Programme will focus on women with innovative solutions for sustainable development
Women in Africa (WIA) announces the launch of “JAMII Femmes” a programme to enhance the impact of 20,000 women entrepreneurs from 10 African countries. Over three years, participants will be supported through online training, networking, mentorship and local bootcamps. The programme seeks innovative solutions to bring positive changes in Africa by improving the quality of life for thousands of people.
“Our aim is to give African women access to resources and to champions that can set them up for success,” said Hafsat Abiola, President, Women in Africa. “This programme will impact 20,000 and indirectly impact over 60,000 persons. Opening up pathways to their success is the key to Africa’s rise.”
According to Patricia Obozuwa, Vice President Africa for Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at Coca-Cola, “The initiative will boost business creation opportunities by improving access to vocational training, networks, finance and markets.”
In its first year, the programme aims to support women entrepreneurs in 3 countries – Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria. The call for applications was launched on March, 31st 2022 in Nigeria and Ivory Coast on the WIA website, and will open in April 2022 in Kenya.
In recent years, although predominantly at the head of VSEs, Nigerian women have been scaling up by entering high-impact business areas and sectors. According to the 2018 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurship (MIWE), 17.8% of businesses in Nigeria are owned by women. Throughout the country, access to training is therefore a major challenge in order to enable women to carry out their projects and reach higher and more influential job positions.
To strengthen this dynamic and meet the growing and pressing demand across the African continent, 7,000 impactful women entrepreneurs will be selected in 3 countries, among them Nigeria, to take part in an online training programme from August to November 2022. These sessions, conducted by WIA’s knowledge partner and Africa’s first and largest network of private higher education institutions, Honoris United Universities, will equip women to take a principled approach to design creative ideas, and gain knowledge on leadership and managerial skills. From this pool of women, more than 600 entrepreneurs will receive grants to support their business development and increase their impact on communities. In January 2023, 70 selected beneficiaries will benefit from a 2-week accelerator programme. They will receive a comprehensive support package as well as mentoring sessions with experts. At the end of the programme, one laureate from each country will receive a $10,000 prize to support their project. By addressing the key gaps faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa at such a large scale, this programme is a game-changer for the continent.
For more than a decade, The Coca-Cola Foundation has supported programs across the world empowering women to thrive. “We are committed to preparing women for professional jobs or to launch and grow their own businesses”, said Saadia Madsbjerg, President of The Coca- Cola Foundation. ”The “JAMII Femmes” initiative will have a profound impact throughout the continent of Africa by supporting women through education, financial literacy, entrepreneurial training and mentorship. It addresses those known barriers preventing women entrepreneurs from succeeding in the marketplace.”