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The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) is Accepting Applications for AWEC Cohort 5

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Deadline: January 17th – January 30th, 2022

Since 2018, The African Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEC) has impacted 800 women entrepreneurs across 52 African countries through the flagship 12-month capacity building program. By the end of the program, AWEC Fellows report increased revenue, expanded business management knowledge, and the need to hire more employees to meet growing customer demand.

The program combines an applied and collaborative learning model with the power of mentorship and a supportive peer network to enable women from across the continent to build resilient businesses. This program is open to African female founders running a business in any industry, for at least two years.

The African Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEC) is pleased to announce that from today, Monday, 17 January to Sunday, 30 January, 2022, it will be accept applications to the join the 5th cohort. You can apply here.

Who Should Apply

Women who are:

  • 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

Please note:

For those living in the diaspora, your business must clearly impact Africa through the creation or delivery of its products or services, or based on where its customers reside.

What We Look For

AWEC seeks to build diverse cohorts in which Fellows share some consistent characteristics:

  • Vision and resiliency
  • Business clarity and market knowledge
  • Commitment to building their businesses
  • Motivation to be part of a yearlong learning experience

What to Expect

This program is rigorous and time intensive. Fellows should expect to:

  • Spend an average of 4 to 6 hours per week participating in AWEC activities, primarily online
  • Participate in at least one AWEC activity per week throughout the program, including Zoom-enabled meetings
  • Be challenged, stretched, and inspired as they acquire new knowledge
  • Develop skills, build their peer network, and transform their businesses
  • Be matched with a mentor and to take ownership of their mentor/mentee relationship
  • Be introduced to a peer group, and actively contribute to group discussions and activities
  • Gain access to a program advisor from whom they can seek support when needed
  • Respond to periodic surveys to improve the overall experience

Please seriously consider these commitments before applying and/or accepting an offer to participate in AWEC.

All AWEC Fellows must have reliable access to the Internet, at least once per week. AWEC requires Fellows to participate in video conference calls, which generally requires more bandwidth than typical Internet browsing.

How You Will Benefit

Upon successful completion of the 12-month program, Fellows will:

  • Form connections with a diverse network of African women entrepreneurs
  • Establish a relationship with a senior business mentor
  • Strengthen strategy, leadership and business management skills
  • Gain skills in finance, marketing, and strategy needed to grow and scale their enterprise
  • Develop a toolkit of soft skills, including self-confidence, resilience, collaboration, and cross-cultural communications

Important Dates

Cohort 5 will run from June 2022 to May 2023. There is a four-week online orientation period during the month of May 2022.

AWEC typically hosts two events during the program – at the halfway mark and at the end. Given the ongoing impact and uncertainties of COVID-19, it is unknown at this time if these events will be in-person or virtual for Cohort 5. While these experiences provide valuable learning and networking opportunities, participation is not mandatory.