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She Leads Africa, an initiative empowering women in the continent’s entrepreneurial tech scene, is launching a business pitch competition seeking talented women in West Africa. The platform seeks to connect promising individuals to mentors, business funding and new market opportunities.
This is one of many She Leads Africa’s programmes that aims to help female entrepreneurs gain business fundamentals, connect to an active business network, and increase their access to financing.
With a special focus on — but not limited to — tech, the competition will take place in September when it will screen applications across West Africa to identify the top ten talented female entrepreneurs who have founded or co-founded early stage startups.
Lead organiser Afua Osei says that women are generally excluded from the African growth story. “The continent will not be able to reach its full potential without the full economic participation of women,” she says.
Finalists will be selected by professionals in consulting, venture capital, and the finance industry based on the strength of the idea, ability to scale, understanding of the market, and quality of the management team. Special consideration will be given to entrepreneurs in the technology sector.
The top ten chosen applicants will be paired with mentors to help advance their businesses. For instance, the entrepreneurs will be brought to Lagos to pitch their businesses to a panel of notable business personalities including Hakeem Belo-Osagie Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria; and Ngozi Edozien, CEO InVivo Partners; and Bola Adesola, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank.
Finalists will compete for a US$10 000 cash first place prize, one-on-one meetings with venture capitalists, legal advice from a premier law firm, free business lines and internet packages for a year, tablets, SME accounting software and more.
For more information take a look at the application section on the She Leads Africa’s website.