The Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) recently announced a growth acceleration program for 99 women entrepreneurs from where 14 Nigerian women entrepreneurs made the list of 30 entrepreneurs who will get up to €50,000 in grant cash and an additional three months of growth training.
The successful businesses were chosen after all 99 businesses had pitched in their solution ideas on the WE4A Acceleration Programme demo day.
SAFEEM, a non-profit arm of Seedstars organisation, hosted the accelerated program. This was done with the intention of assisting these businesses in refining and scaling up to the next level of the business goal.
Over 30 workshops, expert presentations, and networking events were featured in the program. Entrepreneurs were also assigned a dedicated mentor for one-on-one meetings and given EiR help in small groups.
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
The WE4A program’s primary goal is to support women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa grow their businesses and help create jobs in their communities by providing them with better entrepreneurial skills, access to financial literacy skills, and integration into local and regional value chains.
The program drives to close current gender inequalities in the labour market, particularly in terms of employment quality. The WE4A program hopes to ignite structural change as successful female entrepreneurs often act as role models in their communities, encouraging more women and girls to pursue their dreams.
WE4A Acceleration Programme
The Acceleration Programme generally provided a total of 800 hours of mentor meetings, 67 hours of training per company, and 234 experiments to 99 women-led businesses from 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Its benefits can be seen in the 88 per cent of SMEs that have seen a positive change in their One Metric That Matters (OMTM), the 91 per cent of companies that have met their individual KPIs, and the 165 additional jobs created in the companies, 69 of which can be directly attributed to the program (on top of the 1,126 jobs supported initially at the beginning).
Interested investors and partners can learn more about the enterprises in the cohort by watching pitch videos on the WE4A Acceleration Programme website, where one-on-one meetings with the entrepreneurs can also be scheduled: safeem.org/women-entrepreneurship-4-africa.
WE4A Growth Programme Participants
The 14 Nigerian women companies are 360 Psyche (Nigeria), The Ecobarter Company (Nigeria), SourceMyGadgets (Nigeria), Redbutton (Nigeria), Promane and Promade Ltd/MCare App (Nigeria), Paperbags (Nigeria), ORIKI Global & Synergy LImited (Nigeria), MyStash (Nigeria), Mamamoni (Nigeria), Loom Craft Chocolate (Nigeria), Happy Coffee (Nigeria), Farm On Wheels (Nigeria), Farm Innovation Nigeria Ltd (Nigeria), Africa Wealth Initiative (Nigeria)
Other of the selected women-led companies include Chil Artificial Intelligence Lab (Uganda), Dial A Pad Limited (Kenya), Dromedic (Uganda), Eco Hustle Co Ltd (Mauritius), FarmerTribe (Ghana), Farmio (Ghana), Fenou Packaging (Mauritius), Innovate Labs (Ghana), Kosmotive (Rwanda), Kwanza Cocoa (Malawi), Mukuru Clean Stoves (Kenya), Nyayo Moms Sokos Limited (Kenya), Plumbee Wholefoods Ltd (Kenya), Store2Door (Rwanda), Women Smiles Uganda (Uganda), ZAAF Collection (Ethiopia).
Sponsors of the WE4A programme
In WE4A’s quest to provide enhanced business capacities, access to funding, market opportunities, knowledge enhancement, and technical training to female-led SMEs, it collaborated with different organisations including the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
There was also implementation by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (DGIZ) (E4D program), and finally the main host, Swiss Association for Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets (SAFEEM), a Seedstars Group member, who is in charge of the WE4A acceleration and growth program components.
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