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Four Female-Focused Accelerator Programs for African Female Founders 

A female-focused accelerator program is a start-up accelerator that specifically targets and supports female entrepreneurs and their ventures. It provides resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to help female entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses. 

The aim of such programs is to address the gender imbalance in the startup world and help female entrepreneurs overcome the unique challenges they face – limited access to funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities. It provides a supportive environment for female entrepreneurs to connect with other women in business, learn from successful female founders, and gain access to resources and tools to help them scale.

Read Also; GetFundedAfrica & Wentors Team Up to Promote Female-Led Start-ups

Female-focused accelerator programs are a necessity because female entrepreneurs, particularly those in the technology sector, still encounter formidable obstacles such as restrictive social norms, and operating in industries dominated by men; thus, hindering their (women’s) growth. 

Like their counterparts across the globe, African female business owners have experienced a shortfall in both mentorship and funding. In 2021, only 6.5% of investment funds were allocated to tech startups owned by women.

During an interview, Eloho Omame, co-founder of FirstCheck Africa, stated that “the African investment system has created a system where female founders are over-mentored, yet underfunded.”  FirstCheck Africa is a start-up investment fund that provides funding in the form of checks ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 for early-stage startups.

In addition to funding and mentoring, female-led startups are also in need of other business resources such as technical support, network access, and knowing how to pitch. 

Below are 4 female-focused accelerator programs for African female founders.

GreenHouse Lab 

GreenHouse Lab is the first female-focused tech accelerator program in Nigeria. With a mission to build world-class, women-led technology companies by empowering and supporting them to grow and scale rapidly in the emerging African market, it was founded by Nichole Yembra and Tosin Durotoye. It is a three-month-long accelerator exclusively dedicated to early-stage technology start-ups led by women or focused on women’s issues across Africa. The startup could also, be an African-originated start-up based abroad with products that have the potential for scaling in African markets.

The advantages of the program include entry to a mentorship network, Google Launchpad, the opportunity to work at Vibranium valley, and the possibility of receiving a minimum of $100,000 from GreenHouse Capital for start-up funding. 

VGG, (Venture Garden Group), which was founded in 2011, functions as a parent company for various fintech entities that offer advanced, data-focused technology platforms. The Vibranium Valley facility, (VFF) created by Spacefish, draws inspiration from the fusion of African culture and technological progress that is associated with Silicon Valley. This blend has resulted in a space that reflects the Black Panther concept, which is reflected in the name. By being a part of the GreenHouse Lab accelerator program, you stand the chance to work out of the Vibranium Valley, which is under the umbrella of Venture Garden Group. Startups that have taken part in the accelerator program include Bankly, Bitmama, Nicademia, and Schoolable


Established in March 2021, Pauline Koelbl is the founder and managing partner of ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA). SHEBA was created to tackle the current gender funding disparity by reducing the risk associated with African female-led businesses, preparing them for investment, and providing entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to expand and increase the size of their businesses.  

The ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA) is a 16-week program that provides venture building and technical support to African female entrepreneurs across the ECOWAS region; founders who are looking to successfully grow their businesses and become investment ready.

The accelerator offers entrepreneurial and technical assistance to African women with scalable and impactful businesses in the agribusiness sector (agritech, production, processing, wholesale & retailing, and any other agribusiness value chain aspect), healthcare, tech-enabled solutions (fintech, clean-tech, etc.), renewable energies, mobility and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). 

SHEBA also serves as the link for female entrepreneurs to secure funding. After completing the accelerator program, qualifying businesses that meet the criteria are recommended by the ShEquity team for potential investment opportunities. The typical range for a ShEquity seed investment is between $50,000 and $250,000. Furthermore, SHEBA arranges demonstration events, where other investors have the chance to encounter impactful and scalable businesses led by women.

Grindstone X Program

Grindstone X Program was launched by Grindstone and Naspers in 2022. It is a support initiative aimed at fostering the growth of 30 startups founded by women in South Africa over a period of three years.  

Selected start-ups will go through Grindstone’s growth engineering program aimed to make them more investible, scalable, and exit-ready. This program is structured in cohorts, with each lasting for 12 months. 

Priority is given to tech-driven or tech-focused businesses that demonstrate they have been in operation for at least a year, and show signs of having the potential for growth.  

Grindstone X Programme is jointly owned by VC Company, Knife Capital, and Thinkroom Consulting. The founding partners are Andrea Böhmert, Catherine Young, and Keet van Zyl. 

WE4A Program

The Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) project is an initiative that is supported collectively by the European Union (EU), the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with implementation from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and the German Development Agency GIZ (E4D program). Running the growth and acceleration programs of WE4A is the Swiss Association for Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets (SAFEEM).  

The virtual acceleration program is implemented by SAFEEM, a member of the Seedstars Group. The program provides 100 female entrepreneurs from the TEF alumni network with access to $10,500 in grant funding paired with 3 months of technical support. 

WE4A offers benefits such as access to investment readiness training presented by topic experts; personalized support by an entrepreneur in residence; one-on-one mentorship; network connections and follow-on funding of up to $50,000 for the 15 selected high-growth startups. 

Some African female-led startups who have participated in the accelerator program include MyStash (Nigeria), Mamamoni (Nigeria), Store2Door (Rwanda), Kosmotive (Rwanda), and Innovate Labs (Ghana). 

In conclusion, accelerator and incubator programs enable African entrepreneurs to access the necessary funding, mentorship, and network to achieve success. Many thriving African startups attribute their achievements to their participation in such programs.  

About GetFundedAfrica

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Nichole Manhire

Is the media and brand manager at GFA News. She works very closely with editors and podcasters that contribute to telling the African business success story. For marketing and advertising send Nichole an email:

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