Africa Women Innovation
& Entrepreneurship Forum

AWIEF is an award-winning pan-African women economic empowerment organisation, that has been granted a Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). AWIEF works to close the gender gap by driving women’s business leadership and entrepreneurship in Africa. 



AWIEF is an award-winning women economic empowerment organisation that supports women entrepreneurs in Africa to grow their business and fulfil their potential.

Our mission is to foster women’s economic inclusion, advancement and empowerment through entrepreneurship support and development. Our vision is an inclusive and thriving Africa where women-owned businesses are empowered to create and grow high-impact and sustainable businesses, contributing to increasing Africa’s GDP and economic growth.

Year Founded
Conference Participants to date
African countries represented
AWIEF Programmes alumni​

Our work aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals

We are a high-level Signatory to the IFC Principles for Learning.

We have been granted Special Consultative Status to the United Nations ECOSOC.

We are an award-winning Organisation.

Meet our AWIEF 2021 conference speakers

AWIEF 2021 had a stellar lineup of experts, thought leaders, policymakers, researchers, investors and women entrepreneurs from across Africa and beyond. 


7th Africa Women Innovation And Entrepreneurship Forum


02 - 03 December, 2021

#AWIEF2021 Conference sponsors:


AWIEF Growth Accelerator Programme

The AWIEF Growth Accelerator is designed to support the unique needs of early-stage and high growth-oriented women-led ventures with business modeling, growth strategy training, corporate advisory, mentorship, networks, and access to strategic partnerships. The accelerator provides capital-raising support for growth, scale and sustainability. It builds women’s entrepreneurial leadership capacity, connects them with appropriate sources of capital and helps them scale…   

HerVenture mobile learning App for women entrepreneurs in South Africa

In a gound-breaking partnership, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, DHL Express and AWIEF recently launched HerVenture to bring vital entrepreneurial skills and support to women across South Africa.

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s HerVenture mobile learning app has been developed specifically for women who own micro, small and medium sized enterprises in low and middle income countries. The app is currently available in Vietnam, Indonesia, Nigeria and Kenya, having supported over 41,000 women since its launch in 2018. Now, thanks to support of the DHL Express, it is also available in South Africa for free, to women across the country so they can grow their business. 

HerVenture app South Africa
AWE programme South Africa

AWE South Africa 2021

The Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is designed to empower 50 million women worldwide by 2025 to fulfill their economic potential, and in doing so, create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all. AWE’s mission is to support the growth of women entrepreneurs by equipping them with the practical skills, resources, mentorship, and networks needed to create sustainable businesses. The 16-week long AWE South Africa program is implemented in partnership with U.S. Embassy in Pretoria.

eCommerce Capacity Development Programme for Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa

The High Commission of Canada in South Africa has partnered with AWIEF to run an eCommerce Capacity Development Programme for Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa. Funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), the activity will enhance market access for women entrepreneurs through building knowledge, capacity, and skills in digital channels. 40 South African women entrepreneurs will be provided with technical learning, training, and mentoring support on how to start, grow and scale eCommerce businesses.

Executive E-marketing Programme

In true essence of the African proverb “If you want to go fast go alone – if you want to go far go together “quoted by Mr. Juan Pablo Davila, the UNIDO Industrial Development Officer the Executive E-marketing programme was launched on the 15th of June 2021 by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with AWIEF, Opportunities for Youth in Africa (OYA) and West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) Ghana. As the programme is replicated for the third time success is celebrated as cited by Ms. Irene Ochem CEO and Founder of AWIEF through the growth of past participants who opened E-commerce businesses, improved their online presence and are now selling internationally…


Green Energy Startup Incubator & Accelerator

AWIEF has launched a new initiative “Enterprise Development for Women-Owned Ventures in Green Energy” and is pleased to announce a Startup Incubator and Accelerator programme. The 12-month programme is funded by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), and will support 70 women involved in renewable and green energy production in two African countries – Malawi and Nigeria.

LeadTech Incubation Program

AWIEF partnered with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco  to launch LEADTECH INCUBATION PROGRAM.  Despite Africa being one of the fastest growing technology markets in the world, women’s participation in the technology sector remains considerably low. LeadTech is a continental program to support promising and innovative women-owned or women-led digital startups in Agriculture, Biotech, Education, Environment, Finance, and Health.

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