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.

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

SMEs Investment and Export Readiness program

AWIEF are excited to announce our new program in partnership with USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub). The USAID-funded ‘Enhanced Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Investment and Export Readiness Through a Digital Platform’ program aims to increase the investor, export readiness, and competitiveness of 100 SMEs in nine Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.

The objectives of this new AWIEF program are to increase exports from the Southern African countries to South Africa and increase exports from the nine targeted Southern African countries to the United States, leveraging AGOA.

Digital Skills Training for Unemployed and Underemployed Young Females in South Africa

AWIEF has partnered with GIZ and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch a Digital Skills Training program for 60 young women in South Africa.

This new AWIEF program, based on AWS re/Start, will enhance the skills levels and employability of unemployed and under-employed young females in South Africa. Raising their digital literacy and skills will increase their level of employability and work readiness.

The digital skills development and training program includes a one-week Bootcamp and 12-week full-time Virtual Learning, Monday through to Friday. It will lead to two AWS Certifications (Foundation and Associate levels). Getting AWS Certified helps you showcase in-demand job skills, builds your credibility and confidence.

AWE South Africa 2022

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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