Thursday, February 11, 2010

AAFSW 50th Anniversary Special Professional Fellowships for Business Start Ups

Application deadline April 9, 2009

The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) recently announced a special one-time award of a limited number of fellowship funds to Foreign Service family members to support small business start ups. The one time financial award is in commemoration of AAFSW’s 50 years of service from 1960 to 2010, providing advocacy and support to the Foreign Service.

Click here to read more about this unique opportunity! (PDF)

Click here to download a fellowship application. (PDF)

According to the announcement, this program is based on criteria developed for the Family Liaison Office Professional Development Fellowships, ( 09 STATE 124971) with the caveat that this program funds small business start up costs, which are no longer eligible under the FLO program.

Funds for this program were donated by AAFSW members and Foreign Service community members. This program is a supplement for spouses who have entrepreneurial skills and are considering establishing a portable business overseas. Subject to budgetary considerations, fellowships of up to $1,500.00 will be granted on a reimbursable basis for business start up costs.  

Eligibility: Applicants must be the spouse, or partner of a civilian direct hire USG employee assigned to or residing at an overseas post under chief of Mission authority. The applicant must also be a member of AAFSW at the time of application. Membership information is available on or by emailing

Application Procedures: Applications should include the applicant’s name, the name of the sponsoring employee, post and dates of assignment and current contact information. Applications must contain a one to two sentence synopsis followed by a detailed description of the business proposal. The proposal should be directly related to the spouse’s professional interests and skills and how the business will enhance the applicant’s employment as a portable career option. Proposals should include a budget that will provide a general outline of expenses involved and give an indication of how the stipend would be used. The applicant should also include a proportion of the project costs (for example 25% of total costs) that will be self funded. The application should be limited to two (2) pages.  All applications received will be acknowledged by email within 5 business days of receipt.

Non Reimbursed Costs: Travel, transportation, lodging costs, per diem and child care costs are not reimbursable under this program.

Selection Committee: Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee chaired by AAFSW with members from the organization and a representative from the Family Liaison Office.

Selection Criteria: In selecting grantees, the Selection Committee will consider the following factors:
a. Unavailability of employment options in the applicant’s profession at his/her current post of assignment.
b. Correlation between the proposed business start up activity and professional development of the applicant
c. Favorable consideration will be given to business start ups that benefit the local community, or the American expatriate community as a whole through provision of services not readily available or alternatively in great demand.

Project Completion: Successful applicants will be expected to complete their proposed business start up program within 12 months of being notified of selection. If the proposal is for a later time frame, or the business plan needs more time, the reasons should be clearly stated in the proposal. Fellowship recipients will be required to submit a small business start up report describing activities and accomplishments as well as a financial report providing a detailed budget of the project. Those selected can submit receipts for qualifying expenses incurred at any time during the activity but not later than thirty days after the project completion.

Deadline Date: Proposals are due in AAFSW no later than April 9, 2010.

Proposals can be submitted as follows:
  • Emailed as an attachment to
  • Faxed to AAFSW at 703 820-5421
  • Mailed to AAFSW, 4001 North 9th Street, Arlington, VA 22203

Selections will be announced at the AAFSW 50th anniversary program on May 18th in the Benjamin Franklin Room. Successful applicants will be notified prior to this date.

Points of Contact: 
Faye Barnes | AAFSW President at
Margaret Teich | Office Manager at (703 820-5420)

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