TechInAfrica — Seedstars, SAFEEM, and GIZ, has announced their partnership to increase women’s participation across all levels to achieve an improved gender balance. The project aims to increase and catalyze investments for women-led startups in Sub-Saharan Africa, drive more inclusive training opportunities for women-led startups across the continent, highlight more women entrepreneurs and to create a tool kit of best practices that aim at achieving an improved gender balance.
Seedstars is collaborating with The Swiss Association for Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets (SAFEEM) and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the German Development Agency that supports the German Government, especially the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development.
Working alongside each other, they are launching the Gender Equality Entrepreneurship Track and will focus on achieving gender balance during the Seedstars World competition, the largest seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and rapid-growing startup scenes.
The overall objective of the gender equality entrepreneurship project within the Seedstars World Competition is to achieve and improve gender balance across all levels of human participation within the Seedstars World initiative and support the growth of women-led high growth startups in Sub-Saharan Africa.
On behalf of the BMZ, Seedstars, SAFEEM and GIZ aim to reach multiple goals through the initiative: Increase the number of women finalists, increase the number of women stakeholders across all levels of the Seedstars World Competition as jury, speakers and investors, as well as growing the number of women-led startups closing their fundraising round.
The initiative will also focus on highlighting more women role models as part of Seedstars global series of webisodes covering entrepreneurs from a number of emerging markets. Lastly, the initiative aims to uncover and collect a number of best practices related to achieving a better gender balance in entrepreneurship support initiatives.
Through the gender equality track, it is expected that 50-75 women-led startups will be directly impacted across 4 countries (Mozambique, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa). The project will pilot in Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and South Africa. In each of these countries, the best women entrepreneurs will be invited to participate in the Seedstars Local Event Bootcamps.
Additionally, the initiative will award the “Women Entrepreneurship Prize” as part of the Gender Equality track and will join the Seedstars Summit Africa in December, as part of an all-women delegation in South Africa in December organized by SAFEEM. Five supplementary prizes will be awarded at the ideation stage to aspiring women entrepreneurs, who will be able to apply through a separate application portal.