Organizer: Make-IT in Africa Application deadline: Mar 30 Location: Eschborn, Hessen, Germany Target countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria
Sectors: Adtech, Agritech, Artificial intelligence, Big data, Blockchain, Clean technology and energy, Cloud solutions, Computer software, Connectivity, E-commerce, E-learning, E-sports, Fintech, Green transportation and electric motors, ICT, Information technology, Internet, Internet-of-things, Machine learning, Mobile, Nanotech, New media, Online analytics, Online payment processing, Quantum computing, Smart city solutions, Software as a Service, UAVs (drones), Virtual reality, Water, sanitation and hygiene
Sub-Saharan Africa boasts the highest growth rate of female-run businesses in the world, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report (2019). However, female entrepreneurs, specifically in the Tech space, continue to face daunting challenges such as restrictive social norms, limited access to funding, and working within male-dominated industries which limits their potential.
Are you a female entrepreneur facing similar challenges and looking for an opportunity to grow and scale your business? Do you desire training, ecosystem support, resources, a dedicated business coach, and access to industry leaders? Would you like to connect with other female founders in the tech ecosystem, share learnings and experiences, and expand your Pan-African networks? Are you looking for a way to make an impact in your community?
The Tech By Her Accelerator is supporting burgeoning female-led tech ventures in becoming globally competitive and sustainable brands. It is powered by MEST with support from the Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative, ‘Make-IT in Africa’, (implemented by Deutsche für Gesellschaft Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The purpose of the Tech By Her Accelerator program is to develop a strong Pan African female entrepreneurship community. We’re achieving this by mentoring female founders and building an alumni network of successful Tech By Her Accelerator participants who become ambassadors for other upcoming founders.
About the Program
Being a successful tech entrepreneur in Africa can be an incredibly challenging and demanding feat for anyone. Female tech entrepreneurs are even more disadvantaged, due to the societal pressures and demands on African women, compounded with less access to networks than men have and the incorrect assumption that women are not skilled in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The Tech By Her Accelerator will address the unique challenges of the female tech entrepreneur. It is a 3-month industry-agnostic program for ten (10) female founders of early-stage tech companies in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. The program aims at fueling growth among female-led businesses by recognizing and maximizing the unique strengths of the female entrepreneur and equipping them with the needed knowledge, tools, and resources to scale and sustain their businesses in a competitive environment.
The Tech By Her Accelerator kicks off with a virtual interactive session, introducing fellows to their mentors and orienting participants on what they can expect from the program.
After the orientation, the selected participants of the Tech By Her Accelerator program (founders) will meet in Accra, Ghana for a ten-day immersion bootcamp, all expenses paid. The cohort will interact and deep dive into specific business verticals for growth, scalability, and sustainability, led by industry leaders and mentors who understand the technology industry and can provide valuable insight into each unique business.
Following the bootcamp, participants will return to their home countries where they will organize a community-building event for females in the tech space. They will work with the local MEST teams to put this together. They’ll also continue the mentoring programme virtually, meeting at least once a month with their mentors.
The accelerator program culminates with a five day all expenses paid meetup in Accra, Ghana. The founders will receive hands-on training, mentoring, and access to industry leaders who will share their experiences and expertise from across the continent. The founders will also have the opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of investors.
Through the program, participants will gain skills to take their businesses to the next level, be provided space and opportunity to tell their stories and position themselves as champions for Pan-African Tech By Her Accelerator.
Mission/Vision: By mentoring some of the continent’s most ambitious female entrepreneurs, the Tech By Her Accelerator will develop a strong Pan-African network of female founders who will become ambassadors for other upcoming female founders.
What We Offer:
Holistic Coaching and Training
Access to industry leaders and experts from across the continent
Supportive Community of leading female entrepreneurs
Invitation to the alumni network of successful female entrepreneurs
An expansive network of tech experts
2 Intensive Boot Camps in Accra, Ghana, all expenses paid
3 months of virtual mentoring and coaching.
Media publicity and visibility through our social media pages, websites and partner media.
