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At the heart of transforming the African continent is developing women entrepreneurs. Are you a passionate, African, female innovator with a groundbreaking idea in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing, or Mining (STEM)? Are you meeting a development need in your country? Are you ready to turn your vision into a thriving startup that can change the world? If so, we invite you to apply for our Africa Innovation Fellowship Program.

Since 2019, Africa Innovation Fellowship (AIF), in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, has been developing women-owned STEM innovations across sub-Saharan Africa. AIF 2023 is an eight-month leadership and business development opportunity for African women innovators with an early-stage engineering innovation or start up looking to grow, scale and prepare to be investor ready. A number of AIF alumni have gone on to successfully apply for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

AIF kicks off in October 2023 with a virtual masterclass series focused on idea and business incubation, leadership development, funding, and pitch readiness, ending in May 2024. The programme is designed to provide founders with a fully funded in person entrepreneurship bootcamp, expert engineering council, venture clinic, mentorship and financial coaching needed to turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses.

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WomHub Africa Innovation Programme Highlights – Why you should apply

-Mentorship: Access to a network of experienced mentors and industry experts.
– Workshops and Training: Comprehensive training in business development, including; market access, product strategy, external factors, commercial models.
– Co-working Space: Access to a dedicated workspace equipped with essential resources.
– Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, and potential collaborators.
– Pitch Opportunities: Present your startup to potential investors and partners.
– Exposure: Showcase your innovation to a global audience.

Eligibility Criteria:

​- Applicants must have a registered new or innovative STEM-based business idea or startup based in sub-Saharan Africa.
– Applicants should have developed, and be in the early stages of commercialising, an engineering innovation that will bring social and/or environmental benefits to a country/countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
– Individual applicants must be citizens of a country within sub-Saharan Africa*. For teams of two or more, the main applicant must be a citizen of a country within Sub-Saharan Africa.
– No alumni – or co-founders of alumni – on the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will be eligible for the AIF programme.
– Strong commitment to pursuing entrepreneurship.
– Applicants must be able to commit for the eight month-long programme commencing in October 2023 to May 2024.
– Applicants must have a valid passport and be available to travel between October 2023 to May 2024.
– Demonstrated passion and knowledge in their chosen STEM field.
– Willingness to actively participate in the program.
– Applicants must identify as women.
– Applicants must be over the age of 18. There is no upper age limit.

How to Apply:

​Access the online application form here

Application Process:

– Fill out the online application form on our website. Only applications completed through the online application form will be accepted.
– Upload any supporting documents in the application form.
– The deadline for submission of completed applications is 5th October 2023, 23h59 SAST
– Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview.
– Final selection and program commencement.

Important Dates:
– Application Deadline: 5th October 2023
– Interview Dates: 19th – 31st October 2023
– Program Start Date: 23rd November 2023
– Programme Support: November 2023 – June 2024

* For the purposes of this Fellowship, Sub-Saharans African countries include:
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland/eSwatini, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Visit the official webpage

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