The 2023 Mentor-Driven Capital Africa Program for women in leadership, has opened applications for those interested in mentoring the next generation of successful African startups .
‘Mentor-driven capital’ is one of VC4A’s approaches to creating value for startup ecosystems around the world. The goal behind the program is to empower aspiring and existing business mentors with the tools they need to better support promising startup founders to successfully grow their companies to the next stage.
Powered by the Work in Progress! Alliance, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with Oxfam being the lead program implementer, VC4A does not charge mentors who wish to join the program. Other key 2023 partners include ICEAlex, She Leads Africa, Innovate Ventures, Rising Tide Africa, ShEquity, Tiye Angels, Dazzle Angels, Impact Hub Abidjan, Betacube and Nairobi Business Angels among others.
Women-led companies provide a higher return on investment (up to twice as much according to BCG1) than their male counterparts. In addition, women-led businesses have a greater societal impact as women tend to spend a higher percentage of their earnings on purchases beneficial to their families, friends and social circles and at the same time, the number of women-led startups that carry on to successfully attract scale-up funding is extremely low. Research by Africa: The Big Deal shows that in 2022 only 1,8% of funding attracted by African startups went to businesses with female founders (up from 0,9% in 2021).
One potential reason is the limited representation of women in key roles in investment funds, angel networks, entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) and mentor networks. A recent study conducted by ABAN and Briter Bridges – the African Angel Investment Survey 2022, found that only 9% of the 400 active angel investors in their database in Africa are women.
While there is significant attention going into the strengthening of women representation in centralized structures like venture capital funds and ESOs, more decentralized networks like angel and mentor networks receive less attention. Organizations like the African Women Leadership Fund, Women in African Investments, African Women Impact Fund, and 2X Collaborative are working to change this by supporting and empowering women in the African startup ecosystem.
MDC Africa 2023 is seeking women who meet the following requirements:
Established business professionals, successful entrepreneurs, or (angel) investors
Interest in playing a bigger role in the African startup ecosystem
Desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of starting entrepreneurs
Based in Africa or closely affiliated with the continent
Available to spend 4-5 hours per month for approximately 2 months (late February to April 2023) participating in online training, expert sessions, and group discussions.
The benefits and opportunities for you as a participant in MDC Africa 2023 include :Attending hands-on training and expert sessions.
Group mentor reflections – learn from your peers
Access best-in-class mentorship guide and online training materials
Build your own skills and capacity as a startup mentor
Join a pool of global mentors and experts and showcase yourself
Find ventures suitable for your skills and expertise through the VC4AMentorship Marketplace.
Interested applicants can find more info and apply directly here: Mentor-Driven Capital Africa program 2023. Deadline for the call for applications isJanuary 31st, 2023.