We will be selecting ten (10) of the best and most impactful female entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya. Outside of drive, ambition, and a genuine interest in the growth of your business, you should also:
Be a founder/co-founder of your organisation, female and available to participate fully in all aspects of the program.
Be an early-stage startup and have achieved commercialisation and monetisation phase.
Be technology-based, or have technology as the core enabler of the business.
Have begun operations at least one (1) year before applying for this program and have a live product or service on the market.
Be an African national or resident and have registered the business in one of the three operational countries (Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya).
Have evidence of revenue and a clearly demonstrated potential to scale.
Be a business model with a social impact, i.e. with a solution to a problem as described in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (locally and/or globally)
Be willing to organize at least one (1) community event in your operational country with support from the local MEST office.
Be willing, as a founder, to be an ambassador of the program and of tech entrepreneurship, encouraging and motivating other females in the entrepreneurial space.
Applications Open: 17th Feb Applications Close: 13th March Shortlisting: 14th-15th March Selection Panel Sits: 16th March Interviews: 17th-19th March Announcement of Selected Candidates: 20th March
Virtual Launch and Interactive Sessions:
There will be a virtual launch of the event, where participants will learn about the program, get to know one another, and discuss the next 3 months.
Meet up #1: April 13th – 26th
An exciting ten (10) day bootcamp designed to sharpen your skills as an entrepreneur, understand your business model, work on your pain points, connect and interact with other entrepreneurs, share learnings and experiences, and leverage on the knowledge of your mentor in improving your business to compete globally. During these ten (10) days you will refine your company’s pitch deck and be assigned a graphic designer to create the pitch deck of your dreams.
The week will also be laced with several industry events that will expand your networks, expose you to a valuable network of industry players, and help you understand other market case studies for how you can leverage them.
Virtual Program: Three (3) Webinars/Three (3) Ecosystem Engagement Events/Virtual Mentorship April 26th – May 25th
During this period, you will have one-on-one direct interactions with your mentor to dive deep into your business, your struggles, and get insight into making your business an even bigger success. During this period three (3) webinars will be held to dive deeper into some of the content from meet up #1.
You will also plan a local ecosystem engagement event with the support of the local MEST and Make IT teams to activate more female founders in tech.
Meet up #2: May 25th – 29th
The final meet up in Accra, Ghana will look at implementing the insight you’ve gained into an actionable strategy that you can use once you head back to their base country and businesses. The bootcamp will help clarify the next steps, evaluate the progress you’ve made over the three (3) month program and close up the journey. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to pitch your business to a curated panel of potential investors.
Once you graduate the program, you will be invited to join an alumni network of other female founders with the aim of building a solid network of champion female entrepreneurs in the technology space who are leading the way and serving as ambassadors for other female entrepreneurs.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I apply?
Applications for the first cohort open 13th of February, 2020 and close on the 1st of March, 2020
How can I apply?
Apply through our online portal. Create a profile here and upload the requested documents.
Is there a fee to participate?
There is no fee to apply or participate in the Accelerator program.
If I have two businesses, can I apply with both?
We only allow one application per person, so please submit your prefered business.
If my business has two female co-founders should we both apply separately?
Only one application per business is accepted, regardless of the number of female co-founders.
Is my company eligible if I founded it with a man?
Yes, your company is eligible.
How do I know that my application has been received?
You will receive a notification once you submit your application. That means, your application has been received. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, only semi-finalists will be notified individually of the next steps.
What do I need for my application?
– Complete the online form
– Submit a pitch deck (10-15 slides max)
What do I do if the application system is not working?
Please refresh the page or try a new browser. Check your internet connection. If it is still not working, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is advisable to apply at least a week before the deadline so that you do not have to deal with latency or technical issues.
What if I have no experience organising events in my community?
You will be supported by the local MEST offices in their operational countries to organise the events.
When and where will the residencies be?
The residencies for the bootcamp will be in Accra, Ghana.
Do you take equity in the businesses?
No, we do not.
Can I apply even if my business is a for-profit venture?
Yes, you can. The accelerator program is open to all female-founders.