A non-profit organization, Queer Women in Business + Allies (QWBAllies) has announced the launch of a competition aimed at African queer women. The initiative is called the QWBA+A Startups Pitch Challenge. According to a statement made last month, the pitch competition is the first of its kind on the African continent.
The applications for the competition are already opened and will be closed on October 30, 2019. The challenge seeks to support seed-stage entrepreneurs with excellent ideas, scalable, and potential for growth. It’s part of the organization’s commitment to empowering African queer women and African women as a whole.
Those interested in applying must meet these certain criteria:
- The business must be led by queer women, trans, or non-binary entrepreneurs that operate in or for the African market, including any women-led businesses that provide products for the LGBT community and disabled people.
- Have a minimum viable product, and
- Have a social impact focus or benefit(s).
Co-Founder and CEO of QWBAllies, Kebone Moloko, said: “We were moved to act when we discovered that 60% of entrepreneurs in our network lack access to business development skills and funding to build successful and sustainable businesses.”
“These challenges perpetuate the economic exclusion of our community and limit our contribution to society. Our QWB+A Startups Pitch Challenge drives impact directly to queer women entrepreneurs and sets them up for success,” Moloko added.
The program will be held online between 4 and 15 November this year in Johannesburg, South Africa. Through the online program, around 60 queer women entrepreneurs will take part in business development coaching sessions from industry experts, successful investors, as well as investors.
Selected entrepreneurs will get to develop their skills in order to help them grow their business. They will be taught to develop those skills from three different perspectives: customers, strategic partners, and potential investors.