Support for Private Sector Development in the MENA Region

The Office of the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) seeks proposals in support of its goal of promoting prosperous societies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) where education, specialized skill training, and an environment conducive to business development inspire innovation and

create a foundation for long-term economic growth and an internationally competitive private sector.

Through this Request for Applications (RFA), MEPI seeks to support organizations promoting sustainable economic growth for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises; provide assistance to growing numbers of the unemployed, marginalized, and disenfranchised persons; and support those individuals and organizations advocating a more liberal and transparent economy in the Middle East and North Africa.

This RFA is consistent with President Obama’s May 2011 speech on the Arab Spring, in which he stated, “Just as democratic revolutions can be triggered by a lack of individual opportunity, successful democratic transitions depend upon an expansion of growth and broad-based prosperity.” In that speech, President Obama referred to the importance of involving the people of the region in the economy:
“The greatest untapped resource in the Middle East and North Africa is the talent of its people… That energy now needs to be channeled, in country after country, so that economic growth can solidify the accomplishments of the street.” Through this RFA, MEPI seeks to fund programming that will spur economic growth across the MENA region.

MEPI considers the following, long-term objectives critical to achieving this goal:
Entrepreneurship increases; A conducive environment for trade, investment and business development exists; and Merit-based employment of target populations increases MEPI welcomes applications from any registered U. S. or foreign non-profit organization; non-governmental organization; private institution; institutions of higher education (non-profit or for-profit); commercial entity; or small business with functional and regional experience in the areas of economic governance, organization strengthening, and entrepreneurship and workforce development in the MENA region.

Applicants should specify their key competencies in these specific areas and outline their regional and country-specific expertise.

Applicants may submit one proposal to each of the following program priority areas:
Economic Advocacy; Skills Training and Opportunities for