The Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) announces a Growth Programme that has selected 30 female entrepreneurs to receive up to an additional €50,000 in grant funding as well as an additional three months of training focused on growth.
The 30 companies were selected after the WE4A Acceleration Programme demo day where 99 entrepreneurs pitched their solutions. To learn more about the 30 companies, visit safeem.org/women-entrepreneurship-4-africa.
The main objective of the WE4A Program is to support women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, enabling them to flourish and contribute to employment creation in their communities through enhanced business capacities, access to formal financial services, and integration into local and regional value chains.
The WE4A project will contribute to closing existing gender gaps in the labor markets, especially in terms of the quality of jobs. WE4A will ignite structural changes, as women who become successful entrepreneurs serve as role models in their societies and encourage other women and girls to pursue their choice of career.
“The acceleration and growth programmes show how the enormous potential of growth-oriented, women-owned businesses can be better harnessed for employment and prosperity on the African continent. SAFEEM has proven to be a highly professional implementation partner, providing needs-based training and mentoring to the selected women entrepreneurs and guiding them towards investment readiness.” Elmar Kerck, GIZ Team Leader WE4A
SAFEEM, the non-profit branch of the Seedstars group, was tasked with executing an Acceleration Programme where 99 female entrepreneurs received €10,000 in grant funding along with 3 months of technical support to help them refine their businesses and scale to the next level. The program included over 30 workshops, expert presentations, and networking sessions. Companies were also matched with a dedicated mentor for 1:1 meetings, as well as provided with EiR support in small groups.
Interesting WE4A Acceleration Programme Figures
The Acceleration Programme provided 99 women-led companies from across 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with a recorded 800 hours of mentor meetings, 67 hours of training per company, and 234 experiments run by the entrepreneurs.
The benefits of the program can be observed in the resulting 88% of the SMEs recording a positive change in their One Metric That Matters (OMTM), 91% of the companies reaching their individual KPIs, and 165 additional jobs created in the companies, 69 of which are attributed directly to the program (on top of the 1,126 jobs supported initially at the beginning).
Interested investors and partners are invited to learn more about the companies in the cohort by watching pitch videos on the WE4A Acceleration Programme website where 1on1 meetings can also be booked directly with the entrepreneurs: safeem.org/women-entrepreneurship-4-africa.
WE4A Acceleration Programme Prize Winners
During the program’s demo day, some participants of the program were also able to receive prizes from the partners: CADAP, Tekedia, Nigeria Trade and Investment Summit in the United Kingdom, Adalo, and Bubble.io. The prize winners are as follows:
CADAP – 6 Scholarships to Tekedia Institute Mini MBA: BleagLee, Erith Health Services, Farms2shelves, Blue Sands Academy, Laalfi Farms Nigeria Limited, and Eco Pads
CADAP – Access to International Payment Infrastructure: Serah Kassim
Tekedia – 5 Scholarships to Tekedia Institute Mini MBA: Pearl Recycling, LegsApparel, The Safety Chic, Uganics Repellents, and African Things
Full Access to the Nigeria Trade and Investment Summit in the United Kingdom: MyStash
Six months of Adalo Pro and 3 x 1 hour workshops: DataGirl Technologies
Bubble Bootcamp seat for free 4 sessions for two hours: McComan Furnishings
“From fully running their own businesses, to being activists in their communities, to supporting and running their families, all the while going through a very intense 3-month long acceleration program, the 99 female entrepreneurs that went through the WE4A Acceleration Programme are an inspiration,” shares Elizabeth Jones, Senior Program Manager at SAFEEM.
“In just a short time all of the companies that went through the program achieved growth in some way, be it revenue, traction, employees, or new partnerships, their hard work and dedication paid off. As the program manager, it was an honor to work with them all, and I cannot wait to see the milestones they achieve with the training and connections they gained through this program.”