ShEquity Launches Second Accelerator Edition For Female-led Buisinesses


April 7, 2022, 1:35 p.m.

ShEquity, an investment vehicle providing smart investments for impactful, innovative and scalable female-led and owned businesses in Sub-Sahara Africa, today announced the launch of the second edition of its accelerator program, ShEquity Business Accelerator (SHEBA). The 16-week SHEBA program provides venture building and technical support to African female entrepreneurs across the ECOWAS region looking to grow their businesses and become investment-ready successfully.

Today's call for applications is for English speakers only, as a separate call for Francophone speakers to apply will be issued next month.

Established in March 2021 by ShEquity in collaboration with its implementation partner, MBC Africa, SHEBA addresses the existing gender funding gap by de-risking African female-led businesses, getting them to become investment ready and equipping the founders with the skill set needed to grow and scale their businesses. The inaugural cohort graduated 16 founders from the following countries: Benin, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo.

SHEBA focuses on impactful, innovative and scalable businesses in agribusiness (agritech, production, processing, wholesale, retail, all agribusiness value chain aspects), healthcare, tech-enabled solutions (fintech, cleantech, etc.), renewable energies, mobility and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs). The applicants' businesses should be legally registered in ECOWAS countries, female-owned and managed with a minimum of 51% female ownership and in operation for at least 24 months.

Commenting on the second SHEBA edition, Pauline Koelbl, founder of ShEquity, stated: "We are thrilled to be launching this new edition and are extremely confident that this new cohort will experience the same game-changing impact on their businesses as the first cohort. Participants in SHEBA's inaugural program experienced an increase in the number of customers and overall sales, the evolution of business models, increased managerial confidence, and an overall mindset shift to one of focus. Such impressive outcomes represent the SHEBA program's foundations that drive accelerator participants towards investment readiness."

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Tenemba Anna Samake, executive director of MBC, commented: "We strongly believe the SHEBA program will be a catalyst to address the existing gender inequity when it comes to financing, which is a major challenge for African female-led owned businesses. Integral to the accelerator program is delivering advisory services to provide a pathway towards accessing seed financing to build a strong foundation for growth. Furthermore, SHEBA provides accelerator participants with the necessary skills to scale their businesses."

With only 3% of early-stage funding since 2013 going to all-female founding teams, and a female founder or a founding team made exclusively of women receiving 0.95% of the total raised funds by startups in Africa in 2021 ( $4.6 billion), SHEBA is positioned as the bridge to closing the gender funding gap in Africa. The accelerator program is designed to address investors' concerns and investment risks by focusing on the following: Business Development, Finances, Legal & Governance, Human Resources & Leadership, Marketing & Communications as well as Measuring Results. This investor-focused approach is complemented with hands-on market testing and executive coaching, mentorship sessions and opportunities to leverage ShEquity and MBC Africa's pan-African and global networks.

In addition to the robust program development focus, SHEBA offers ShEquity and other investors within the ShEquity network investment-ready opportunities in female-led and owned businesses. After the acceleration program, qualifying businesses are recommended to the ShEquity team for investment consideration. The typical ShEquity seed investment ranges between US$50K to 250K, with an additional opportunity for post-investment support.

To apply for the second cohort of the 16-week program. Apply here. The deadline for submissions is 06 May 2022.


ShEquity is an investment vehicle providing smart investments for impactful, innovative and scalable female-led and owned businesses in Sub-Sahara Africa. ShEquity's vision is to close the gender funding gap in Africa. ShEquity facilitates access to a pool of de-risked deals to investors composed of innovative, impactful and scalable female-led and owned businesses. ShEquity aims for a triple bottom line: financial, social and environmental returns that directly correlate to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, please visit the ShEquity website (

MBC Africa

MBC Africa is a one-stop boutique that provides an enabling environment for businesses in Africa by providing the business services they need to grow. MBC Africa's role is to identify, nurture, and develop a critical mass of viable growth-oriented businesses as a pipeline for sustainable and impactful investment in selected African economies with a special focus on West Africa. Find more information at the MBC website (

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