Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A)
Increasing access to funding, market opportunities, knowledge enhancement, and technical training for women entrepreneurs in Africa.
in grant funding to 120 women entrepreneurs from the TEF alumni network.
of technical support through a virtual acceleration program.
additional grant funding for up to 15 enterprises with high-growth potential.
to improve the business capacity of women-led enterprises and increase their chances of raising follow-on funding from private sector investors.
The “Women Entrepreneurship for Africa” (WE4A) program is an action jointly supported by the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), and the German Development agency GIZ (E4D program). It is focused on empowering underserved communities in Sub-Saharan Africa comprising of women, youth, and the informal sector. The Acceleration/Growth Programme will be implemented with support of SAFEEM (Swiss Association for Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets).
Women entrepreneurship for Africa is an EU, OACPS and BMZ funded program, that seeks to provide 120 female entrepreneurs from the TEF alumni network, with access to €10.000 in grant funding that will be paired with 3 months of technical support through a virtual acceleration program.
The program aims to improve the business capacity of women-led enterprises to increase their chances of raising follow-on funding from private sector investors. Additional grant funding up to €50.000 in conjunction with a growth program will be provided to 15 enterprises selected by an expert panel as having the most high-growth potential. This program will be an additional 3 months.
Both the initial acceleration and the follow-on growth programs aim to support women entrepreneurs, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 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.
EU (European Union), Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACPS) jointly with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), TEF (Tony Elumelu Foundation) and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).
This component will be implemented by SAFEEM (Swiss Association for Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets).
Female entrepreneurs from the TEF Alumni network.
TEF is the sourcing partner for this program and will only source female entrepreneurs from their network.
You should have a working product and ideally already have customers.
No, the program is open to businesses operating across all business sectors.
6 to 8 weeks.
The execution partners will inform you via email if you have been accepted to the program.
Please make sure to regularly check your emails and spam folder.
The program will last for 3 months of acceleration, and if you are selected, it will be followed by a growth program and technical assistance for an additional 3 months.
There will be 2 startup cohorts
There will be 60 startups in each cohort and every startup represented will be informed on what cohort they are in.
The Acceleration Program is implemented in a virtual environment.
Participating female-led entrepreneurs need to commit to up to 5 hours per week for program activities.
Training and all related program activities will be delivered virtually via Zoom. There will also be an online program management and e-learning platform.
In total, there will be 20.5 hours of activities provided to you per month. Every week you will have:
● 1.5 hours of workshop/training session
● 1.5 hours of 1:1 mentor session
● 1.5 hours of EIR Peer 2 Peer learning session
There will also be 1 hour per month of networking and 1.5 hours per month of an expert/fireside
The Demo Day is the event where you pitch your idea to stakeholders, partners, mentors, donors and investors. A marketing campaign will be included to increase visibility.
Yes, all startups going through the program are expected to pitch on the demo day.
External and Internal stakeholders, partners, mentors, donors and investors.
There needs to be at least one female entrepreneur from the TEF Alumni network in the startup that takes part in the program.
The growth program will only be open to the top 15 high-growth startups and is designed to help startups build a Growth Team and implement a Growth Methodology in order to support scaling up the venture and raise Series A and beyond. Grant of up to €50,000 will be a growth capital that is needed to scale up.
Yes, the program provides you with a dedicated mentor based on your startup’s needs.
We will have a team of Acceleration Program Manager, Program Coordinator and Community Manager to assist with any organizational questions you might have. On top of that for all content related questions, there will be a Startup Growth lead and Entrepreneur in Residence that work closely with you.
A team of investment analysts will review all applications and conduct any necessary interviews in order to select the startups that have the most high-growth potential.
For this program, we recommend selecting and supporting women entrepreneurs that have the potential to become high-growth enterprises and thus have the biggest potential impact on future job creation.
High growth enterprises typically have disruptive business models and are targeting large addressable markets. They also have high growth and scale potential and are typically led by ambitious entrepreneurs with significant risk tolerance. By supporting these types of ventures, we support both economic and social impact.
Want to be a part of the Women Entrepreneurship for Africa Programme?