Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), through its SME hub, has partnered African-focused entrepreneurship accelerator, She Leads Africa (SLA) and the Work in Progress! Alliance (Oxfam and VC4Africa) to launch the ‘She Leads Africa Accelerator.’
The initiative is a 3-month program designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Showcase is the flagship program of She Leads Africa, geared towards shining a spotlight on women who are driving Africa’s growth through leadership, commerce and innovation.
The event is a platform for young female entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses across Africa. In this year’s edition, participants in the competition will compete for $15,000 in cash prizes, media features in international news outlets, and exclusive meetings with top investors.
According to the promoters, companies that will be considered eligible must have launched their product or service, been in operation for less than three years and had received less than $50,000 in funding as at the date of the event. The company must also have a minimum of one woman on their board between the ages of 18-35 years.
For the third year running, GTBank has continued in its support for SMEs and empowerment of budding entrepreneurs such as Charae Robinson, CEO of Tastemakers Africa and Kasope Oladipo-Ajayi, CEO of OmoAlata Foods, who emerged respective winners of the 2014 and 2015 editions of the event.
The co-founder of SLA, Mr. Yasmin Belo-Osagie said: “We are delighted to be working with international partners such as GTBank and the Work in Progress Alliance team in this year’s edition. GTBank has remained our lead sponsor for the last two years and we are excited to extend this partnership for a third year.”
Speaking at the launch of the event, the Managing Director/CEO, GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje said: “The economic growth and development of our continent is largely dependent on how much we empower our women and invest in small and medium enterprises. It is for this reason that we have created the SME MarketHub platform to fulfil the twin objective of facilitating the growth of small businesses and creating a unique platform for female entrepreneurs to thrive.”