The Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) programme has selected 100 female-led startups to join its high-impact accelerator, which is focused on startup growth for employment creation.
The WE4A initiative aims to provide female-led startups with enhanced business capacities, access to funding, market opportunities, knowledge enhancement, and technical training.
It is an initiative of the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with implementation from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Running the acceleration and programme components of WE4A is the Swiss Association for Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets (SAFEEM), a member of the Seedstars Group. Participants receive EUR10,000 (US$11,400) in grant funding and will be given three months of technical support through a virtual acceleration programme.
The 100 startups – the full list can be found here – will have access to over 30 workshops, expert presentations, and networking sessions. Startups will also be matched with a dedicated mentor for one-on-one meetings, as well as have EiR support in small groups.
After going through the accelerator, the startups will pitch their solutions at a virtual demo day in front of international investors. The 15 startups that show the most high-growth potential will then receive follow-on funding of up to EUR50,000 (US$57,000) as well as an additional three months of the growth programme training.
It is expected that WE4A will contribute to creating over 1,800 new jobs among women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The European Union is proud to support the Women Entrepreneurship for Africa programme. Empowering women and youth unlocks immense creativity and potential to drive growth. It reduces inequality and creates decent jobs across our neighbouring continent. The EU is committed to supporting small businesses, especially those led by women and young people, which are the backbone of Africa’s economy and long-term growth,” said European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen.