GEN is excited to announce the opening of applications for its Women’s Venture Xchange Africa (WVXA) initiative. Launched at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in July, WVXA is a mentorship and exchange program for high-growth women entrepreneurs based in Africa. The pilot program will give four entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend two to four weeks in Nairobi, Kenya beginning with Global Entrepreneurship Week November 16, 2015. The program is being run in partnership with the Case Foundation, the Mara Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State. If successful, this East African pilot initiative will scale up across the African continent.
WVXA is designed to help established women-owned businesses expand beyond the borders of their own countries. These entrepreneurs will gain access to new regional markets, research, and insights into best practices.
The entrepreneurs will be matched with mentors active in their industry in Nairobi through the Mara Foundation’s Mara Mentors program. The mentors will guide and introduce them to industry experts and the broader startup community. The entrepreneurs will be allowed to create their own schedules after an initial week of meetings and introductions. They will also have access to a local workspace or incubator for true immersion.
Applications will be judged based on the company’s likelihood of successful regional expansion, the stage of growth of the entrepreneur’s company, the uniqueness of their concept, and their ambitions for their time in Nairobi. This initiative is geared towards entrepreneurs with established businesses ready for cross-border expansion in East Africa.
Selected entrepreneurs will be required to write regular blog posts about their experiences. Shared accommodations, a stipend for food, and travel to and from Nairobi will be provided. Entrepreneurs are required to stay in Nairobi for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four, beginning November 14, 2015.
Please submit your application using this form. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until October 23, 2015. Selected participants will be notified by October 30, 2015 and must confirm their participation by November 1, 2015.
The deadline is October 23, 2015. Selected entrepreneurs will be notified via email by October 30, 2015. Selected entrepreneurs must confirm their participation by November 1, 2015. After this date admission into the program cannot be guaranteed.
Program only open to female entrepreneurs located in East Africa.
Major criteria include: the company’s likelihood of successful regional expansion in Nairobi and East Africa, the stage of growth of the company, the uniqueness of the concept, and the entrepreneur’s ambitions for their stay.
Entrepreneurs will arrive in Nairobi on November 14, 2015 and are required to stay at least until November 28, 2015. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to stay longer but must depart by December 12, 2015.
Shared accommodations will be provided.
Entrepreneurs will have access to a local co-working space to conduct business while in Nairobi.
Transportation to/from Nairobi will be provided.
A stipend for daily expenses, including food and transportation within Nairobi, will be provided.
Entrepreneurs will be required to submit information via the Mara Mentors platform and reach out to relevant mentors personally. The Mara Foundation and GEN will facilitate this process.
Entrepreneurs can expect a pre-arranged schedule of three to five meetings their first week. They will be allowed to arrange their own schedules for the remainder of their stay.
Entrepreneurs will be required to submit two blog posts about their experiences while in Nairobi as well as two additional posts after program completion. They will also be required to complete three surveys during and after their stay.