Spring startup accelerator wants to empower girls in East Africa


Sponsored by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Nike Foundation, the East African Spring Accelerator has recently launched in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with plans to expand to the rest of the continent as well as Asia.

Slightly different to what we usually come across, Spring has a social-good edge to it that makes it stands out. The programme is looking to help build and scale businesses that can improve the lives of adolescent girls living in poverty.

“What sets our accelerator apart is our work with local and global entrepreneur networks to provide financing, world-class mentors, and leading expertise in business growth, human-centered design, innovation and marketing”, says SPRING team leader Pauline Mwangi.

Read more: 8 exciting African startup programmes and accelerators to watch in 2015

Potential applicants must have the following criteria:

  • Businesses with girls as an existing or potential target market.
  • Businesses that have been generating revenue for a minimum of 1 year.
  • Businesses with current operations in Kenya, Uganda, or Rwanda (or by the start of the accelerator programme in June 2015.)
  • Businesses with products that can help girls generate income, save time or labour, save and invest their earnings, feel safe and secure

Fifty applicants will be chosen to pitch in May in the startup’s capital city. Eighteen of those will be chosen do join the Spring accelerator programme where they will work with advisors, mentors, coaches and peers in a curriculum tailored to their specific needs. After prototyping, the startups will get a chance to pitch in front of a group of international investors in September.

After the programme startups are encouraged to implement their product solutions. Spring hopes to ultimately reach 200 000 girls through the initiative.

Applications will close in March. For more information visit the website here.



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