IFC, a unit of the World Bank, has started accepting applications for its She Wins Africa program, which intends to provide networking opportunities, training, mentoring, and guidance to help up to 5,000 women-led enterprises flourish.
She Wins Africa is accessible to female-led startups and business owners working in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a component of IFC’s larger plan to support women entrepreneurs.
The program will first assist a number of entrepreneurs in Africa run by women in diverse industries. Participants will have the chance to compete in pitch competitions and network with venture capital firms.
“African women are highly entrepreneurial yet often lack the support and funding they need to succeed. She Wins Africa aims to rectify this by equipping women with skills, tools, and opportunities to scale their businesses,” according to Mary Porter Peschka, IFC’s regional director for Eastern Africa.
“IFC is thrilled to welcome creative women business owners to the She Wins Africa program and support them as they expand their operations and achieve new heights.”
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.
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.