We believe the Future is African and Female.
We know women are vibrant and vital architects of society.
We know women are the best levers for change in our world.
We also know female entrepreneurs need to be championed.
More women are pursuing entrepreneurship in Africa per capita than anywhere else in the world. For this reason, Spark* is conducting a continent-wide search to bring together an unrivalled group of 15 African Female Founders for its YHER Accelerator. Founders running high-impact ventures aimed at improving the lives and women and girls.
Saturday, 11 November - Friday, 17 November 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa
It’s simple. We truly believe that change is driven by socially conscious businesses and we want to see women running bigger and better ventures..
We are entrepreneurs ourselves. We’ve started highly successful social enterprises, run global campaigns and accelerated 300 startup impact ventures across five countries, helping change the lives of more than 400,000 people living in poverty. We have also been the first to invest in some game-changing startups in Kenya and South Africa.
We don’t take equity in your venture, in fact we don’t even charge you for the program! We'll cover the cost of everything apart from your travel to the Accelelerator.
We take you through a tried and tested curriculum designed specifically for social ventures run BY women FOR women.
We take a holistic approach to our program, accelerating not just your venture but YOU as an entrepreneur, ensuring you have the tools, techniques, courage and tribe of women supporting you to handle the roller coaster journey that is life as an impact entrepreneur.
Who we're looking for:
Female-Led Ventures: You must have at least one female co-founder who will participate in the program.
Local: You intimately understand the problem that you are trying to solve.
Support Women and Girls: Your venture must exist to improve the lives of women and girls who are held back by poverty.
In the Early Stages: You will have already launched a venture or at least run a pilot and have some early traction or proof of concept. You will typically have less than 100 customers and have been in operation less than two years.
WHAT IF I DON’T SOLELY FOCUS ON WOMEN AND GIRLS? CAN I STILL APPLY?
We are still open to ventures that support men and boys as well as women and girls, as long as it has a specific program that focuses solely on women and girls. We want to see that your organisation has a clear mandate or mission to uplift females in some way.
WHAT IF I HAVE A MALE CO-FOUNDER, CAN I STILL APPLY?
Yes, as long as it is the female founder who attends the Accelerator week.
DO YOU TAKE EQUITY IN THE VENTURES?
No, not as a requirement of the program. However as an alumni of the program, you will be eligible to apply for our Growth program. If successful, you will have the option of receiving an investment in the form of debt/equity or a grant, depending on the state of your venture.
WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD TO COVER MY TRAVEL EXPENSES?
We encourage you to use your networks or crowd funding sites to raise the funds necessary to cover your travel. If you have made attempts to raise funds yourself and are still unable to afford to attend, we do have some travel scholarships available. Learn more and apply for our travel scholarships.
IF I HAVE A CO-FOUNDER, CAN THEY JOIN THE PROGRAM AS WELL?
Unfortunately, we can only accommodate one founder per venture. You’ll need to decide which of you is best to attend.
IF I AM OF AFRICAN DESCENT BUT MY COMPANY DOESN’T OPERATE IN AFRICA, CAN I STILL APPLY?
Unfortunately, no. We strongly believe in the power of local leaders with solutions to local problems, so we are looking to support ideas by Africans for Africans.
I’M HAVING TECHNICAL PROBLEMS SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION.
Please ensure you have a strong internet connection, try loading from another computer or device and if you are still having problems, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send through a soft copy of the application via email.
I RUN A FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS, WITH NO DELIBERATE SOCIAL IMPACT, CAN I STILL APPLY?
Unfortunately, no. We are looking for ventures (they can be non-profit, social enterprise or for-profit) with a clear social impact that is core to your business model, not just an accidental by-product. We generally want to see evidence of this in the way you have structured your venture or your communications (website/social media etc.). It must be evident there is a clear value and priority placed on the social impact the venture generates.
For more information, please contact us.