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Nedbank and AWIEF Partner for the Fourth Cohort of the AWIEF Growth Accelerator

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The accelerator provides capital-raising support for growth, scale and sustainability

The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) is hosting the fourth cohort of its flagship AWIEF Growth Accelerator, sponsored by Nedbank.

Access to finance is the most cited challenge to the growth of women-owned businesses in Africa. Bankability and investment readiness are major impediments to attracting business finance. The AWIEF Growth Accelerator is designed to support the unique needs of early-stage and high growth-oriented women-led ventures with business modelling, growth strategy training, corporate advisory, mentorship, networks, and access to strategic partnerships. The accelerator provides capital-raising support for growth, scale and sustainability. It builds women’s entrepreneurial leadership capacity, connects them with appropriate sources of capital and helps them scale.

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Since 2017, more than 100 early-growth-stage women founders have gone through the accelerator programme. For the 2021 cohort, 20 female entrepreneurs will be selected from sectors including: technology, agribusiness, financial services, manufacturing, health, education, tourism & hospitality, creative industries, and renewable energy.

Call for applications

Applications are invited from dynamic and innovative female entrepreneurs for the AWIEF Growth Accelerator 2021 cohort.

Why join the programme?

After six months of hard work and being challenged, as part of the AWIEF Growth Accelerator cohort, you will be ready to tell your story and showcase your business to the world. The programme offers:

  • Three two-day bootcamps.
  • Masterclasses: international expert-led sessions covering all scaling fundamentals.
  • One-on-one tailored mentorship and leadership coaching.
  • Corporate partners: connection to corporates in your industry for valuable partnership opportunities, and as customers.
  • Access to investors: get connected to opportunities with Nedbank and active VCs, impact and angel investors looking to invest in African women-led ventures.
  • Pitch n GrowÔ: Demo day/pitching event at the 7th annual AWIEF Conference and Awards (AWIEF2021) scheduled to take place on 2nd and 3rd December 2021.
  • Free delegate pass to AWIEF2021 conference sessions.
  • Join the AWIEF Community and alumni growth programme: unmatched access to a pan-African and global network and peer connection to other women entrepreneurs, continued online post-programme support, e-learning, events, and tailored introductions.

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Businesses must be:

  • South African Exempt Micro Enterprises (EMEs) or Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs); at least 50% female black-owned.
  • in a post-revenue phase.
  • scalable and innovative ventures.
  • in operation for not less than three years.
  • owned or led by ambitious and committed women entrepreneurs.
  • seeking investment or funding to scale.

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Applications open: 10 May 2021
Applications close: 14 June 2021
Recruitment: 15 – 30 June 2021
Accelerator starts: 12th July 2021
Culminating event: Pitch n GrowÔ during AWIEF2021 Conference, 2nd and 3rd December 2021

What past AWIEF Growth Accelerator participants say:

“The AWIEF Growth Accelerator was an incredibly inspiring, safe and supportive environment, and was particularly useful during our sudden, rapid growth phase.”

“My business is growing and it’s thanks to AWIEF. Thank you for the tools, drive, and confidence to accelerate my company to new heights.”

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