Tag: Call for Application

News & Publications

Growth4Her Accelerator Programme for Women SMEs in Nigeria & Cameroon

Growth4Her is accepting applications for its first cohort. The cohort is open to women-owned and led Small and medium size enterprises in Cameroon and Nigeria. The Growth4Her program is open to women SMEs looking to transition their businesses to growth-powered businesses as the program offers investor readiness training, psychosocial support, mentorship, access to financing opportunities and access to markets. 


About Growth4Her

Growth4Her is an AFAWAAFDB funded project created by Creative Space Startups in partnership with Sociocapital Impact Group, The Learning Gate and WETECH. Growth4Her is a women’s support program which provides women entrepreneurs with the capacity and tools which enables them to transition from small to high potential fundable growth stage businesses.

In 2021, African Development Bank (AfDB) reported that there is a $42b gender financing gap in Africa. Growth4Her is actively eliminating the Gender Financing Gap in Africa through the provision of adequate skills, knowledge, access to markets, access to finance, advocating for better policies and an adequate representation for women-owned Small and Medium Size Enterprises.

Over the next five (5) years, this program aims to empower 1500 women entrepreneurs across 10 African cities with a particular interest in Women-led Small and Medium Enterprises (WSMEs). The program offers beneficiaries investment readiness skills, links them directly to funders, and fosters an ecosystem that supports WSMEs.

What will the program provide?

The Growth4Her program will provide beneficiaries with:

  • Access to Market—we provide you with market linkages across African cities.
  • Access to funding – we prepare you for investors and connect you with financial institutions.
  • Psychosocial and Policy Support—we advocate for policy reforms and work with communities to enable a culture of support for WSMEs.
  • Media Exposure—we provide adequate media representation.
  • Mentorship—we facilitate access to skilled and experienced mentors.


  1. Organization should be at least 51% owned by a woman or, at minimum 20% owned by a woman and have at least a woman as CEO/COO (President/Vice President); and have at minimum 30% of its board of directors composed of women, provided there is a board.
  2. Loan size between US$5,000 and US$1 million (Loans must not be from traditional financial institutions, however, loans from other sources such as associations, cooperatives e.g. “tontine/njangi”  “esusu”, family loans may be considered).
  3. Organization should have between 5 and 300 employees.
  4. Sales between US$35,000 and US$15 million annually.
  5. Assets between US$100,000 and US$15 million.
  6. Can dedicate 1 week to an intense virtual/ physical Bootcamp.
  7. Can dedicate 3 hours for mentorship engagement for a period of 8 weeks.
  8. Must be a C-Level executive in the organization.


For more information, send us a mail at community@growth4her.org

Young African female designer working in her workshop.
News & Publications

Women Entrepreneurs Have the Potential to Contribute $600 Billion to Africa’s GDP

Women entrepreneurs confront a $42 billion gender funding gap while owning 58% of Africa’s SMEs and contributing $300 billion to the continent’s GDP. If the gap is closed, their contribution can more than double.

In the streets of Douala, Onitsha, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town and across major African cities, it is very common to come across businesses owned and operated by women — they are a visible part of the economy. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), one in every four African women starts or manages her own business. Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest rate of female entrepreneurship, at 27% but they are mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with limited growth potential.

These businesses are spread throughout several sectors, offering a wide range of products and services. They contribute a bulk of their earnings (90%) to catering to the well-being of their families and communities. They also contribute $250 billion to $300 billion to African economic growth (13% of the continent’s GDP). The importance and contributions of female entrepreneurs to the African economy cannot be overstated.

Notwithstanding, one cannot help but wonder why Africa has a $42 billion gender finance gap, as revealed by AfDB in 2021. Globally, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates a $300 billion gender finance gap, with more than 70% of women-owned small and medium-sized businesses having insufficient or no access to financial services. Aside from business funding, WSMEs are the most financially excluded group in Africa, with just 37% of women having and owning bank accounts.

The gender finance gap goes beyond availability or affordability, but also WSMEs’ willingness and capacity to access financing options. An IMF research of 47 African nations found that women are more prone to opt-out of loan offers due to low perceived creditworthiness. 

While women-owned and women-led enterprises now benefit the African economy, there is still a lot more potential to be realized. According to a McKinsey report on the power of parity in Africa, bridging the gender financing gap could double the contribution of WSMEs to GDP by 2025. 

It is crucial that all stakeholders (government, banks, investors, development partners, etc.) offer the necessary support to promote and protect women entrepreneurs and address the challenges that prevent their businesses from succeeding. We can develop a gender-inclusive economy in Africa with the relevant laws and interventions, unleashing women entrepreneurs. This provides us with a chance to enhance economic growth while also lifting millions of people out of poverty.

Understanding these challenges, Creative Space Startups in partnership with  Sociocapital, The Learning Gate and WETECH with support funding from AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) designed Growth4Her an accelerator program targeted at building the capacity of women-led small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) to enable them to transition to high potential fundable growth stage businesses. 

For her first cohorts, Growth4Her is currently accepting applications from women entrepreneurs to develop their capacity, equipping them with the relevant resources to build sustainable and productive businesses. 

To apply click here.