Applications are open for the UNDP-4YFN Women Innovators Program in the Arab States 2022. The Women Innovators Program (WIP) is a partnership between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the Arab States and Four Years From Now (4YFN), the start-up platform of the global mobile operators’ association, GSMA. WIP is a mentorship program for women-led, digital, social impact-oriented start-ups in the Arab States.
While innovative, women-led start-ups are becoming more common in the region, women face many barriers to entrepreneurship, such as lack of access to finance and discriminatory gender norms. Among the barriers is also a lack of business-relevant mentorship opportunities and social networks, which this program seeks to address.
Benefits from 4YFN Women Innovators Program
Mentorship will take place virtually over a period of approximately 2 months, with one-two hours of mentorship per week (10 hours of mentorship in total). The program will begin in May, with a high-level launch event and introductions between participants and mentors. A virtual demo day will be held at the end of the mentorship period, with presentations to international investors. The demo day is organised with the purpose of providing exposure to the start-ups, without any guarantee of funding.
Mentorship support will be available in the following areas, depending on the start-ups’ needs:
- Business strategy: Formulation and implementation of goals and objectives.
- Marketing & communication: Development and evaluation of communication and marketing strategies.
- Fundraising: Fundraising options and strategy, including crowdfunding.
- Management & operations: Financial management, legal management, team management, business modeling, etc…
- Pitching: Creating and delivering a winning pitch for investment, partnerships or sales.
- Technology: Technical support related to the digital nature of the solutions.
Eligibility for 4YFN Women Innovators Program
- Firstly, Open to women who are Founders, Co-Founders or in the Executive Board of the Start-up.
- Secondly, Startups that provide digital-based solutions including but not limited to: Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Augmented & Virtual Reality, 3D & 4D Printing, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Blockchain, Drone Technology and Biometrics, E-Commerce.
- Thirdly, Start-ups should be Early Stage but already in the market (beyond ideation): i.e. Product/service already deployed with early customers / Demonstrating market fit for your product / Proof of the sales dynamics that will support efficient growth /Ensuring the team is in place to execute · Start-up solutions that are contributing to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Additionally, Start-ups should be based in one of the following Arab States: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, & Yemen.
- Similarly, Participants who are committed to actively participating in the full mentorship program.
- Lastly, Participants who are able to communicate effectively in English (given the international nature of the mentors).
Application of 4YFN Women Innovators Program
- Firstly, The form will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete. You will be asked to upload a 2-minute video in English (about your start-up and motivation to join the program) and a pitch deck (optional).
- Secondly, The form should be filled in by a woman in a leadership position at the start-up (Founder, Co-Founder or in the Executive Board).
- Lastly, The application deadline is March 21, 2022. Shortlisted applicants may be contacted for a short interview.
Lastly, It is important to visit the official website link found below to access the application form.
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