IFC Announces She Wins Africa Program to Support Female Entrepreneurs

She Wins Africa Program

The She Wins Africa program has been formally launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), marking a significant step toward supporting female entrepreneurs throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

This innovative program aims to offer critical support to the expansion of up to 5,000 businesses founded by women by offering them crucial direction, training, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

The main goal of the She Wins Africa program is to close the gap for female entrepreneurs who frequently face barriers when trying to get the help and money they need to grow their businesses. Participants in the program will receive training in investment preparation through a mix of online and in-person courses, along with a variety of engagement activities, according to IFC. They will also have the chance to meet potential investors through matchmaking and pitching events.

Key features of the program include:

  1. Investment readiness training and capacity-building in business skills, enhancing the likelihood of women-led startups securing financing.
  2. Empowering funds and Venture Capital (VC) firms in gender-lens investing to accelerate investments in women-led startups and businesses, including ten startup support organizations.
  3. Enhancing the capacity of accelerators and ESOs (Entrepreneurial Support Organizations) to nurture early-stage startups and cultivate a robust pipeline of viable startups.
  4. Facilitating matchmaking and pitching events connecting female founders with investors to facilitate funding for women-owned enterprises.

The program’s importance is emphasized by Mary Porter Peschka, the IFC’s regional director for Eastern Africa: “African women are naturally entrepreneurial but frequently lack the assistance and resources essential for success. She Wins Africa aims to change this by providing women with the tools, chances, and resources they need to establish their businesses. Innovative female business owners are warmly welcomed by IFC to the She Wins Africa program, where they will receive assistance in growing their enterprises and reaching new heights.

Women-led startups and business owners working in sub-Saharan Africa are eligible for the initiative.

Interested parties are urged to visit the She Wins Africa program page or get in touch with the organization for further details as the application process is now open.

The program has specific criteria for eligibility, including age, gender, years in business, headquarters location, and industry. It’s also worth noting that previous participants of similar IFC programs are not eligible to apply.

Prospective participants should ensure they meet the following criteria:

  1. Age: Applicants must be 21 years of age or older.
  2. Gender: The program is exclusively for female entrepreneurs.
  3. Years in Business: Applicants should have been in business for at least one year.
  4. Headquarters: Businesses must be headquartered in a sub-Saharan African country.
  5. Industry: The program is open to businesses from any industry, as long as technology plays a central role.
  6. Previous Participation: Those who have previously participated in similar IFC programs are not eligible to apply.
  7. Language: Applicants should be fluent in English.
  8. Availability: Participants must be available to attend online training sessions and travel to networking events over the next 12 months.
  9. Expenses: While the IFC will cover flight and hotel expenses for the duration of the program, other expenses may need to be covered by the participants themselves.

The deadline for applications is set for September 15, 2023.

She Wins Africa will offer a wide range of support systems for female-led entrepreneurs in many industries.

An impressive aspect of the program is a pitch competition that gives participants a stage to present their concepts.

Additionally, participants will benefit from unique chances to network with potential investors and venture capital firms, developing vital connections for business growth.

By providing training and support to business owners and associated institutions like funds and accelerators, the IFC’s She Wins Arabia program has already had a significant impact on women entrepreneurs throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This effort is a natural continuation of that program’s success.

The cornerstone of IFC’s policy in Africa is encouraging women’s active participation in the business sector.

The group works to achieve gender parity by ensuring that all people have access to opportunities, resources, and jobs.

IFC offers financing and advisory services to create a supportive ecosystem that enables women entrepreneurs in Africa as a supporter of dynamic and inclusive entrepreneurship.

The IFC’s continuous commitment to increasing women’s economic empowerment and promoting sustainable economic growth in the area is shown by the She Wins Africa program.

IFC lays the path for a future in which women entrepreneurs can flourish and significantly contribute to Africa’s economic landscape by providing women-led enterprises with crucial tools and connections.

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