Innovate Now Accelerator Programme Seeks Mobile Solutions to Assist Persons with Disabilities

Innovate Now, Africa’s first Assistive Technology Accelerator is seeking applications from innovators across the African continent who are dedicated to developing mobile-based technologies designed to assist people living with disabilities.


The UK Aid-funded programme, gets conducted by Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub and Amref Enterprises Limited, hopes to accelerate 12 start-ups in its second cohort, with a focus on solutions that will leverage mobile technologies to enable persons with disabilities access information and navigate daily life with independence and dignity.


The second intake’s theme – Mobile and Assistive Technology (AT) – is in response to research indicating that mobile technology can increase access to assistive technologies, information, digital products and services for people with disabilities.

This is especially true in Africa, a rapidly digitising economy where numerous basic services and products are available via mobile phone in countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.


“The mobile device and associated mobile technologies have tremendously improved access to information, goods and services for people from all walks of life, including persons with disabilities.


Innovate Now Cohort 2.0 aims to support ventures that are leveraging this disruptive technology to improve functioning, independence and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in Africa,’’ noted Bernard Chiira, Director – Innovate Now.


According to a study on mobile disability gaps published by the GSMA, mobile phone ownership among persons with disabilities is high, with approximately 82% of adults with disabilities in Kenya owning a mobile phone for example.


Although persons with disabilities are less likely to own a mobile phone than non-disabled persons, those with access to mobile devices perceive the handsets to be useful for accessing features such as education and financial services.


“The independence and wellbeing of persons with disabilities is critical. Assistive technologies are central to ensuring that persons with disabilities can continue to thrive.


It is my desire to see innovations supported by Innovate Now turn into big businesses that will not only make mobility easy, but create employment for our people,” said Senator Isaac Mwaura, Chair – Innovate Now Board.


Innovate Now is also inviting submissions for mobile technology-based innovations that seek to provide solutions to help persons with disabilities during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benefits of participation


  • Selected finalists will participate in a rigorous 3-month virtual start-up acceleration programme that will run from July to September 2020
  • Access to the Innovate Now Live-Lab Network where they can engage persons with disabilities in the product development process.
  • Access to mentorship from experts such as Rhys Williams and Catherine Holloway from GDI Hub; Anne Lawi, Country Director – Pangea Accelerator; Maurice Otieno, Executive Director – Baraza Media Lab, and Robert Yawe, Managing Director – SynapTech Solutions, among others.
  • Presenting their innovations to a select audience of investors and world leading institutions with the aim of scaling them to reach the populations that need them most.

Last year’s 5 finalists are preparing to pitch at the Innovate Now Virtual Demo Day to hold on June 4, 2020, during which various investments to get announced. They include:


  • Vision Vijana
  • Linccell Technology
  • Hope Tech Plus
  • Syna Consulting
  • Toto SCI

Innovate Now is part of the AT2030 Programme. It is Africa’s first Assistive Technology Innovation Ecosystem and Start-up Accelerator and gets implemented by Amref Enterprises Limited (AEL) and led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub.


The Accelerator aims to support 60 start-ups, 15 of which will get scaled up over the next 3 years.


With statistics showing that close to 1 billion people globally do not have access to Assistive Technology and the gap is likely to double by 2050, the accelerator programme seeks to close the gap that exists between persons with disabilities and access to assistive technologies.


How to Apply

Interested start-ups with innovative ideas can go ahead to apply through this platform. The deadline for application is Monday, June 8, 2020.

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gddo_adm May 22, 2020 0 Comments

Forbes8 Launches Nigeria’s First Digital Startup Accelerator Program To Support Business Resilience During COVID19 Pandemic

Forbes8 announces Nigeria’s First Digital Startup Accelerator Program (Forbes first netflix for entrepreneurs digital community).


This launch is seeking over 100 of Nigeria’s top SME business and startup companies to train digitally, provide Forbes resources and perks from global partners.


Forbes Magazine is an iconic brand that has graced our business culture for over a century (since 1917).


