Application Deadline for Female Entrepreneurs in the ECOWAS Region is 21 April 2023
Accra, Ghana, 21 March 2023 – ShEquity Partners (“ShEquity”), an investment firm providing smart investments for impactful, innovative, and scalable female-led and owned businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa, today announced the launch of the fourth edition of its accelerator program, ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA). The 17-week SHEBA program provides venture-building and technical support to African female entrepreneurs across the ECOWAS region who are looking to successfully grow their businesses and become investment ready.
Today’s call for applications is only for Anglophone applicants with businesses duly registered in West Africa. A separate call for Francophone applicants with businesses registered in West Africa will be issued separately.
Established in March 2021 by ShEquity in collaboration with its implementation partner, MBC Africa, SHEBA addresses the existing gender funding gap by de-risking African female-led businesses, getting them to become investment ready, and equipping the founders with the skill set needed to grow and scale their businesses. The SHEBA program has executed three (3) cohorts of 30 participants each, with participants from the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
Speaking about SHEBA’s unique value creation, Karima Grant, SHEBA Alumni (Cohort 2), co-founder and CEO of Ker Imagination Education Services, says, “Successful accelerators focus on entrepreneur needs and not a one-size-fits-all approach. SHEBA focuses on the women behind the businesses as much as the businesses. From very early on in the program, SHEBA provided as close to a tailor-made approach as possible.”
Chigozie Bashua, SHEBA Alumni (Cohort 2), Founder and CEO of The Nut Place adds: “Since joining SHEBA, the program has helped us improve our processes, clarify our business model and perform a market survey that has helped increase our sales.”
Click here to apply if you believe SHEBA can also create value for you:
SHEBA focuses on impactful, innovative, and scalable businesses in agribusiness (agric tech, production, processing, wholesale, retail, all agribusiness value chain aspects), climate-smart businesses, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), healthcare, mobility/logistics, and tech-enabled businesses (fintech, clean tech, ed tech, etc.). The applicants’ businesses should be duly registered in ECOWAS countries, female-owned and managed with a minimum of 51% female ownership, and in operation for at least 24 months.
With only 2.4% raised by female-only founding teams of the total raised funds by startups in Africa in 2022 ( ~ $4.8 billion), SHEBA is positioned as the bridge to closing the gender funding gap in Africa. The accelerator program is designed to address investors’ concerns and investment risks by focusing on the following: Business Development, Finances, Legal & Governance, Human Resources & Leadership, Marketing & Communications as well as Impact Measurement. This investor-focused approach is complemented by hands-on market testing as well as executive coaching, mentorship sessions, and opportunities to leverage ShEquity and MBC Africa’s pan-African and global networks.
In addition to the robust program development focus, SHEBA offers the opportunity to receive funding from ShEquity and other investors within the ShEquity network. After the acceleration program, qualifying businesses are recommended to the ShEquity team for investment consideration. The typical ShEquity seed investment ranges between US$50K and $250K, with an additional opportunity for post-investment support.
To apply for the fourth cohort of the 17-week program. Apply here. The deadline for submissions is 21 April 2022.
ShEquity is an investment firm providing smart investments for impactful, innovative, and scalable female-led and owned businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. ShEquity’s vision is to close the gender funding gap in Africa. ShEquity facilitates access to a pool of de-risked deals to investors composed of innovative, impactful, and scalable female-led and owned businesses. ShEquity aims for a triple bottom line: financial, social, and environmental returns that directly correlate to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, please visit the ShEquity website (https://shequity.com).
MBC Africa is a one-stop boutique that provides an enabling environment for businesses in Africa by providing the business services they need to grow. MBC Africa’s role is to identify, nurture, and develop a critical mass of viable growth-oriented businesses as a pipeline for sustainable and impactful investment in selected African economies, with a special focus on West Africa. Find more information at the MBC website (https://mbcafrica.org).
MBC Africa: email@example.com