She Wins Africa is a program designed to assist women entrepreneurs across sub–Saharan Africa by offering training, mentorship and networking opportunities that will help their startups succeed.
African women have the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the world at an estimated 24% and are more likely to start businesses than their counterparts in other regions in the world. However, several factors persistently hinder the potential of female founders and entrepreneurs in Africa. These include lack of access to startup capital, lack of access to start-up support ecosystems and networks that deliver capacity building support and lack of knowledge and expertise to implement gender-lens investing strategies among venture capital firms and funds.
She Wins Africa aims to address these challenges and improve opportunities for women-led startups to access financing.
The program will:
- Provide investment readiness training and business skills capacity building, which will help women-led startups improve their chances of accessing finance.
- Provide capacity building for funds and Venture Capital on gender-lens investing to help accelerate investments in women-led startups and enterprises including ten startup support organizations.
- Capacity building for accelerators and ESOs to support the incubation of early-stage startups and support the development of a strong pipeline of investible startups.
- Facilitate matchmaking and pitching events between female founders and investors to facilitate the flow of funds to women-owned businesses.
Applications are now open for the first cohort of She Wins Africa.
Prospective participants must meet the following criteria:
- Age: 21+
- Gender: Female
- Years in business: 1+
- Headquarters: sub-Saharan African country.
- Industry: Agnostic with technology as a central component.
- Previous participants of similar IFC programs are ineligible to apply.
- Language: Fluent in English and/or French.
- She Wins Africa participants must be available to attend online training sessions and travel to networking events during the next 12 months. Please note that IFC will only cover flight and hotel expenses for the duration of the program.
Please see online application form here
Download offline application form