“Forbes recently launched Forbes8 – a Netflix for entrepreneurs community platform to provide access to its top business mogul community so we can show you “how to make it” and thrive as a business pioneer today.”

Eligibility for Participation


  • The free virtual accelerator will welcome 100 top companies from Nigeria
  • The Forbes8 digital accelerator program is open to all small businesses, startups, and freelancers
  • The program is free as it involves no equity and obligation
Benefits of Participation


  • Founders selected for the program will undergo 4 intensive weeks of digital training to help build and scale their companies for the future.
  • Accepted companies will have access to live virtual accelerator training for 4 weeks, access to the Forbes8 community and access to $100k in free credits and perks from AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and SendGrid.
How to Apply

Startups can apply for admission to the Forbes8 digital accelerator on a rolling basis between May 5th- May 26th.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Interested founders can apply here.

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gddo_adm May 18, 2020 0 Comments

Application Opens for ITU Innovation Challenges 2020

The 2020 edition of the ITU Innovation Challenges will be taking place amid a global pandemic caused by Covid-19.


This has resulted in stress on value chains and countries’ readiness for a digital economy, significantly affecting social conditions worldwide.


Today, more than ever, we need digital innovation to help communities leverage technology to bridge the digital innovation divide and improve social conditions.


The ITU Innovation challenges bring together policy-makers, ecosystem builders, innovators, and resource partners to co-create ideas and projects that nurture an inclusive digital world.


There are three challenges to choose from:


  • The Digital Change-maker Challenge covers a wide range of topics from cybersecurity and regulation, to digital inclusion and climate change, and calls for participants to provide innovative solutions to real-life problems faced by stakeholders in their communities, especially considering value chain competitiveness and global disruption due to COVID-19.
  • The Ecosystem Best Practice Challenge looks for ecosystem builders to identify best practices that allow innovators to develop sustainable and resilient solutions to navigate technological change and bridge the digital divide.
  • The Women in Tech Challenge, in cooperation with the EQUALS Global Partnership, invites tech innovators to help and empower women in various sectors, including agriculture, fashion, and health.


The winners will be announced in August 2020 and will be invited to a four-day immersive Global Innovation Forum in October 2020 where winners will participate in capacity-building workshops and pitch their proposals to a global audience of experts and network with decision makers.


Exceptionally, this year, we are looking at this forum as an online event due to the changing situation of Covid-19 (details to come).


At least 5 global winners will be selected per challenge by a jury of experts. Application criteria and guidelines are available here.


The application deadline is Friday, July 31, 2020. For more information about ITU innovation challenges, please visit here or send an email to

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gddo_adm May 13, 2020 0 Comments

AWIEF Extends Application Deadline for Leadtech Incubation Program

Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) extends the deadline for applications for Leadtech Incubation program to Wednesday, May 20, 2020.


LeadTech Incubation is open to female digital startup leaders who are 18 years of age or older and residing in any African country.


In light of the ongoing developments and challenges around COVID-19, the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has extended the deadline for applications for the LeadTech Incubation Program to Wednesday, May 20, 2020.


It was initially announced on Monday, March 9, 2020, here.


LeadTech is run in partnership with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) Morocco.


AWIEF founder and CEO, Irene Ochem says “We fully appreciate the uncertainty, disruptions to business and need for flexibility during these difficult times, and hope that this will relieve some pressure for those who would like to submit an application.


This global pandemic serves to highlight the importance of innovations in health, education, agriculture, finance and environment in Africa, and LeadTech Incubation offers a unique opportunity for women tech and digital startups to test, develop and grow their innovative solutions in a time calling for creative and collaborative solutions to global problems”.


Selected participants will gain access to:


  • Tailored training and capacity-building
  • A 3-week residency at UM6P in Morocco
  • Space and infrastructure (Living Labs, Digital Lab, Data Center, Prototyping Labs)
  • World-class mentors and experts to work with you
  • 5-months virtual incubation
  • Venture showcase at AWIEF2020 (2 – 3 December, Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Funding opportunities
Eligibility Criteria


LeadTech Incubation is open to female digital startup leaders who are 18 years of age or older and residing in any African country.


