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Grant Opportunities: Accelerator Mentorship Programme for Women-led SMEs in Africa

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Deadline: 29-Aug-22

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) are pleased to launch a pilot Accelerator Mentorship Programme to support women entrepreneurs in addressing key challenges and constraints they face in their businesses.

A virtual graduation ceremony will take place at the end of the programme, involving FAO and IAFN management, and participants will be honored with certificates


The objective of the jointly-led Accelerator Mentorship Program is to foster a selected number of women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa with one-to-one mentorship with a panel of experts who are leading women entrepreneurs from around the globe, using a structure through which participants can interact and learn from the expert panel, as well as to provide them with access to knowledge and tools necessary to grow their enterprises and adapt to an ever-changing marketplace.

  • Specifically, the program aims to provide selected women entrepreneurs with:
    • A one-to-one mentoring/ coaching opportunity;
    • A series of tailor-made trainings to enhance hard skills from a selection of available options;
    • Knowledge exchange, networking and peer-learning opportunities; and
    • Access/ links to tools developed by FAO, IAFN and other institutions.
Program Components
  • The Accelerator Mentorship Program will include the following components:
    • One-on-One Mentoring. Each participant will be paired with a mentor through a matchmaking programme, with a leader/ expert in their area of ​​need and will receive personal guidance and consultation for 6 months.
    • Capacity development and tools – Tailor-made training to enhance hard skills. Each participant will be expected to complete 2 mandatory courses and select at least 2 of the optional courses, according to their interests, needs and priorities. In addition, participants will have access to a wide range of knowledge products and tools.
    • Workshops & Interaction with Global Leaders. Through joint workshop sessions with experts in the field, participants will have access to knowledge exchange sessions, peer learning and networking with each other as well as with invited experts allowing for interactive moments. IAFN will also provide guidance and dedicated workshops on how to access finance, such as on the development of business plans and/or bankable proposals. These workshop sessions will be recorded and made available in a password-protected dedicated section of the FAO CONNECT Portal, which participants can access if they have Missed a session and/or would like to refer to them subsequently. At the end of each workshop, there will be interactive time with business leaders and mentors. 
Eligibility Criteria
  • Female entrepreneurs leading and owning small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the agrifood sector in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
  • Participants will be selected by a panel of experts from FAO and IAFN, and the program mentors.
  • Please note that currently, they are only accepting applications from SMEs operating in Africa.

For more information, visit https://agrifood.net/iafn/projects/accelerator-mentorship-programme-for-women-led-smes-in-africa/

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