Call for Applications, the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) 2018

The Challenge

Africa leads the world in the number of women starting businesses, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Many experts, including the World Economic Forum and the World Bank, believe that the 21st century is Africa’s century and that its economic future is dependent on the success of women entrepreneurs.

However, these same experts and the Center for Global Enterprise agree that women entrepreneurs in Africa face barriers that threaten to stifle innovation and slow the growth needed to propel their businesses and local economies. These challenges include:

  • Unequal access to business education, management training
  • Lack of high-quality, affordable, and online learning options
  • Social norms and familial responsibilities
  • Lack of networking opportunities and peer groups
  • Unequal access to financial management training and capital



Changing Lives Through Skills Training, Mentorship, and Peer Networks

CGE developed the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) in response to those challenges and to feedback from African alumni of its online learning courses who requested more in-depth training on critical management topics, longer program engagement and mentorship, and a sustained peer network.

AWEC one-of-a-kind, 12-month training program that builds a pan-African community of women entrepreneurs and business owners, empowering them with strategy, leadership and business management skills needed for growth and economic advancement. Additional details about the core program are available on our Program page.


Who Should Apply

AWEC is designed for women from across Africa and its diaspora who run startup or growth stage companies in any industry. Those who are interested in increasing their business management skills and growing their networks are encouraged to apply for the inaugural program year.

Aspiring entrepreneurs with business experience, an idea for a venture, and a passion for entrepreneurship are also eligible for the program.

The application period opens on 31 January 2018 and the program begins on 3 April 2018.

Questions? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions  page. If your questions are not addressed there, please send us a message at