Accelerator Mentorship Programme for Women-led SMEs in Africa
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN)are launching a pilot Accelerator Mentorship Programme to support women entrepreneurs in addressing key challenges and constraints they face in their businesses.
The objective of the jointly-led Accelerator Mentorship Programme is to foster a selected number of women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa with one-to-one mentorship with a panel of experts who are leading women entrepreneurs from around the globe, using a structure through which participants can interact and learn from the expert panel, as well as to provide them with access to knowledge and tools necessary to grow their enterprises and adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.
Specifically, the programme aims to provide selected women entrepreneurs with:
- A one-to-one mentorship/ coaching opportunity;
- A series of tailor-made trainings to enhance hard skills from a selection of available options;
- Knowledge exchange, networking and peer-learning opportunities; and
- Access/links to tools developed by FAO, IAFN and other institutions.
The Accelerator Mentorship Programme will include the following components:
- One-on-One Mentoring. Each participant will be paired with a mentor through a matchmaking programme, with a leader/ expert in their area of need and will receive personal guidance and consultation for 6 months.
- Capacity development and tools – Tailor-made training to enhance hard skills. Each participant will be expected to complete 2 mandatory courses and select at least 2 of the optional courses, according to her interests, needs and priorities. In addition, participants will have access to a wide range of knowledge products and tools.
- Workshops & Interaction with Global Leaders. Through joint workshop sessions with experts in the field, participants will have access to knowledge exchange sessions, peer learning and networking with each other as well as with invited experts allowing for interactive moments. IAFN will also provide guidance and dedicated workshops on how to access finance, such as on the development of business plans and/ or bankable proposals. These workshop sessions will be recorded and made available in a password-protected dedicated section of the FAO CONNECT Portal, which participants can access if they have missed a session and/or would like to refer to them subsequently. At the end of each workshop, there will be interactive time with business leaders and mentors.
A virtual graduation ceremony will take place at the end of the programme, involving FAO and IAFN management, and participants will be honored with certificates.
The selected participants will also provide brief clips or short videos showcasing their businesses and their experiences in participating in the programme. Experiences will be documented and published in the FAO CONNECT Portal.
Please contact Irina Wandera (Irina@emergingag.com) with any questions pertaining to your application in advance of the deadline.
Disclaimer: This program does not guarantee any sales or loans will incur as a result of participation. Its intention is to provide access to expertise and access to knowledge products and tools to grow your business. A cohort of 50 female entrepreneurs operating in the agrifood sector in the Sub-Saharan Africa region will be selected to participate in the first year of the customised programme, planned to begin in October 2022.
Application Deadline: August 29, 2022 at 6pm CET
Applicants will be notified by September 30, 2022 as to the success of their submission.
Commitment Requirement: The programme takes place over six months from October 2022 to March 2023. Successful applicants will be expected to meet virtually with their assigned mentor once a month for a total of six meetings. Each participant will be expected to complete 4 courses through the FAO eLearning Academy (self-paced programmes). Three workshops will be held in which live attendance is encouraged (recordings will be made available for post-workshop viewing).
Who can apply:
Female entrepreneurs leading and owning small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the agrifood sector in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
Participants will be selected by a panel of experts from FAO and IAFN, and the programme mentors.
Please note that currently, we are only accepting applications from SMEs operating in Africa.