Raising funds as an early-stage startup is no piece of cake. Added to that is the challenge women-owned/led startups face in getting access to funding.
The situation seems almost bleak especially when institutional investors do not feel inclined to offer their support simply because you’re not just a female, but you’re new, untried and possibly a risky investment for them.
Many a startup, especially women-owned, view accelerator programmes as the starting point of raising the required early capital.
However, there’s a lot more participating in an accelerator offers beyond money; let’s highlight a few.
First, accelerator programmes serve as a platform for showcasing African innovative startups to the world.
In addition, they provide a nurturing ground where startups fine-tune their purpose.
They offer training and mentorship opportunity, enabling startups to build market-friendly products. Not to be omitted is their aim to make startups market investment-ready among other things.
Here’s a list of accelerator programmes that should be on every African female entrepreneur’s radar.
Being an agri-business accelerator focused on African young women in the Agricultural sector, Ignite aims to provide, technical know-how, market access, and mentorship to female agripreneurs nurturing ground-breaking innovations into profitable and sustainable agribusinesses.
This programme is to enable many young women in agribusiness on the African continent to build their own capacities, receive toolkits, relevant resources, and network within a community of like-minded peers.
At the end of the accelerator, £9,000.00 is given to support 100 selected young females in agribusiness.
I’M IN Accelerator
This accelerator based in Johannesburg, South Africa, offers funding and opportunities for black-owned, high growth tech startups, equipping them to compete in the #SouthAfrican #tech sector.
More importantly, the accelerator also has an exclusive women-only cohort.
The accelerator typically invests between $50 000 and $100 000 on exceptional startups.
Set to build world-renowned women-led technology companies, Greenhouse lab provides them with needed skills, resources and support required to grow and scale.
The initiative is a three-month accelerator focused solely on early-stage, female-led or female-focused technology startups across Africa.
The Nigerian based accelerator invests between $50 000 and $100 000 in startups that participate in the accelerator.
This accelerator is a four-month programme organised to identify, support and fund the next crop of Africa’s best and brightest female entrepreneurs. It offers up to $5000 investment in startups that emerge as winners.
Powered by MEST Africa in partnership with the Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative, ‘Make-IT in Africa’, the programme offers mentorship to female founders, building a network of successful Tech By Her Accelerator participants who become ambassadors for other upcoming founders.
The accelerator also aims to support female-led tech ventures building them into competitive and sustainable brands across the globe.
Operating under the Swiss-based SheTrades Invest, this initiative seeks to support and promote beneficial relationships between investors and women entrepreneurs in developing markets.
Standard Chartered Women in Technology Incubator
Standard Chartered Bank in collaboration with @iBizAfrica, a research institute in Kenya created the Standard Chartered Women in Tech Incubator.
This initiative supports female-led entrepreneurial teams, offering training, mentorship and seed funding. It also grants funding of between $5000 and $10 000.
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