You have an innovative, scalable offer that integrates digital technologies into the process.


You are passionate, committed, and have the capacity to engage fully in the program.


For more details and to apply, please visit this link.


The new application deadline is now Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

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gddo_adm May 1, 2020 0 Comments

Google Africa Developer Scholarships Opens for Applications

Google is pleased to announce the third round of Google Africa Developer Scholarships, as part of our commitment to create skills and economic opportunities for Africa.

This builds on Google’s 5-year engagement to help bridge the developer skills and opportunities gap in Africa by providing 100,000 African developers with access to high-quality, world-class training on mobile technologies and Cloud platforms.

Today, Google has also announced an additional 30,000 training scholarship opportunities and a further 1,000 grants for the Google Associate Android Developer and Associate Cloud Engineer certifications.

The training will be delivered by our partners, Pluralsight and Andela, through an intensive curriculum designed to prepare learners for entry-level and intermediate roles as software developers.

Across Africa we continue to see developers who have successfully gone through the scholarship program grow their careers and also use their skills to benefit their communities.

Boutheina Bouchahda, a middle-school teacher from Tunisia, went through the training program last year and is building an application for her students to teach them how to program.

Boutheina credits the scholarship program for her skills and confidence growth. Ayeah Godlove Akoni from Cameroon completed the web development skills track and immediately got a job as a web developer.

He is also one of the 1,000 developers across Africa who qualified for the developer certification grants. .

Throughout this journey, we have seen the value of peer-to-peer learning as a catalyst for deeper learning thanks to the in-person meetups facilitated by our community leads in multiple cities across Africa.

Developers accepted into the scholarship will gain access to our network of over 250 Google Developer Groups and Developer Student Clubs in 150 cities across Africa.

This connection to communities focused on Google technologies will provide access to extra skills and help inspire the next generation of software developers in Africa.

Please click here to apply for the scholarship.

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gddo_adm April 24, 2020 0 Comments

COVID-1COVID-19: Generation Africa launches second annual US$100,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize

To find, inspire and support the best agrifood business models from young African entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 crisis

The 2020 competition aims to grow the pan-African GoGettaz entrepreneurial community and pave the way for new businesses embracing technology and innovation in the agrifood and agritech sectors

The $100,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition 2020 launched on 14 April 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic to give hope and support to the agripreneurs on the African continent.

Bringing on board influential co-founders, members and ambassadors, the 2020 competition aims to grow the pan-African GoGettaz entrepreneurial community and pave the way for new businesses embracing technology and innovation in the agrifood and agritech sectors.

The $100,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition 2020 is back for its second year.

The competition aims to inspire young people throughout the African continent to launch and grow innovative or technology-driven businesses in the agrifood sector, from “seed to fork” and beyond.

The 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition will acknowledge two innovative ventures, one led by a man and one led by a woman who founded or co-founded businesses in the agrifood sector in Africa.

The winners each awarded a grand prize of $50,000 along with an industry-leading support network to take their businesses to the next level.

The competition launches as the coronavirus pandemic is having a severely negative impact on health, well-being, and livelihoods of billions of people throughout Africa and the world.

While the ultimate costs of this crisis are unknown, tremendous effort and innovation is needed to keep agribusiness going and ensure the health crisis does not translate into also a severe food crisis.

Leadership and coordinated action are required at global, national, and local levels to find solutions for agrifood systems that are responsive to, and supportive of, health measures. Africa’s youth agripreneurs have a huge role to play.

“We have decided to go ahead with the 2020 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition. Not despite the coronavirus, but because of it,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara International.

“Now, more than ever, we need to support African agrifood entrepreneurs and the small and medium agribusinesses on the continent.

They are the people who produce food and get it to the people who need it. They will be the people who help to rebuild our economies after the pandemic is over.”

