Who is behind the WIA 54 Award?

The WIA Philanthropy Foundation initiated the WIA 54 project, for African women entrepreneurs with a strong potential to shape the Africa of tomorrow. Each year, the WIA 54 Award recognizes 54 women entrepreneurs from each of the 54 African countries.

Women are the driving force of African economies, and will positively change the future of the continent. The start-up created by these African women address to issues of state responsibility and tackle structural challenges (electrification of the continent, medical coverage, education). Supporting them in their desire to undertake and promoting them is a win-win and sustainable investment for African and international economies.

Selection Criteria

We will select the most innovative and high- growth potential companies or initiatives with already proven traction :

  • Innovative product, service or technology and/ or a strong human impact.
  • Created or managed by an African woman citizen.
  • With a first traction on the market (turnover, number of users, raised funds…).
  • Proven business model, scalability.
  • Large growth potential (in own country, Africa and globally).
  • Ambitious team with deep execution skills.

Award Ceremony

A renowned international jury will meet at the end of April  to select the winners from the 54 preselected entrepreneurs. In view of the major issues identified by the World Bank for the Africa of tomorrow, 6 sectors have been selected:
  • Education
  • Health
  • Energy / environment
  • Fintech
  • Social and digital innovation
  • Agricultural innovation

Benefits for the 54 selected entrepreneurs

  • Invitation to the International Annual Summit WIA in Marrakesh (June 27/28 2019):  reimbursement of travel, accommodation.
    • Unique visibility: Unique visibility from 500 delegates, including investors, top executives and media from all over the world
    • High-level Networking: Business meetings organized during the WIA Club Annual Meeting in Marrakech
  • Bootcamp : Access to a 2 days  training bootcamp prior to the summit.
  • A booth at the WIA Start-up Exhibition during the WIA Annual Summit, which will allow each of our 54 winners to showcase their business and meet with partners and potential investors
  • Annual membership to the WIA Club offered, first interntional women entrepreneurs club on the continent:
    • visibility on Women in Africa print and web supports including website, WIA Mag, social media.
    • Special access to the WIA Link digital platform in order to exchange with each other and with international top executive, and MOOC training access : how to pitch, hoW to speach, business opportunities… (in progress)
    • Regional and Local meetings of entrepreneurs all year long with the WIA Hubs
  • Mentoring : Mentoring for 1 year from large companies (depending from the fundings and sponsors)
  • Scholarschips : Scholarships offered available on one of our partner’s 48 campuses or via e-learning, provided that you pass the admission exams. Scholarships offered in partnerships with Honoris.

How to Apply?

Applications are done online, visit https://wia-initiative.com/ec/. The closing date for applications is 15 February 2019.