Request for Proposals: 2023 Free Enterprise & Democracy Network Small Grants 

About CIPE and FEDN 

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is a business-oriented NGO working at the intersection of democracy, governance, and economic development that partners with business associations, think tanks and other organizations to implement homegrown, private sector solutions to local challenges. CIPE’s mission is to strengthen democracy through private enterprise and market-oriented reform, fulfilling a vision of a world where democracy delivers the freedom and opportunity for all to prosper. Founded in 1983 and based in Washington, DC, CIPE is active in over 20 countries through its field offices and representatives and has a network of civil society and private sector partners in more than 70 countries. CIPE is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

The Free Enterprise and Democracy Network (FEDN) was established by CIPE in 2012 to promote international engagement around the principles of free enterprise and democracy and bring private sector voices into global discourse on democracy. The network provides a mechanism for private sector leaders and advocates of economic freedom across the world to exchange ideas and support, and make the case for democratic, prosperous societies. 

Grant Objectives 

As the FEDN secretariat, CIPE is continuing small grants to promote understanding of how democracy and market economies enable a better way of life; and to support collaboration toward the network’s strategic goals. 

As described in the FEDN Statement on the Summit for Democracy, “The starting point for action is to help people understand, especially young people, how democracy enables them to have a better way of life. Making the case for democracy will include explaining how the rule of law matters to individual well-being and economic prosperity, and how democracy offers more sustainable, more inclusive, and more legitimate solutions than do authoritarian and illiberal approaches.”  

To move from understanding to action, the network also has identified priority goals in the following areas where FEDN members have expertise and experience:  

  1. Collective action: Defending civic space, building bridges across sectors, and empowering local actors
  2. Preparing for change: Fostering democratic & market transitions and averting democratic backsliding
  3. Countering corruption and upholding the rule of law
  4. Telling the story of democracy

CIPE invites proposals that address any one of the priority goal areas. 

Key Dates 

  • The application deadline is March 31, 2023. 
  • CIPE intends to notify grant recipients by April 19, 2023. 
  • Project activities must be completed by November 31, 2023. 


The grants are aimed at fostering collaboration within and beyond the FEDN network. Non-profit organizations can apply but must be affiliated with a FEDN member. Collaboration among organizations is encouraged. However, the lead applicant that will receive the grant from CIPE must be affiliated with a FEDN member.  

How to Apply 

Submit the following items in English by March 31 using the submission form below. 

  • The proposal narrative and budget described below.
  • Resumes/CVs of the person(s) responsible for the implementation of the proposed project.

A brief written statement of interest from prospective partners will also be helpful. 

If an application is shortlisted for an award, CIPE may request additional information for its due diligence. 

Proposal Narrative 

The proposal narrative may be up to 1,500 words in length and should include the following elements: 

  • The specific problem that will be addressed 
  • The project objective and how it aligns with the grant objectives above 
  • Proposed activities of the program, quantified where possible, and describing who will be involved 
  • Locations where you intend to implement the proposed project 
  • Expected outcomes and what will be achieved with the grant funds 
  • Applicant’s and collaborator’s (if applicable) relevant experience and expertise 


The application should include a brief budget proposal that includes a daily rate, number of billable days, and other expected related expenses incurred during the grant period. Budget should include anticipated expenses of any collaborating organization(s). The entire cost proposal should not exceed the maximum available funds of 10,000 USD. 

Criteria and Expectations 

CIPE intends to make up to three awards. Proposals will be screened according to the following criteria:  

  • Preference for projects involving collaboration among multiple organizations and participation of one or more FEDN members  
  • Originality and clarity of evidence, analysis, and stories that illustrate the network’s principles  
  • Relevant to topical challenges of democracy and free enterprise and oriented toward solutions  
  • Preference for activities in emerging markets or developing countries  
  • Involvement of youth 
  • Demonstrated track record from the organization’s work  

Grantees must submit interim progress reports and a final outcomes report.  

Grantees will be expected to submit one blog and contribute to a guest feature on CIPE’s Democracy that Delivers podcast or the FEDN Democratizing Globalization video series.   

Other terms of CIPE standard grant agreements will apply. 

For questions, please contact us at



2023 FEDN Small Grant Application

The application period for this grant has closed.