2019 African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) Program

Application open: December 5, 2018
Application closes: December 18, 2018.

The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) is a one-of-a-kind, high-touch business and management development learning program. Referred to as “a jewel of a program” by a global business school expert, AWEC focuses on applied learning and collaborative experiences to ensure immediate business impact and the creation of a pan-African network of entrepreneurs, experts and allies.

AWEC was created at the Center for Global Enterprise and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and others.

AWEC’s 12-month blended learning model provides cohort members with online and offline experiences, individual and team-based work, opportunities to give and receive peer feedback, and individualized business mentoring. Lessons are designed to be practical and applicable both to well-established business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

While there is no cost to participate in AWEC, we require commitment, hard work and active engagement from cohort members. Those who thrive in this program are rewarded with a transformative year-long experience, invaluable business skills and knowledge, and a pan-African network of peers and allies.


AWEC embraces diversity and inclusivity. We encourage those who meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Women who were born in and do business in any African country; members of the diaspora are welcome to apply, but their business or NGO must have impact on the continent
  • Established entrepreneurs who demonstrate business clarity OR aspiring entrepreneurs with clear business concepts that they are committed to developing and implementing over the course of our 12-month program
  • Those interested in advancing their business and management skills, as well as growing their companies and their leadership capabilities
  • Self-starters who demonstrate passion, resilience, leadership, collaboration, and empathy
  • Proficiency in English, which is the official language the program
  • AWEC is open to women entrepreneurs working in any industry

Successful participants help to build our community by contributing their knowledge and experience, learning from others, and using what they learn to continue building their businesses and supporting the growth of fellow cohort members’ businesses.


  1. Participants should expect to spend an average of 4 to 6 hours per week participating in AWEC activities (primarily online), for one year. When considering whether or not to apply, please keep in mind that this program is fast-paced and requires firm commitment to active learning and engagement. Participants are expected to engage in one AWEC activity every week.
  2. Participants will receive strategic guidance and feedback from teaching assistants, mentors, AWEC staff, and world-class instructors as they navigate the curriculum.

III. There is no cost to participate in AWEC, but it is a fast-paced program that requires time, hard work and commitment to extract maximum value from the experience. We encourage all applicants to seriously consider the time commitment of 4 to 6 hours per week over 12 months.



Upon successful completion of the 12-month program, participants will:

  • Form connections with a diverse network of African women entrepreneurs
  • Establish a relationship with at least one senior business mentor
  • Strengthen strategy, leadership and business management skills
  • Apply their AWEC learning to their business with an eye toward sustainable growth
  • Gain skills needed to grow and scale their enterprise
  • Develop a toolkit of soft skills, including self-confidence, resilience, collaboration, and cross-cultural communications




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