She Leads Africa (SLA) has announced the launch of a three-month accelerator for women, and has opened applications for the first cohort to female entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
The 3 month SLA Accelerator – which is co-hosted by Guaranty Trust Bank and the Work in Progress! Alliance – will see the entrepreneurs participate in three one-week residencies, where they will receive training from the SLA team and its network, focusing on growth, marketing and distribution.
After each residency, the entrepreneurs will return home for three weeks to implement the lessons learnt. During this time, they will receive remote assistance and monitoring.
The accelerator will end with a Demo Day where businesses will pitch to local and international investors and compete for NGN2million (US$10,047).
SLA said the accelerator is an extension of the Entrepreneur Showcase pitching competition, and will enable the organisation to work with entrepreneurs more in-depth.
“The pitch competition was a great way to find and fund women led businesses but we weren’t able to work as closely with the entrepreneurs as we would have liked and help them hit key milestones. The accelerator will enable us to really focus on key areas the businesses need to improve on,” said SLA cofounder Afua Osei.
“Entrepreneurs learn by doing,” Osei continued, “so while there will be some classroom time, the main priority is for entrepreneurs to actually do their work and immediately put lessons learnt into practice. We’ll be on hand to support them the entrepreneurs will essentially have a team of live-in consultants.”
The accelerator is open to Nigerian startups with at least one female founder aged between 18 and 35; the startup must have already launched, within the last three years; and must not have raised more than US$50,000 in external funding.
Applications are open until May 31, here.