In 2019 pan-African telecommunication, technology and renewable energy group Econet together with global crop nutrition leader Yara, co-catalysed Generation Africa and the inaugural US$100,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize which was awarded in September at the annual Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit in Accra, Ghana.

The success of the 2019 campaign attracted industry leaders in the global and African agriculture sectors. In 2020 the Generation Africa initiative adds four inspirational co-founders to their ranks.

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) strives to grow agriculture on the continent to feed Africa and the world. Corteva Agriscience harnesses cutting edge science to build flourishing farms.

The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU) represents the common interest of regional farmers.

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture links small-holder farmers to agri-services, insurance and quality seeds.

“Agrifood is more than an essential business in this global pandemic, it is urgent for survival,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet.

“Our African agribusinesses must stay strong and innovate to meet growing food needs locally, across the whole value chain.

With forex income impacted by COVID-19, our nations can no longer rely on imports to feed our people. Now is the time for Africa’s entrepreneurs to see and seize new opportunities.”

Generation Africa aims to inspire and nurture young entrepreneurs in Africa’s agrifood sector, from sapling businesses to companies that have already taken root firmly.

On top of this, it will provide the framework to build a support ecosystem that connects these agripreneurs with the tools, knowledge, mentors and investors they need to grow from ideas or start-ups to full-scale businesses.

This network will allow them to spot fertile new opportunities or be forewarned about continental developments that could necessitate business pivots.

Launched on 14 April 2020, the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition is open to young, agrifood entrepreneurs, aged 18 – 35 from across Africa. Applications can be submitted to the competition via here.

10 Finalists will be invited to compete in a live or virtual (online) pitching contest at the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit between 8-11 September 2020.

The two GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize winners will receive their US$50,000 awards alongside the prestigious Africa Food Prize. All 10 finalists will be awarded mentorship, programming linkages and other guidance to continue their entrepreneurial journey.

Featured Image: Africa’s go getters: Isaac Sesi from Sesi Technologies Ghana (left) and Bonolo Monthe of Maungo Craft, Botswana all smiles after they received the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize in 2019.

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gddo_adm April 17, 2020 0 Comments

Interested In The Swiss Economy? Apply For Kickstart Incubation Program

Kickstart, one of the biggest European innovation platforms, has opened applications, for start-ups, having an interest in making a statement, in the Switzerland market.


Kickstart wants up to 100 entrepreneurs, to enter its three-month program, meant for late-stage start-ups.

Entrepreneurs, from any country, are eligible to apply for this program. Start-ups with successful applications will commence the program, by early September 2020.

Specifically, the programme affords focused attention, on start-ups that integrate technology, into their business structure.

Such start-ups include, Smart City & Technology, FinTech & InsurTech, Food & Retail, HealthTech and EdTech.

Kickstart has confirmed that, for the first time, since its inaugural edition, it will pay special attention to Circular Economy, in the course of the program. Participating start-ups will get to learn about business development, viz-a-viz the Switzerland market.

Kickstart is an annual B2B scale-up program that, connects and creates commercial and pilot projects, in partnership with any of the following Kickstart’s 50 public and corporate sector partners, which include: Credit Suisse, AXA, Lafarge Holcim and Roche.

Selected applicants, that make it to the end of the program, would create innovative partnerships, with top Executive members, from Swiss organisations, foundations, universities and others.


The whole essence, of the partnership, is, to enable the participating start-ups, to solve business challenges, in real life.

Speaking on the merit of the Kickstart incubation program, Katka Letzing, Co-founder, Kickstart said, Switzerland is, a very attractive market, for later-stage start-ups. “We are, regularly, recognised as a world leader, for innovation and our leading organisations have a big appetite, for new technologies and solutions.

“It can be challenging, for aspiring entrants to gain access, to the Swiss market and promising opportunities, for collaboration can be lost. Kickstart, aims to overcome this hurdle, by bridging the gap, between start-ups and organisations, allowing them to tackle real-world solutions and to innovate together”.

The next edition of the programme would be the fifth incubation of Kickstart.

