VENTURES AFRICA – Last Thursday, premium platform for showcasing female entrepreneurs in Africa, She Leads Africa (SLA), announced the launch of its 2015 SLA Pitch Competition. The annual program, which identifies young African women who have demonstrated exceptional commitment towards developing the continent’s entrepreneurial society, will be accepting applications from May 1 to June 30, 2015.
This year, participants will be competing for a $15,000 cash prize, while the winner, apart from getting an exclusive meeting with top investors, will also undergo an intensive six weeks mentoring under seasoned financial and business development experts.
She Leads Africa was launched in 2014 by Yasmin Belo Osagie and Afua Osei to provide support for female entrepreneurs below the age of 35 in the continent and diaspora. “We decided to launch She Leads Afrcia because we saw a critical gap in the market- no one was investing in high growth female entrepreneurs,” says SLA co-founder Yasmin Belo-Osagie.
The program will reward exceptional women breaking the barriers of unequal and limited access to education, financing, opportunities, as well as constraining cultural stereotype in Africa. To ensure the full participation of females in Africa’s economic growth, SLA will also be training and mentoring the top ten finalists. They will also be featured in Forbes, Ventures Africa, Venture Burn and other international news outlets.
The maiden edition in 2014 had Cherae Robinson emerge winner. The founder and CEO of Rare Customs while speaking on the experience and exposure so far said that the competition literally changed her life and business. “I was able to hire my first employee with my winnings and I continue to receive support from the team nearly one year later.”
By Tobi Eyinade