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Featured image: Westerwelle Foundation via Facebook

Applications now open for 2018 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme

The Westerwelle Foundation, a German non-profit which aims to promote entrepreneurship and collaboration among innovators in emerging markets, has opened applications for the 2018 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme.

The Westerwelle Young Founders Programme is a year-long fully funded initiative aimed at developing young entrepreneurs from emerging economies. Only 25 entrepreneurs are selected into each cohort every year. Applications for next year’s programme close on 18 December.

Westerwelle Foundation programme manager Christoph Rohde told Ventureburn in a phone call that the foundation had received roughly 2 279 applications for last year’s programme.

He said participants are selected based on how much of an impact their startups are making and whether they were bringing something new to the market.

Participants from last year’s programme included entrepreneurs from South Africa, Rwanda and Ghana. “The programme is creating a network of founders from all over the world,” said Rohde.

As part of the programme, the 25 entrepreneurs get to participate in a mentoring programme facilitated by experienced entrepreneurs who Rohde said would include leaders of German companies.

Applications for the 2018 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme close next month on 18 December

The programme also makes use of peer-mentoring, as Westerwelle Young Founders participants share how they tackle the problems they face in their respective countries.

“One thing the programme has proved is that even if you’re an entrepreneur from Afghanistan or Bolivia, you face the same struggles,” said Rohde.

In addition, the participants also get to attend the Young Founders Conference, an annual conference that the Westerwelle Foundation hosts. Next year’s conference will be held between 10 and 14 April in Berlin.

The conference aims to connect the 25 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme participants with each other and with the German startup scene. It also serves as a platform where entrepreneurs can meet and interact with investors and policy makers.

Other benefits of the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme include access to an international alumni network and invitations to several other entrepreneurship conferences and opportunities.

Interested? You can apply here.

Featured image: Westerwelle Foundation via Facebook