She Leads Africa opens applications for Entrepreneur Showcase competition

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She Leads Africa (SLA) has announced the launch of its 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase set to take place in Lagos, Nigeria, in September, with female entrepreneurs invited to apply to compete at the event.

Speaking to Disrupt Africa, the SLA team, said the Showcase will feature a competition – known as SLA Pitch -, with applications open to female entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35.

SLA said the model and form of the competition has not yet been decided, although last year’s event took the form of a live head-to-head pitching competition.

Prizes have also not been decided yet, with SLA saying they hope to better last year’s first prizes, which saw the first prize winner take home US$10,000 in cash, and US$5,000 awarded to the second prize winner.

“We decided to launch She Leads Africa because we saw a critical gap in the market ­ no one was investing in high growth female entrepreneurs,” said SLA co­founder Yasmin Belo-­Osagie.

“Through our Entrepreneur Showcase we not only give exceptional entrepreneurs a space to connect with investors and the media but we also provide them with training and mentoring to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the experience.”

This year’s event will include a “people’s choice” candidate, with a selection committee to come up with a shortlist, from which the community will be asked to vote for an entrepreneur to compete at the Showcase.

The Showcase will not be limited to the pitching competition, but will also feature full-day workshops, and networking opportunities bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders.

Applications for the 2015 competition can be made online, and close on June 30.

Businesses from any industry are eligible to apply as long as there is one woman on the founding team, aged between 18­ and 35 years old.

Companies must have launched their product or service, been in operation for less than three years, and received less than US$50,000 in funding.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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