“If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.” – George Monbiot
“Female entrepreneurs are unfortunately missing from the conversation around Africa’s growth story but the continent will not be able to reach its full potential without the full economic participation of women”, says lead organiser Afua Osei. She Leads Africa addresses this challenge head on with a series of programs to help female entrepreneurs gain business fundamentals, connect to an active business network, and increase their access to financing.
The organization has announced the launch of a business pitch competition exclusively for female entrepreneurs, which will give the most promising female entrepreneurs in Africa a platform to connect to prominent mentors, business funding and new market opportunities.
The first initiative to increase access to finance is a Pitch Competition in September which will screen applications to identify the top 10 talented female entrepreneurs who have founded or co-founded early stage startups. Finalists will be selected by professionals in the consulting, venture capital, and finance industry based on the strength of the idea, ability to scale, understanding of the market, and quality of the management team. Special consideration will be given to entrepreneurs in the technology sector.
Finalists will be paired with mentors to help advance their businesses and the entrepreneurs will be brought to Lagos to pitch their businesses to a panel of notable business personalities includingHakeem Belo-Osagie Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria; and Ngozi Edozien, CEO InVivo Partners; and Bola Adesola, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank. Finalists will compete for a $10,000 cash first place prize, one-on-one meetings with venture capitalists, legal advice from a premier law firm, free business lines and internet packages for a year, tablets, SME accounting software and more.
The Pitch Competition is supported by sponsors Etisalat, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, FSDH Capital, Start Smart Ghana and media partners Venture Burn, Genevieve Magazine, Ayiba Magazine and Tech Cabal.
Applications for entrepreneurs opened June 23rd and will close July 30th 2014.