African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • What is AWEC?
  • Sponsored by the Center for Global Enterprise (CGE), the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) is a one-of-a-kind 12-month training program that builds a pan-African community of women entrepreneurs and business owners. The program empowers them with the strategy, leadership and business management skills needed for growth and economic advancement.
  • How is AWEC different?
  • CGE developed AWEC in response to feedback from African alumni of our online learning courses who requested more in-depth training on critical management topics, longer program engagement, mentorship, and a sustained peer network.Unlike other business training programs that exist for African women entrepreneurs, AWEC is unique in its inclusiveness, innovative learning approach, and content:
    • AWEC is open to women entrepreneurs and business owners from any country in Africa and its diaspora, representing any industry.
    • The program is open to individuals who have a company in startup or growth mode and aspiring entrepreneurs with business experience, a solid idea, and demonstrated passion for entrepreneurship.
    • AWEC is designed to build a community of collaboration and mutual support amongst participants.
    • AWEC provides sustained skills training and mentorship for one year. Participants who successfully complete the program are part of an ongoing network of alumni.
    • At the core of AWEC’s blended learning model is an applied online learning approach that leverages proven, leading-edge technology and collaborative tools.
    • CGE’s business and academic network enables a world-class teaching team with both global and local viewpoints.
  • What is the core program?
  • The AWEC program is a 12-month curriculum focused on business management, strategy and leadership. The core program consists of:
    • Live instructional sessions led by world-class business and academic experts, delivered via Internet-enabled video conference
    • Peer-led sessions focused on applying new learnings, developing soft skills, learning from outside experts and other participants, and building a pan-African peer network
    • Course activities – delivered through a highly-interactive online learning platform – that encourage individuals to immediately apply new knowledge and skills, and to collaborative with diverse teams
    • Mentoring and coaching from mid-career and senior business professionals throughout the duration of the program
    • Constructive feedback on assignments from instructors, teaching assistants, and peers
    • One-day leadership summits that provide in-person training and networking opportunities, taking place twice during the program, in locations throughout Africa
  • Who is AWEC for?
  • AWEC is designed for:
    • African women entrepreneurs and business owners from across the Continent and its diaspora, representing any industry
    • Individuals who have a company in startup or growth mode OR aspiring entrepreneurs with business experience, a solid idea, and demonstrated passion for entrepreneurship
    • Those interested in advancing their business and management skills, as well as growing their companies and their leadership capabilities
    • Women who demonstrate the following qualities: leadership, tenacity, perseverance, a desire to learn and share learning with others, and a passion for entrepreneurship and growing their business
    • Individuals proficient in written and spoken English
  • Is it only open to African women?
  • Both entrepreneurs and business owners who live on the African continent and those who are part of the diaspora are eligible to apply. The program is limited to women.
  • What will participants gain from the program?
  • Upon successful completion of the 12-month program, participants will:
    • Gain access to a network of like-minded African entrepreneurs as well as a group of world-class global business mentors
    • Strengthen strategy, leadership and business management skills to foster sustained growth
    • Develop a toolkit of soft skills, including self-confidence, resilience, collaboration, and global communication to grow as a leader and successful entrepreneur
  • How do I apply?
  • The application for the 2018-2019 year of AWEC has closed. Details about the 2019-2020 year of AWEC will be announced in early 2019.
  • How long is the program?
  • AWEC is a 12-month program. The current program year will begin on Tuesday, 3 April 2018.
  • When does it start?
  • The 2018-2019 AWEC program will begin with Orientation on Monday, 19 March 2018. Week 1 of the program begins on Tuesday, 3 April 2018.
  • How many people will be accepted for the 2018-2019 program year?
  • AWEC will enroll 200 women entrepreneurs for the current program year.
  • What is the time commitment?
  • Participants should expect to spend 2 to 3 hours per week participating in AWEC activities (primarily online), for one year. There are 4 team projects over the course of the program. Additional time (~1 hour) may be required the weeks that the team projects are due. Please seriously consider this time commitment before applying and/or accepting an offer to participate in AWEC.
  • What language is the program conducted in?
  • The program will be conducted in English and participants should be proficient communicating in written and spoken English.
  • Does it cost anything to participate?
  • The program is fully supported by donors and there is no charge to participants. We do ask that they commit their time (2-3 hours per week for one year), which, of course, is valuable.

  • Do I need to travel to participate?
  • Participants are not required to travel. Most of the AWEC program activities are conducted online and can be completed from anywhere a participant has an Internet connection. However, there are some opportunities to connect in-person, including two, one-day leadership summits that provide in-person training and networking opportunities. There may be additional opportunities to conduct in-person peer sessions for those located in the same cities.
  • Do I need access to the Internet?
  • All participants must have reliable access to the Internet, at least once per week. Most of the AWEC program activities are conducted online and can be completed from anywhere a participant has an Internet connection, including a university, Internet café, shared workspace, their home, or other locations.
  • What kind of device do I need to participate in the program?
  • Program participants will need access to a tablet, laptop or desktop to complete most of the work. Smartphones can be used to engage in the Live Sessions and for messaging with peers and teammates, but are not sufficient for all course activities.
  • Will I work alone or as part of a team?
  • Collaboration is a core element to the AWEC program. While most assignments will be completed individually and focus on one’s own business, the program provides numerous opportunities to work in teams and to peer review each other’s work.
  • What if I miss some of the program?
  • While participants who consistently engage in the program will gain the most benefit, we understand that managing their businesses and families will occasionally impact the ability to participate in all AWEC activities. Program organizers strive to make materials as accessible as possible. For example, all Live Sessions will be recorded and available for viewing. Participants are encouraged to reach out to the team of AWEC coaches and teaching assistants throughout the year if they have questions or concerns.