• Home
  • /
  • Funding
  • /
  • African innovation fellowship empowerment (female entrepreneurs )

African innovation fellowship empowerment (female entrepreneurs )

Inviting Women-Owned Engineering Businesses to Participate in Our Africa Innovation Fellowship Program!

The core of transforming the African continent lies in fostering women entrepreneurs. Are you a passionate African female innovator with a groundbreaking idea in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing, or Mining (STEM)? Do you address a developmental need in your country? Are you ready to transform your vision into a thriving startup that can make a global impact? If so, we welcome you to apply for our Africa Innovation Fellowship Program.

Since 2019, the Africa Innovation Fellowship (AIF), in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, has been nurturing STEM innovations owned by women across sub-Saharan Africa. AIF 2023 presents an eight-month leadership and business development opportunity for African women innovators with an early-stage engineering innovation or startup, aiming to grow, scale, and prepare for investment. Several AIF alumni have successfully applied for the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

AIF commences in October 2023 with a virtual masterclass series focused on idea and business incubation, leadership development, funding, and pitch readiness, concluding in May 2024. The program is crafted to offer founders a fully funded in-person entrepreneurship boot camp, expert engineering guidance, venture clinic, mentorship, and financial coaching essential to transform their innovative ideas into successful businesses.

Highlights of the Program – Reasons to Apply:

  • Mentorship: Gain access to a network of experienced mentors and industry experts.
  • Workshops and Training: Comprehensive training in business development, covering market access, product strategy, external factors, and commercial models.
  • Co-working Space: Utilize 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 possess 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 commercializing an engineering innovation that will provide social and/or environmental benefits to a country or 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 from the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will be eligible for the AIF program.
  • Strong commitment to pursuing entrepreneurship.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to the eight-month-long program from 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:

  • Complete the online application form on our website. Only applications submitted through the online application form will be considered.
  • Upload any necessary 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-Saharan 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.

For further inquiries, please or email aif@womeng.org.

Leave a Reply