Featured Image: afterschoolafrica

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gddo_adm April 10, 2020 0 Comments

AWEIF & UM6P Partner to Launch LeadTech Incubation Programme

The new programme was unveiled for the first time during the AWIEF 2020 International Women’s Day event on Monday, March 9, 2020, in Lagos, Nigeria.


Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has partnered with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco (UM6P), a world-class institution that puts research, innovation and entrepreneurship at the service of the development of the African continent, to launch LeadTech Incubation Programme.


Despite Africa being one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the world, women’s participation in the technology sector remains considerably low.


LeadTech is a continental programme to support early-stage African women-led digital startups with tools needed for their growth and success.


Sharing the belief that entrepreneurship and women’s leadership are key drivers in transforming Africa, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) through its entity P-Curiosity Lab, in partnership with AWIEF, will support 15 African young female entrepreneurs as part of the 2020 LeadTech cohort.


Irene Ochem, Founder and CEO of AWIEF, said “We are extremely excited and proud to work with UM6P to map the path for women empowerment in the technology sector in Africa.


With LeadTech, we will build a pan-African network of female tech leaders who will serve as role models and demystify the notion that women are not as capable for leadership in technology”.


Lamia Housni, Head of P-Curiosity Lab at UM6P said, “LeadTech programme is designed, in partnership with AWIEF, to strengthen African women’s presence in the technology sector by selecting and incubating promising and innovative tech startups in Education, Healthcare, Finance, Environment, and Biotechnology”.


Housni further noted, “The launch of this programme comes at a particular moment when our African citizens are having to change their habits and isolate themselves to reduce the spread of the global pandemic coronavirus disease, COVID-19.


LeadTech programme becomes more than ever necessary for the development of our continent since it places digital as a solution to deliver services to our communities, essential to their socio-economic inclusion, environmental health, and sustainability of their activities.”


With LeadTech, we will build a pan-African network of female tech leaders who will serve as role models and demystify the notion that women are not as capable for leadership


What LeadTech Offers Participants
  • Tailored training and capacity building3 weeks residency at UM6P in MoroccoSpace and infrastructure (Living Labs, Digital Lab, Data Center, Prototyping Labs)
  • World-class mentors and experts to work with you5 months virtual incubationVenture showcase at AWIEF 2020.
Eligibility Criteria
  • This programme is open to early-stage female digital startup leaders who are 18 years of age or older and residing in any African country.
  • You have an innovative, scalable offer that integrates digital technologies into the process.
  • You are passionate, committed, and have the capacity to engage fully in the programme.

To apply for LeadTech, please follow this link.

Application closes on Friday, April 24,  2020.

Featured Image: africanews

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gddo_adm March 27, 2020 0 Comments

$3 Million Up for Grabs, Apply for Facebook Community Accelerator programme

In line with its mission to give people the power to build community around the world and its commitment to supporting the community leaders who drive change, Facebook is announcing the launch of the Community Accelerator programme which will be available in the following countries: South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.


An evolution of the Facebook Community Leadership Programme (FCLP), this six-month accelerator programme provides training, mentorship and funding to help community leaders grow their communities.


Selected community leaders will spend three months learning from experts, coaches and a customised curriculum to create a plan to grow their communities.


They will spend the next three months iterating and executing on their plans, with funding and support from their networks.


Kiran Yoliswa, Strategic Partner Manager, Communities SSA at Facebook said, “Our mission is to empower the leaders who foster community – people who offer support, encourage others and make real change,”


“We are investing in leaders because we believe and know they make significant contributions to today’s social challenges, by sharing knowledge and information, and helping people to connect with others that share same interests or passions for a good cause.”


In 2019 the Facebook Community Leadership Programme provided training, funding, and support to 115 community leaders.


The leaders reported that their projects impacted over 1.9 million lives through online community support, the use of helpful resources and other activities made possible by the programme.


