Google has today opened applications for the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders Africa Program.
The program is focused on empowering and supporting women founders who are addressing the problems in Africa and equipping them with the resources and opportunities they need to excel and scale up their startups.
Speaking on the impact of this startup accelerator program, Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa at Google, said,
We are excited about the open call for applications for our 3-month accelerator program, specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by women founders in Africa.
The Google for Startups Accelerator Women Founders Africa Program is an offshoot of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program, established in 2017. It reflects Google’s commitment to supporting startups and addressing the challenges faced by African women entrepreneurs.
How will the startup accelerator program work?
The program is open to female founders creating tech startups in or for Africa. To be eligible for the program, these founders must also have a working product or service, a viable business model, and a working team.
The 12-week program will begin in March 2023 and include one monthly boot camp in a hybrid format. A core requirement for the application process is a written application and an interview with the program team.
The program offers a wide range of advantages. Selected participants will also have access to Google’s products, resources, tools, and technology, as well as connections with investors to promote the development of their startups, in addition to networking with industry professionals.
The Women Founders will also have industry expert mentorship who will advise and assist the selected participants during the program. They will play a key role in assisting startups in realizing their full potential and making a difference in their communities.
African women founders and their challenges
African female founders face challenges in their entrepreneurial pursuits. From defying social expectations to limited access to funding to the struggle to gain respect to having a support network. The list is countless for these women.
Despite these challenges, women make up a significant portion of African entrepreneurs, with 58% of African businesses owned by women. Their potential is undoubtedly great as it is a gateway to sustainable wealth, gender gap closure, and equality.
Still speaking on the benefits, Folarin Aiyegbusi said,
Elevating the participation and leadership of women in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is crucial for promoting gender equality and driving economic growth in Africa.
This program is looking to close down the institutional barriers placed on women, which leads to them being secluded from participating fully in economic empowerment programs.
Akua Nyame-Mensah, a mentor for the program, said, “It’s an honour to be a mentor in the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator Program for Women Founders.
As part of supporting the next generation of leaders in Africa, this program offers women an opportunity to grow their networks and the accountability to achieve their professional goals. The focus on mentorship will be invaluable. Participants will benefit and grow from the exchange of ideas and experiences.”
Eligible applicants must have a working product or service, a viable business model, and a working team. The application process includes a written application and an interview with the program team.
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