There are a few programs which aim to provide trailing partners/spouses with funds to start a business, support a volunteer project and further their careers. Below are three of them, with descriptions taken from the program announcements.
AAFSW Fellowships for Business Start-Ups
As a special commemoration of AAFSW's 50 years of advocacy and support to the Foreign Service community, AAFSW is offering a limited number of professional fellowships that can be used by EFMs and domestic partners overseas to set up small businesses. Subject to budgetary considerations, fellowships of up to $1,500.00 will be granted on a reimbursable basis for business start up costs. The applicant must also be a member of AAFSW at the time of application.
Proposals are due in AAFSW no later than April 9, 2010.
Application forms and more information can be found on http://www.aafsw.org.
J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust Project Funding
Established in the memory of J. Kirby Simon, a Foreign Service Officer who died in 1995 while serving in Taiwan, the Trust is committed to expanding the opportunities for professional fulfillment and community service of active Foreign Service Officers and Specialists and their families. In 2009 the Trust made its thirteenth round of grant awards, 44 in all, ranging from $550 to $4,500 for projects that fall under four topics: education, young people, health and safety-related, and micro-finance.
Proposals for projects to be funded during calendar year 2010 must be received by the Trust no later than March 1, 2010.
Further information about can be found at www.kirbysimontrust.org.
Professional Development Fellowship Program
The Family Liaison Office's Professional Development Fellowship program is open to spouses and partners of civilian direct hire US Government employees under Chief of Mission Authority [posted overseas]. This program is designed to assist those spouses and partners who are not in a position to pursue their career paths overseas to maintain, enhance, and/or develop their professional skills.
Fellowships of up to $2,500 will be granted on a reimbursable basis for enrichment activities. Selected applicants must fund a minimum of 25% of the cost of the proposed activities while the Fellowship stipend will cover the additional cost up to the $2,500 maximum. Activities can include, but are not limited to, continuing education and distance learning through an accredited university, professional development, participation in professional conferences, and dues for membership in professional organizations.
The proposal deadline for 2010 has already past, but keep an eye out for those in the future.
More information is at http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c25927.htm.