After a high-intensity 8 weeks’ capacity development programme, 7 women entrepreneurs from Malawi and 8 from Nigeria graduated on the 27th of May and are ready to take their green energy businesses to the next level.
Women entrepreneurs in renewable and green energy production in Africa have to overcome tremendous challenges to fulfil their vision and scale their business. The AWIEF Green Energy Ventures Accelerator Programme, funded by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), is a growth-stage acceleration programme. It supports the scaling of innovative green energy solutions that promote use and access to alternative energy sources. The programme contributes to increasing the number of women in the male-dominated renewable energy sector in Africa, whilst also solving the energy access problem and reducing the risk for investors.
During the 8-weeks virtual programme, the green energy women entrepreneurs received tailored support and training for scaling, one-on-one expert mentoring and coaching, tangible opportunity to raise capital, access to networks, partners and investors for growth. The programme culminated in a Demo Day and graduation where the women entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of investors, to either raise capital or seek partnerships. This was a great ending to an intensive learning period and a great beginning for all graduates to take their green energy enterprises to the next level.
What the entrepreneurs say
The women entrepreneurs found value in the encompassing curriculum as well as the opportunity to network and interact with others in the same sector and from different countries. Below are some of the testimonials:
“The programme has increased my drive to take my business to the next level. I now see the importance of having more advisors in the company, business partnership and I learnt what investors look for in businesses. I have also learnt to break our goals into smaller tasks or stages and implement them one after the other, in order not to overwhelm me. I have learnt from this programme that when goals become difficult there is no need to modify the goal, rather adjust the steps you are taking to reach the set goal.” – Nina. C Ani, (Avenam Links Int’l Ltd)
“It has sharpened my focusing skills, as well as equipping me with the know-how in how I can achieve big goals by taking simple and small steps on a daily basis. Now every day I have a small goal that I have to achieve, which contributes to the stretch goals.” – Natasha Kaphuka, (Umodzi Green Collect)
“I was glad for the ability to network. As a designer and developer of affordable green homes with renewable energy, I was delighted to talk and exchange ideas with other amazing African women working in the green energy space. I learned that there are areas we can collaborate to strengthen one another’s enterprises.” – Chinwe Ohajuruka, Comprehensive Design Services (CDS).