2022 FAO/IAFN Accelerator Mentorship Programme for Women-led SMEs in Africa
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) are launching a pilot Accelerator Mentorship Programme to support women entrepreneurs in addressing key challenges and constraints they face in their businesses.
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Its intention is to provide access to expertise and access to knowledge products and tools to grow your business. A cohort of 50 female entrepreneurs operating in the agrifood sector in the Sub-Saharan Africa region will be selected to participate in the first year of the customised programme, planned to begin in October 2022.
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The Accelerator Mentorship Programme 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 her 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.
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 program does not guarantee any sales or loans will incur as a result of participation. Its intention is to provide access to expertise and access to knowledge products and tools to grow your business. A cohort of 50 female entrepreneurs operating in the agrifood sector in the Sub-Saharan Africa region will be selected to participate in the first year of the customised programme, planned to begin in October 2022.
The selected participants will also provide brief clips or short videos showcasing their businesses and their experiences in participating in the programme. Experiences will be documented and published in the FAO CONNECT Portal.
To be considered for the FAO/IAFN Accelerator Programme, you must:
- Be a female entrepreneur leading and owning small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the agrifood sector in the Sub-Saharan Africa region
- Be from Sub-Saharan African countries
- Be ready to meet virtually with assigned mentor once a month for a total of six meetings
- Be ready to complete 4 courses through the FAO eLearning Academy (self-paced programmes)
Program Duration and Reward
- The programme takes place over six months from October 2022 to March 2023
Selected Women Entrepreneurs will be provided with:
- A one-to-one mentorship/ 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.
How To Apply
Applicants will be notified by September 30, 2022 as to the success of their submission.
Interested candidates should complete the online application form using the link below.