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African Women looking to the left at the HerMeNow Accelerator Retreat in 2023

frequently asked

The Program
  • What is the HerMeNow Accelerator program?
    The 2023 HerMeNow Accelerator is a short program that will bring training support to up to 30 women-led green social enterprises in MENA & Africa in the Bootcamp phase and technical, financial, and mentorship support to 10 women-led green social enterprises in the accelerator phase. The HerMeNow Accelerator is funded by StardustConcept ESG & Impact division, an initiative of Natacha Fazal Karim, a woman entrepreneur who believes in women empowerment through social entrepreneurship. Social enterprises seek to generate profits while maximizing societal and environmental benefits. They aim to create social and environmental impact by supporting women-led social enterprises globally.
  • What does the program look like?
    You will get access to an empowering program that will include monetary prizes, mentoring, access to opportunities, and more. Open House Online discussions and “info sessions” with thought leaders to build awareness and momentum around the program. Selection process Bootcamp High-intensity two-month-long Bootcamp with workshops, mentorship, and support for all enterprises. Bootcamp Demo Day Final selection Accelerator Weekly or bi-weekly workshops adapted to the needs of the cohort and enterprises Regular milestone check-ins with all enterprises Mentorship coordination Online or offline Demo Day, or otherwise optimized for the interests of partners and the needs of the enterprises to help the enterprises continue their growth path.
  • What kind of enterprises are eligible for the program?
    Your enterprise is eligible if it meets the following criteria: Your enterprise is based in one of the eligible countries MENA: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen Sub-Saharan East Africa: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania Your enterprise has been operating for at least three years and already generates revenues Your enterprise has a social element / generates a positive social impact. Alignment with SDGs Tracking of social impact KPIs along with financial impact Reinvesting at least half of revenues into social initiatives You have the potential to sustain your enterprise without the program’s long-term support. You have more than one person in the team, with at least two members working full-time in the enterprise. No restrictions on sociographic or other parameters regarding the applicants. Female-led enterprises and enterprises with higher diversity (age, sex, socio-economic background, refugee/host communities, location around MENA and Africa, etc.) are particularly encouraged to apply. We are unable to support: Enterprises of only one individual. Enterprises that are engaged with other entrepreneurship/innovation programs/accelerators, unless there is a clear distinction between the program offerings, and enterprises can demonstrate that they have time and capacity to join this program in addition to their other program commitments.
  • What kind of enterprises are we looking for?
    We are looking for women-led green social enterprises that can positively impact multiple sectors. All are welcome to apply as long as their mission and objectives align with working toward the SDGs' achievement. We are looking for early-stage enterprises operating for at least three years and generating revenues.
  • How do you choose which enterprises to accept into the program?
    We will use the following criteria to assess eligible applications. These are not all requirements, but preferences and enterprises will be weighed on the different elements: Impact: What difference your idea will make, and for whom, how many jobs you will create, what sort of marginalized communities you will impact, and whether you align with the priority impact areas: culture, mindset, and education. Capacity: What skills, knowledge, and resources do you have to develop and deliver your idea. Feasibility: Whether you can realistically deliver your idea by the end of the program and within budget. Sustainability: Whether your idea has the potential to become financially sustainable and last beyond the lifetime of the funding we provide. Stage of Enterprise and Product: Whether the enterprise is already generating revenue and the stage of development of the specific product or branch that this program will support. Inclusion and user testing: Whether the voices of your target clients have been included in the prototype/solution design, and whether your client base is inclusive of different demographics, backgrounds, sexes, etc. Innovation and growth potential: Whether your idea is new and different, and where or how it can potentially grow.
  • What stage of enterprises is eligible for the program?
    Imagine a spectrum of entrepreneurship running from learning about the concept and skills to having a mature enterprise changing the world. Those stages are categorized as follows. For the sake of this challenge, we will focus on supporting enterprises highlighted below:
  • What benefits do I receive from the program?
    Funding to support an essential aspect of the business could improve growth and sustainability. Each enterprise will get a 2,000$ grant to support the enterprises' needs and potential impact. Training, mentorship, and other support during the three-month accelerator program Lifetime access to Bloom’s resources and HerMeNow’s network of entrepreneurs, including mentors, investors, alumni, and staff Demo day exposure and other investor connections
  • What language is content delivered in for the program?
    The primary language in verbal and written communications during accelerator activities is English. However, we can also offer support and mentorship in Arabic or French. We may adapt those during the program to respond to the needs of enterprises.
  • What is a typical day and week for a team during the program?
    It’s your enterprise, so you’ll be hard at work on your business, the product, marketing, HR, etc. We’ll have between one and three weekly sessions, from formal workshops to informal discussions with our mentors, trainers, and guests. Some of those are “required,” but many are optional, and we expect enterprises to adapt and join the critical sessions for issues they’re dealing with in their enterprise. We’ll also regularly have required check-ins with each enterprise, usually every month. In general, though, you’ll be working on your enterprise each day, just like all of the other founders in the program. We don’t tell you what to do or when, but we create an environment conducive to helping your enterprise daily. And we’ll ensure you have many experienced mentors around to help you.
  • What are the key dates?
    Public Launch and Applications Open on Tuesday, May 16 Open house starts on Thursday, June 1 The application deadline is Monday, July 10 Enterprises are notified of selection into the Bootcamp by Monday, July 17 Bootcamp starts on Monday, July 24 Bootcamp Demo day is on Tuesday, October 3 Enterprises are notified of selection into Accelerator by Tuesday, October 10 Accelerator starts on Monday, October 16 Demo day is on/around the end of February
  • How can we get funded after the program ends?
    We provide the seed funding to get you going, but you may need more funding to continue your enterprise efforts. Near the end of the three-month program, we’ll organize a Demo Day to help connect you with investors, funders, and organizations that could help you in the following stages of your enterprise journey. We’ll coach you so you’re as effective as possible and do everything we can to help get you follow-on support and funding.
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