Westerwelle Young Founders Programme – Autumn2023

A 6-month fellowship for outstanding young entrepreneurs from emerging markets.

The Young Founders Program (YFP) is a 6-month fellowship offering founders in Asia, Africa, and Latin America 1:1 mentorship, expert sessions, and access to a global network of entrepreneurs and supporters. The top 10 founders of each cohort get the chance to travel to Berlin for a 5-day conference.

The Westerwelle Young Founders Programme (YFP) is a six-month fellowship for 25 leaders uplifting emerging and developing markets towards a sustainable future. We offer targeted support to scale our founders’ ventures and develop their leadership abilities, with the following program plan:

  • Kick-Off Conference: A two-day digital kick-off conference will take place on September 4 and 5, 2023.
  • Remote Programme: From September – February, the Young Founders will receive six months of support including a personal mentor, monthly peer learning sessions, monthly expert workshops and networking opportunities with corporates and investors.
  • Berlin Conference: The ten best performing Young Founders will be invited to a five-day conference in Berlin in May 2024. During this conference, the founders will have the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, participate in workshops, join networking events and get insights into the German start-up scene.

What to expect from the program?

  • Mentoring
    A unique experience with a successful entrepreneur or investor, who becomes your sparring partner.
  • Peer Learning
    Exchanges with other successful young founders of the cohort to share knowledge and support each other.
  • Expert Sessions
    In-depth sessions on relevant topics with high-class experts.
  • International Community
    Access to new business opportunities by being connected to program alumni, partners, and other members of the Westerwelle Foundation network.
  • Berlin Conference
    Exposure to the Berlin Startup Ecosystem through a fully funded 5-day conference together with the other founders for the top 10 participants.

Selection criteria

We are looking for entrepreneurs with high potential for impact and growth to become leaders of a sustainable future, with the following criteria:

  • You are a citizen or resident of a developing or emerging country.
  • You have recently (in the last five years) started a for-profit company focused on developing or emerging markets.
  • Your company possesses a scalable business model that has ideally generated revenue or secured the first round of external funding.
  • You or your business possesses disruptive qualities that can increase the quality, impact, or inclusiveness of the industry.
  • You possess a good working knowledge of English.
  • You are available to attend the digital kick-off conference and can make time to participate in program activities for six months.

Application process

The following application will provide our Programme Team with an understanding of your startup and profile. Please have the following key elements ready:

  • Your startup pitch deck
  • Basic financial information (i.e. revenues, funding)
  • Your LinkedIn profile

With these on hand, the application will take approximately 20 minutes. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

Info session

We will host an info session to answer all your questions about the program.

July 25, 14:00 CEST. Register here to receive the link to join the call: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtceusqz8jHNfms7TqHE_WQL7n5kc911KC


August 13, 2023
Program dates Sep 4, 2023 - Feb 29, 2024
Organizer Westerwelle Foundation
Website Visit website
Targets Africa, Americas, Asia, Micronesia
Sectors Sector agnostic