Business News

IFC launches initiative for all-expense program for female entrepreneurs 

The ‘She Wins Africa’ initiative, launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector branch of the World Bank, is accepting applications for a program designed to empower the expansion of approximately 5,000 startups led by women.

The training aims to offer guidance, training, mentorship, and networking prospects.

The program is aligned with IFC’s broader efforts to bolster women entrepreneurs and is accessible to startups and entrepreneurs led by women, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Program details

Initially, the program will provide backing to a cluster of African startups led by women in diverse industries. It will also encompass a pitching competition for participants and chances to connect with investors and venture capital enterprises.

The IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Mary Porter Peschka, emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship for women in Africa.

  • “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”.
  • “IFC is excited to welcome innovative women entrepreneurs to the She Wins Africa program and help them grow their businesses and reach new heights.”

What to expect

The program offers an array of benefits, including:

  • Investment Readiness Training and Business Skill Enhancement: Women-led startups will receive comprehensive guidance to enhance their prospects of securing essential funding.
  • Gender-Lens Investment Capacity Building: Through capacity building, both funds and venture capital enterprises gain valuable insights into gender-inclusive investment practices, resulting in increased investments in women-led startups and businesses, including ten startup support organizations.
  • Accelerator and ESO Capacity Building: Early-stage startups receive the necessary support for incubation, fostering a strong pipeline of startups ready for investment.
  • Matchmaking and Pitching Opportunities: She Wins Africa facilitates meaningful connections between female founders and investors, paving the way for vital financial backing to flow into women-owned enterprises.

Eligibility Criteria

The She Wins Africa program welcomes women-led startups operating across sub-Saharan Africa, regardless of sector or stage. To be eligible, startups must have at least one female founder or co-founder in a financial decision-making role.

Prospective participants must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be aged 21 years and above.
  • Have been in operation for over a year.
  • Headquartered in a sub-Saharan African country.
  • Be an individual with technology as a central component.
  • Not previous participants in similar IFC programs
  • Be proficient in English.

Participants in She Wins Africa are expected to attend online training sessions and networking events over the upcoming 12 months.

The IFC will cover flight and hotel expenses only during the program’s duration.

Application details

Click here to complete the application process. The application deadline is Friday, September 15, 2023.


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