New incubator for African women entrepreneurs
It was announced this past weekend that the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) have signed an agreement for the establishment of a €1 million ($1.2 million) Business Incubator for African Women Entrepreneurs (BIAWE) in west Africa.
According to Kadre Desire Ouedraogo (the president of the ECOWAS Commission), the business incubator project is aimed at eradicating poverty and contributing to economic empowerment of women. He noted that the project will also provide capacity building, technical assistance and financial support to emerging rural women entrepreneurs, who face constraints that make it difficult to sustain their businesses. The project will start in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone and --if successful-- will be extended to other west African countries.
Grants will be provided for rural African women for agricultural businesses and the program will also provide a guarantee fund so women entrepreneurs can receive support from banks and financial institutions.
There was no mention of mentoring or similar business guidance... let's hope there will be some since it's going to be a lot harder for them to succeed without that kind of help.
for more information: http://www.ventures-africa.com/2012/07/ecowas-nepad-sign-1-2m-deal-to-em...
for other recent Accelerator Gazette articles about incubation in Africa, see: