Women Business Accelerator – 2023

Supercharging Somali Startups since 2012

About the Program

The Women Accelerator is a 10-week program that selects, offers essential business skills training, and funds female-owned startups in Somaliland. The top startups will receive an investment of up to $30,000 from Innovate Ventures.

The program has an alumni network of over 200 startups and has invested over $250,000 in the most promising businesses.

Benefits of the program

  • 10 weeks of intensive training and business mentorship.
  • Access to our vast networks including leading banks.
  • Pitching in front of local and international investors.
  • Features in local and international media.
  • Equity funding for winner startups of up to $30,000.


March 25, 2023
Organizer Innovate Ventures
Website Visit website
Targets Africa
Sectors Sector agnostic

About Innovate Ventures

Innovate Ventures is the leading Somali start-up accelerator and funder. The organization provides training, mentorship, office space, networking, exposure, and investment to startups.

Innovate Ventures is the leading Somali startup accelerator and technology fund.

The program partners with VC4A, Telesom, and Oxfam as part of Work in Progress! Alliance. To date, the program has graduated over 200 start-ups and has invested almost $250,000 in its graduates.

As part of the acceleration package, you will receive training, mentorship by domain experts, access to an extensive business network, visibility, and a chance to get investment.

Innovate Ventures (IV) is proud to foster collaborations between existing and new ventures by directly supporting those with great ideas with training, mentorship, capital, and physical resources. We aim at making real, tangible and measurable contributions bottom-up. Our goal is to nurture innovation and make ideas shine.

Eligibility criteria

  • Woman business owner or woman with a business idea.
  • Age 18 – 35 years old.
  • Business is based in Somaliland.
  • The owners are committed to attending the accelerator program in Hargeisa.

Application process

  1. Complete the application form before 21st March 2023.
  2. The selected startups will get an invitation to the pre-accelerator bootcamp at the Innovate Ventures offices in Hargeisa by the first week of April.
  3. The top 15 start-ups from the bootcamp will participate in the 10 weeks accelerator program where they will receive mentorship and business skills training from experienced entrepreneurs.
  4. At the end of the training the start-ups will pitch on Demo Day in front of a jury, media, and local and international investors.
  5. The top startups will receive up to $30,000 in equity investment from Innovate Ventures.

What’s next?

Submit your application today! Applications close before 21st March 2022.

You can also join the Work in Progress Community Site to get all the updates and announcements!

About the Work in Progress! Alliance

This program is part of the “Work In Progress!” project. The goal of “Work in Progress!” is to improve the economic prospects of young men and women in Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia, create jobs and stimulate entrepreneurship by improving the skills of young people, strengthening small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and creating an enabling environment. Work in Progress! Alliance partners include Oxfam, Hanze University, VC4A, and Butterfly Works.

About Telesom

Telesom is the most successful ICT company in the Somali region. With its powerful technologies, it connects Somaliland’s people, businesses, government institutions, and aid and development groups every day. It uses technology solutions that have won worldwide awards to help customers progress in mobile financial services, cloud computing, business intelligence, digital media, the internet of things (IoT), and broadband services. Telesom has partnered with Innovate Ventures in support of fostering innovation, development of quality cutting edge technological solutions while providing conductive environment for investment, quicker access to market resources with higher returns on capital.