The 12 community leaders from Sub – Saharan Africa said their projects impacted over 80,000 lives. They included:


  • Anike Lawal, Mamalette (Nigeria)
  • Noah Kadima Nasiali, Africa Farmers Club (Kenya)
  • Felista Wangari, 52-Week Savings Challenge (Kenya)
  • Pamellah Oduor, Let’s Cook Kenyan Meals (Kenya)
  • Asha Mweru, #WomenWorkKE (Kenya)
  • Caroline Kihusa, Still A Mum (Kenya)
  • Truphosah Monah, Women And Realities of Disability Society (Kenya)
  • Mamadou Sy, Docteur Nakamou (Senegal)
  • Gabriel Hoosain Khan LGBTI community, Human Rights (South Africa)
  • Lusanda Magwape, Dream Factory Foundation (South Africa)
  • Nadine Maselesele, Salt River High Tutoring (South Africa)
  • Savio Lule Mark, The Youth Hub Uganda (Uganda)


Facebook also announced that it has built new tools to help community leaders add new members and moderate conversations in their Groups.


The improved membership management tool improves how Group admins can manage new member requests, and content moderation features make it easier for admins to see important posts and find specific content.


The Community Accelerator programme is one of the many investments Facebook is making in community leaders.


The Facebook Community Learning Labs brings Group admins with similar goals together into a collaborative digital classroom for structured learning, a dedicated Facebook team with experience helps Group admins achieve their goals.


The Community Hub, meanwhile, is a place where anyone can access product education and learn more about Facebook’s programmes. It includes tips and tools for starting, managing and growing a community.


If you run an impactful, established community, ready to grow using Facebook’s apps and have the time and energy to invest in this programme, you can apply here before 10 April 2020 if you are 18 years and older.


Community leaders from the selected programme countries, including those without a presence on one of Facebook’s apps, are welcome to apply.


How to Apply


Applications are open to participants from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

You can visit here to put up your application.

The deadline for registration is Friday, April 10, 2020, while the programme commences by June 2020.

Featured Image:

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gddo_adm March 13, 2020 0 Comments

Are You A Female Tech Founder? Apply For ‘Tech By Her Accelerator’

The ‘Tech By Her Accelerator’ Program is, giving support, to blooming female-led tech ventures, for them to be, globally, competitive and sustainable.

The program is, powered by MEST, plus support, from the Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative, ‘Make-IT in Africa’.

The aim of the ‘Tech By Her Accelerator’ program is, to help create a reliable female entrepreneurship community that spans across the whole of the African continent.

The program is, set to achieve this, through the mentoring of female founders and also, creating a network of alumni, among successful participants, in the ‘Tech By Her Accelerator’.

It will, also, address the common challenges encountered, by female tech founders. Ten female tech entrepreneurs will be selected, in the 3-month accelerator, from companies in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.

Benefits of participation
  • Integrated training and coaching
  • Access to Africa’s industry leaders and experts
  • Supportive Community of top female entrepreneurs
  • Invitation to the alumni network of successful female entrepreneurs
  • An expansive network of tech experts
  • All-expense paid, two Intensive Boot Camps in Accra, Ghana
  • Virtual coaching and mentoring for 3 months
  • Visibility and media publicity, for selected participants
Eligibility criteria for participants
  • A female founder/co-founder of your organisation, available to participate, fully, in all aspects of the program
  • An early-stage start-up that, has achieved commercialisation and monetisation phase
  • Be technology-based, or, have technology, as the core enabler, of the business
  • Have been operating for at least one, (1), year, before applying for this program, with a live product, or, service on the market
  • Have the business registered, in any of Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. Participants must be African
  • Showing evidence of scalability from its revenue
  • The business model, must be social impact-driven
  • Must be ready, to organize, at least one event, in your community, with support from your local MEST office
  • Be ready, as a founder, to be an ambassador, of the program and of tech entrepreneurship, encouraging and motivating other females, in the entrepreneurial space
How to apply

If you are a female tech founder and have satisfied the criteria mentioned above, you can go ahead to apply here. The deadline for applications is, Friday, March 13, 2020.

Featured Image: Kachwanya

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gddo_adm March 9, 2020 0 Comments