ShEquity and MBC Africa announced today the launch of the ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA). Located in the Accra, Ghana, SHEBA will offer venture building and technical support to African female entrepreneurs with impactful and scalable businesses viewed as potential ShEquity investment candidates in agribusiness (agtech, production, processing, wholesale & retailing, any other agribusiness value chain aspects), healthcare, technology (fintech, clean-tech, etc.), renewable energies, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). In addition, qualifying participants will receive funding needed to structure their businesses and become ShEquity investment ready.
The accelerator is the next horizon in ShEquity’s significant investment and active role in building an investment ecosystem for African women entrepreneurs. Accordingly, SHEBA will serve as the pipeline for the ShEquity West Africa VC Fund which is being set up in Accra, Ghana. Every year, SHEBA will select and support 30 women, focusing on the following: business development, financial management; go to market strategy, branding & marketing, governance structure, HR/Team management, leadership development, networking opportunities, founders’ personal development/soft skills development.
Despite being based in the highest region for female entrepreneurship activity in the world, African women are still finding it more challenging to secure investment than their male counterparts. SHEBA was created to help de-risk African female-led businesses, ready them for investment and equip the founders with the skills set needed to scale their businesses.
Ténemba Anna Samaké, Executive Director at MBC Africa, commented, “We have a unique perspective on women entrepreneurs. Our previous experiences equipped us with tools and insights on how to tackle the issue of gender funding gap in Africa. We had at heart to create a unique platform to address operational, access to resources challenges, but also emotional, psychological, and business networks women in business need to thrive.”
Interested applicants must adhere to the following requirements:
- Be a woman leading/owning an impactful and scalable business
- Committing to the 6 months program duration
- Have a business that has been in operation for a minimum of 24 months and is based in the ECOWAS Region
- Signing the SHEBA agreement (to be provided to these selected)
Pauline Koelbl, Founder and Managing Director at ShEquity added, “I am excited to be joining hands with Anna to set up an investment ecosystem that serves as a catalyst to de-risk, strengthen and invest in African female-led businesses. Rather than just complaining about the existing gender funding gap, we are proposing a platform, SHEBA, which will serve as the pathway to securing early stage funding and follow-on investment from ShEquity and other gender lens investors.”
We are now issuing a call for application for the first cohort of the six month program. Apply here. Deadline for submissions is 16 April 2021.