“AWEC has been a catalyst for my business growth,” says Nykita Diggs, a Liberian Cohort 2 member and Founder of Creative Afrik. Her sentiments are similar to those of Malawian Founder of Queen City, Sarah Amani, who describes her AWEC experience as “the biggest opportunity I have had to build proper processes for my business.”
The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) was launched two years ago to empower women from across Africa and the diaspora with the knowledge and networks required to build resilient and sustainable businesses. During this time, we have directly impacted 400 women entrepreneurs from 46 African countries, as well as indirectly impacting the thousands of employees who work for them.
As we prepare for the third year, it is exciting to open the AWEC program to a new set of women who will have the opportunity to transform themselves, their businesses, and their communities.
We accept applications for just two weeks, starting on the 4th of December and ending on the 17th of December, 2019. AWEC receives over 2000 applications on average each year and only 200 women are accepted into the cohort. Atinuke Smith, a Cohort 1 member from Nigeria, summarized her experience: “AWEC has been a phenomenal encounter,” she says. “After running my business for 25 years I am able to have another level of paradigm shift. It has prepared me for the boldness to reinvent myself and take my business to the next level. I am resolving to scale up.”
A Year of Learning and Purposeful Networking
AWEC is a 12-month, rigorous leadership and business management capacity building program. We use applied and collaborative learning models to enable immediate business impact, while also cultivating a pan-African cooperative of entrepreneurs, experts, and allies.
Throughout the year, AWEC cohort members expand their knowledge base by learning from global business and academic experts, apply this new knowledge to their businesses through assignments and team projects, develop a pan-African peer network, and receive one-on-one mentoring from senior business professionals.
As a blended learning program that incorporates both online and offline learning experiences, AWEC gathers eligible cohort members for an annual Leadership Summit hosted on the continent. Previous Summits have been held in Kigali, Cairo and Dar es Salaam. Summits are opportunities to learn, network and solidify peer and mentor relationships that have been built throughout the year.
Who Should Apply
We seek to work with ambitious women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to increase their business and management skills, grow their companies, and become better leaders. Characteristics that unite our cohort are: resilience, passion, empathy, and collaborative spirit.
AWEC is open to female African citizens living both on and off the continent. We welcome businesses from all industries (including NGOs). In the words of Nykita Diggs, “the WOW factor of AWEC is the diversity.”
We do not require a minimum revenue or turnover, or a minimum number of years in business. Successful applicants will be proficient in English and have regular (i.e. weekly) access to the Internet.
For more information about who should apply, visit our website.
How to Apply
Applications for the 3rd Cohort open on the 4th of December and close on the 17th of December, 2019. You can apply for this program here.
“What are you waiting for? Fill that application form, send it in and get prepared for a program that will change the course of your business forever,” says Yemi Adenuga, Founder of Sheroes Global.
Enable AWEC to Empower Others
AWEC is a 100% donor-supported program operated through The Center for Global Enterprise (CGE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in the U.S. Thanks to our generous supporters, AWEC is able to provide our flagship program at little to no cost to 200 women across Africa each year. As we enter the end-of-year giving season, please consider making a donation here to help AWEC continue to empower the future of Africa.