Seedstars has invited African women entrepreneurs to participate in their initiative, Gender Equality Track. The project aims to provide female-led startups access to entrepreneurial training, a global network of peers, mentors, and experts, as well as potentially receive investment with the Seedstars World Competition. Women entrepreneurs from Africa who want to apply for the program can register here.
Every year since 2013, Seedstars runs its renowned Seedstars World Competition, gathering the most promising startups from over 90 emerging markets for the ultimate prize of up to $500,000 in equity investment. The objective of the Gender Equity Track is to drive gender-inclusive training opportunities and catalyse more investment for female founders in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Gender Equity Track consists of the following key components: 1) Gender Lens Training 2) Gender Lens Investment and 3) Gender-Balanced Representation.
The Gender Equity Track was piloted after a 2018 analysis showed that from the 5’000 applications the Seedstars World competition received the previous year in 2017, only 14% were female-led businesses, and only 3% of women applicants made it to the top 10 in each country. However, the 3% of women entrepreneurs in the Seedstars World initiative represented some of the strongest candidates and best performing investment portfolio companies.
“This triggered the need to better understand how to support women founders,” states Alisée de Tonnac, Co-Founder at Seedstars. “As a female entrepreneur myself, I am aware of the challenges faced by women when entering predominantly male business environments, especially when it comes to raising funds. We at Seedstars invite all the entrepreneurship ecosystem players to change the narrative and start taking action in gender equality initiatives, such as The Gender Equity Track”.
This year, Seedstars is opening The Gender Equity Track and is scaling this program to 25+ countries in the region with the goal of increasing investment in female-led startups. In 2021, the objective is to be able to run this initiative in 90+ emerging markets across the globe. By 2025, Seedstars aims to achieve a gender-equal investment portfolio. The goal is to source 500 female-led startups from Sub-Saharan Africa to join the yearly Seedstars World Competition.
By participating in the Seedstars World Competition, startups get customised training and mentorship from our global community of entrepreneurship experts and industry leaders, as well as get the chance to receive up to USD 500,000 of equity investment from Seedstars International or one of the investors in its network.