She Leads Africa launches accelerator for women, calls for applications

She Leads Africa (SLA), a social enterprise dedicated to supporting young African women and their journey towards professional success, has announced the launch of an accelerator for women.

The 3 months program is designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs.

The program will consist of 1 week residencies where entrepreneurs will receive training from the SLA team and their network of business leaders and experts. During these residencies, entrepreneurs will be focused on growth, marketing and distribution.

After each residency, the entrepreneurs will return home for 3 weeks to implement the lessons they’ve learnt. During this time, they will be remotely monitored and also have access to a whole suite of online resources through both SLA and VC4Africa platforms.

“Entrepreneurs learn by doing, so while there will be some classroom time, the main priority is for entrepreneurs to actually do their work and immediately put lessons learnt into practice. We’ll be on hand to support them – the entrepreneurs will essentially have a team of live in consultants,” said She Leads Africa co-­founder, Afua Osei.

The Accelerator will end with a Demo Day where businesses will pitch to local and international investors and compete for NGN2million.

The program is an extension of the She Leads Africa Entrepreneur Showcase, which made history 2 years ago as the first ever Pan­-African pitch competition for women led businesses.

The finals of the Showcase took place in Lagos on September 26, 2015 and was won by Omo Alata, a food/beverage-focused startup.

“The pitch competition was a great way to find and fund women led businesses but we weren’t able to work as closely with the entrepreneurs as we would have liked and help them hit key milestones. The accelerator will enable us to really focus on key areas the businesses need to improve on,” added Afua Osei.

Entrepreneurs interested in applying for the SLA Accelerator should visit She Leads Africa’s website for the application form and for more information. Submissions will close on May 31, 2016 at 11:59pm WAT.

The SLA Accelerator is being supported by the Work in Progress! Alliance – a consortium of Oxfam, Butterfly Works and VC4Africa focused on driving job creation and youth employment in Nigeria – and lead sponsor, Guaranty Trust Bank.

Talking about the partnership, SLA co­-founder Yasmin Belo-­Osagie said, “We’re so excited to be working with international partners in the Work in Progress! Alliance. GTBank was a lead sponsor for the least 2 years and we’re excited to extend this partnership for a 3rd year,”

She added, “Their support of SLA as well as their innovative platforms such as SME MarketHub make it clear that they are committed to supporting youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria.”

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