African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) is accepting applications from African female entrepreneurs to join its next cohort of 200 women who are ready to participate in a high-impact applied learning experience. The application will open from January 17 to January 30, 2022.
Cohort 5 will run from June 2022 to May 2023. During May 2022, there will be a four-week online orientation.
AWEC is the accelerant behind hundreds of African female entrepreneurs who have transformed and grown their businesses.
The program is designed for African women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their knowledge, increase their skills, broaden their network, and make lifelong connections.
The AWEC program is for you if you are:
- A founder of a business that has been in operation for at least two years in any industry and has at least two employees (either full time or part time) or a woman who has a strong business concept and plans to launch her 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.
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, and Motivation to be part of a yearlong learning experience.
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.
Upon successful completion of the 12-month program, fellows will get to 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.