Deadline: 11:59pm UTC on 31 January 2021
Good news for African women entrepreneurs! The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) has announced that applications for its fourth cohort are open. The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative is an innovative 12-month, leadership and business management capacity building program that empowers 200 female entrepreneurs annually.
This program is designed for African women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their knowledge, increase their skills, broaden their network, and make lifelong connections during a 12-month program.
Women who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply:
Founders of businesses that have been in operation for at least two years in any industry and have at least two employees (either full time or part-time) OR women who have a strong business concept and plan to launch their business within the next year
Founders of social enterprises are encouraged to apply; founders of NGOs or nonprofit organizations are no longer eligible for the 12-month program
Citizens of any African country, currently living on the continent or in the diaspora
Comfortable with remote teamwork and collaboration, especially using digital tools
Proficient in verbal and written English
Able to regularly (at least weekly) access the Internet through a computer or tablet
AWEC admissions do not discriminate based on race, religion, age, disability, marital status, education, business revenue, or geographic location.
Please note: For those living in the diaspora, your business (or NGO) must clearly impact Africa.
Participants should expect to spend an average of 4 to 6 hours per week participating in AWEC activities (primarily online), for one year. When considering whether or not to apply, please keep in mind that this program is fast-paced and requires firm commitment to active learning and engagement. Participants are expected to engage in one AWEC activity every week. While generous philanthropic donations enable AWEC to offer the 12-month learning experience without charging a program fee, participants may wish to plan for some travel expenses related to attending optional in-person events. Additional details will be provided to accepted members of the cohort.
Upon successful completion of the 12-month program, participants will:
- Form connections with a diverse network of African women entrepreneurs
- Establish a relationship with at least one senior business mentor
- Strengthen strategy, leadership and business management skills
- Apply their AWEC learning to their business with an eye toward sustainable growth
- Gain skills needed to grow and scale their enterprise
- Develop a toolkit of soft skills, including self-confidence, resilience, collaboration, and cross-cultural communications
Cohort 4 will run from June 2021 to May 2022. There is a two-week online orientation period during the last two weeks of May 2021.
All the best!