Call for Applications: BIC Africa Online Acceleration Programme for Women Entrepreneurs 2024

Call for Applications: BIC Africa Online Acceleration Programme for Women Entrepreneurs 2024

We’re very excited to announce the call for applications for this year’s edition of our online acceleration programme for women, after three very successful past editions.

This fourth edition of the BIC Africa Acceleration Programme 2024 will support 20 women entrepreneurs in total, including 15 from the country projects Angola, Comoros, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Somalia and 5 others from other Sub-Saharan African countries willing to scale their businesses, while contributing to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The programme will run from April to July 2024 for 4 months, and it will focus on established post-revenue women entrepreneurs with a registered startup or business, across all sectors and business types through a combination of online training modules, coaching sessions, individual exercises, and a networking session with women experts from Africa and Europe with relevant experience in supporting innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups. 

About the Acceleration Programme

We are looking for established women entrepreneurs who are willing to explore growing (and potentially internationalising) their business with the support of the BIC Africa Acceleration Programme.

Twenty selected women entrepreneurs will benefit from a full online training course (6 modules); will participate in dedicated group coaching sessions (4 sessions) to deepen some of the topics addressed during the training; will participate in 2 networking sessions; will be introduced to the alumnae network of BIC Africa Women Acceleration programme and gain access to other networking and market linkage opportunities and events.

The core programme will include:

  • 6 online interactive training modules (each lasting 1.5 hours), on topics such as Mission and Unique Value Proposition; Product Development; Business Model; Team & Partnerships; Finance; Marketing.
  • 4 online group coaching sessions (each lasting 1.5 hours), on topics such as Leadership and influencing skills; Mastering personal and business finances; Storytelling and pitch training; Time management and prioritisation.
  • 2 Networking sessions (at the beginning and at the end of the programme)
  • Access to support documents and recordings of the sessions
  • Integration in the BIC Africa Community of women entrepreneurs, with visibility on the BIC Africa website, integration into the LinkedIn group for this Community, as well as access to other networking and market linkage opportunities and events.

The programme will also open the door for further opportunities and awards:

  • A Certificate of recognition will be sent in an electronic format by EBN – BIC Africa project for those who successfully completed the 12-week course acceleration programme (attending at least 9 out of the 12 sessions).
  • Remote one-to-one Mentoring sessions will be offered to high performing participants selected by the BIC Africa expert committee, who as such will get the chance to be matched with a European incubation expert who will accompany their growth trajectory. Further details will be shared at the start of the programme.
  • Other Business Awards (e.g. additional support, highlighted visibility on BIC Africa website, invitation to participate in a BIC Africa event etc.) will be available to high performing participants selected by the BIC Africa expert committee.

This programme is offered via BIC Africa with the support of the European Union.

Who we are looking for

The preferred candidate should:

  • Be a woman (minimum age of 18-years-old) founder/owner of already established business with an operational team and a strong development potential.
  • Be available between April and July 2024 to participate in the Programme with maximum 2 hours per week for online sessions + time to work individually and reflect upon the learnings.
  • Already running a start-up or company (it must be registered since at least 1 year) and seeking to scale up.
  • Demonstrate commitment to actively participate in all the activities of the Acceleration Programme and assisting future developments of the programme.
  • Have access to reliable internet connection.
  • Have a good working knowledge of English language.

Why join the BIC Africa Acceleration Programme?

The BIC Africa Acceleration Programme is aimed at helping the 20 participants:

  • Explore growth and scaling trajectories for their businesses and solutions.
  • Assess the team competencies and consider how their business model will adapt to the growth phase.
  • Articulate the social value proposition, identifying why and how the proposed solution contributes to SDGs.
  • Access to appropriate sector, local, international experts.
  • Join a vibrant community of women entrepreneurs, where to learn, exchange and connect.
  • Connect with BIC Africa and the European Business Innovation Centre Network (EBN) to unleash the impact of women entrepreneurs (see: https://ebn.eu/).

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible to apply and participate, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be a woman founder/ CEO of a company (minimum age of 18-years-old).

Note: The programme participation cannot be authorized for another team member, the owner or CEO should participate to ensure the knowledge and experience is supporting the company in the long-term.

  • The business must be already in existence (and registered) for more than 1 year and must have an operational team.
  • Based in Sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Comoros, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Somalia being the main target countries with overall 15 seats available in the acceleration batch, out of 20)
  • Have a good working knowledge of English language (proved by the use of English in the application).

Application Process            

If you are interested in taking part in our programme and you meet the eligibility criteria, please apply by the 19th of March 2024, 6:00 PM CET

We advise you to start preparing your application well in advance as it will require some time. 

To apply, you must have a google account and must complete the following google application form https://forms.gle/DYYcqtJie2ig1vE76, which consists of 3 components.

You should: 

  1. Fill in the questions in the form on general information on the applicant and the business.
  2.  Prepare and Upload a Pitch Deck (in PowerPoint Presentation or PDF) 

Important: For this, please download the PowerPoint Presentation template that we provide here: https://shorturl.at/dwFQ6 use it for the creation of your pitch deck and please follow the instructions inside! (Maximum file size: 10 Mo; Maximum no. of slides: 20, can be uploaded in the google application form either in a PPT or pdf format) 

  • Upload your CV  

Please upload it in the google application form in pdf / word format, with max size of 10MB 

Only those applicants who have completed all the 3 components will be considered for selection.  

Assessment Criteria 

Once the eligibility check is performed; BIC Africa will review and evaluate the nominations using the following criteria and scoring: 

  1. Business description and business model > This criterion will assess the business overall, the entrepreneurial profile / team and how the company’s offer responds to market needs  (10 points) 
  2. Innovation dimension > This criterion assesses the innovative aspects of the product or service  (10 points) 
  3. Scalability > This criterion assesses the scalability of the product or service , and the feasibility of the company to achieve significant growth (10 points) 
  4. Impact > This criterion assesses how the solution is going to generate social and environmental impact, and preferably meet the UN SDGs (10 points) 
  5. Motivation > This criterion assesses the motivation expressed by the applicant in the pitch deck. (10 points) 

50/50 is the max scoring. The minimum threshold for accessing the programme is 30/50 

Tentative timeline 

Application Closed.

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