, winner of the Awa Prize 2022, observes a field of water hyacinths on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

Discover the Awa Prize

The Awa Prize is a competition organised by Enabel which highlights women entrepreneurs from Belgian development cooperation countries and their projects.

In 2023, the Awa Prize awards entrepreneurs active in the green and circular economy.

1 prize, 4 categories, 12 winners

The Awa Prize celebrates the work of women who have a positive impact on their communities through their business.

Each year, 12 entrepreneurs from the Belgian development cooperation are awarded a prize.

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Prix du public

In each category, three entrepreneurs will be highlighted and will receive the first, second and third prize respectively.

Find the complete rules of the competition here.

The first prize

Up to €50,000*

Spent to support/coaching, based on your company’s needs.

One week in Belgium

To meet entrepreneurship circles and inspire one another.

The second prize

Up to €10,000*

Spent to support/coaching, based on your company’s needs.

The third prize

Up to €5,000*

Spent to support/coaching, based on your company’s needs.

*Prizes are awarded after an assessment of the needs of the Winners by the Organiser or by an entity designated by the Organiser. The support plan is to be formalised by the Winners or the Candidates receiving a prize and the Organiser.

The winners of the first Awa Prize pose with the Queen of Belgium and Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez at the Awa Prize ceremony in Brussels on January 26, 2023.
Asmahan Ilian Sinokrot, winner of the Awa Prize 2022.

Why the Awa Prize?

Entrepreneurship knows no borders and no gender. All over the world, women and men are enlivening their communities through their businesses.

Nonetheless, a woman entrepreneur’s path is often strewn with obstacles which make her project more difficult to materialise. For example, inequalities linked to social norms, the time given to family care, difficulties in accessing the market and financing, or physical and psychological violence based on gender are obstacles for many women.

Aware of the economic stakes and committed to acting in favor of a better distribution of opportunities, Enabel has developed at the request of the Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities Policy, Meryame Kitir, the Awa Prize, Entrepreneurs with impact.

The Awa Prize is a contest which sheds the light on businesses and the women who lead them. But beyond this competition, the Awa Prize aims at federating a community of entrepreneurs around shared values, in order to fight against socio-economic inequalities.

Through the Awa Prize, many events will be organised at the local and international levels in order to raise awareness for men and women about the opportunities that women’s entrepreneurship can create. These events will enable progress on actions which can be developed to remove the persistent obstacles.

An entrepreneur in Guinea stands in front of her business.
A Rwandan artist weaves a basket at the Awa Prize cereony in Kigali, 2023.

Who is the Awa Prize for?

To apply to the Awa Prize, you must:

*Participating countries for the 2023 edition: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DRC, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Palestine, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda.

You will find the complete rules of the competition here.

Questions? Get in touch!

Would you like to know more about the Awa Prize? You couldn’t find the information you were looking for ? Don’t hesitate to contact us through e-mail ( or on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages!

BIO invests directly and indirectly in small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries, contributing to socio-economic growth of host countries. Find out more.