Female entrepreneurs in ECOWAS region invited to apply for ShEquity accelerator


Female entrepreneurs located in the 15 countries that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been invited to apply for the second edition of the ShEquity accelerator programme.

The ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA) is a 16-week programme that provides venture building and technical support to African female entrepreneurs across the ECOWAS region who are looking to successfully grow their businesses and become investment ready.  

Established in March 2021 by ShEquity, an investment vehicle providing smart investments for impactful, innovative and scalable female-led and owned businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa, in collaboration with its implementation partner MBC Africa, SHEBA addresses the existing gender funding gap by de-risking African female-led businesses, getting them to become investment ready and equipping the founders with the skill set needed to grow and scale their businesses. 

In addition to the robust programme development focus, SHEBA offers ShEquity and other investors within the ShEquity network access to investment ready opportunities in female-led and owned businesses. After the acceleration programme, qualifying businesses are recommended to the ShEquity team for investment consideration. The typical ShEquity seed investment ranges between US$50,000 and US$250,000, with an additional opportunity of post-investment support.

SHEBA focuses on impactful, innovative and scalable businesses in agribusiness, healthcare, tech enabled solutions, renewable energies, mobility and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). The inaugural cohort graduated 16 founders from Benin, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo.

“We are thrilled to be launching this new edition and are extremely confident that this new cohort group will experience the same game changing impact on their businesses as the first cohort group,” said Pauline Koelbl, founder of ShEquity. 

“Participants in SHEBA’s inaugural programme experienced an increase in the number of customers and overall sales, evolution of business models, increased managerial confidence, and an overall mindset shift to one of focus. Such impressive outcomes represent the foundations of the SHEBA programme that drives accelerator participants towards investment readiness.”

Applications are open here until May 6. This call for applications is for English speakers only, with a separate call for French speakers to be issued next month. 


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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