International Mentoring: Women in Tech Edition
14.09.2020 to 31.03.2021
Founders of growth-stage technology businesses joined this special edition of enpact’s International Mentoring Program in Europe + Africa. The program was designed for high potential technology businesses looking to scale their business, create global partnerships, and explore new markets. Originally, the program was meant to launch in the spring of 2020 with a bootcamp in Berlin. Due to the pandemic, the call for applications was extended to offer the opportunity to a wider range of entrepreneurs while we focused on adapting our flagship mentoring experience into a virtual format.
On the 14th of September, we kicked the program off with a virtual bootcamp, streamed from our studio in Berlin!
The program offers participants coaching and mentoring for founders by International Mentors to strengthen their business model, growth strategy, roadmap, international network and partnerships.
Over 1,500 founders applied during the application period and went through a two-stage shortlisting process. The selected cohort consists of four Egyptian, three Nigerians, two South African, two German , one Senegalese, one Danish, one British and one German founder. The businesses operate across a diverse range of sectors: e-commerce, real-estate, design, food and water tech, software, energy, fashion and cosmetics, and Internet of Things (IoT).
Who are they? Meet the participants and learn more about what they do.
This is an 8-month mentoring program for women-led, high potential technology businesses. The program aims to strengthen technology focus, scale promising technology businesses globally and foster international partnerships between tech businesses from Africa and Europe. It is an initiative under the Strategic Partnership Digital Africa (SPDA), funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Mentor visits: The contactless experience
A crucial component of our mentoring programs is mentors visiting their mentees in their home countries; getting to see their headquarters, teamwork on the ground, and explore the ecosystem on the ground as they guide their mentee towards growing their companies, and expanding their own network along the way.
Due to travel restrictions, we transformed the on-the-ground visits component to a virtual mentoring bootcamp, where mentors and mentees set aside a few hours a day for a week to step back from their day-to-day operations and focus on problem-solving and strategic growth.
The bootcamp took place from the 23rd to the 27th of November, and was streamed from our studio in Egypt at Startup Haus Cairo.
We had three mentors tuning in from Ghana, three from Germany and one from France. Their experience ranges from policy drafting for organizations like the UN and World Bank, leading multi-million dollar investment roads and leading growing international startups.
Despite the circumstances keeping us apart, streaming the bootcamp from our studio in Cairo allowed the Egyptian-based entrepreneurs the opportunity to work and join from Startup Haus Cairo throughout the duration of the bootcamp. We may not have been able to all get together and retreat somewhere far away from the daily operations, but a celebratory moment after the bootcamp was done was still made possible – and if there’s one thing we learned this year, it’s the value of the little moments.
Still, we are keeping a close eye on the situation to see whether it will be possible to conduct our closing bootcamp on the ground, allowing the entrepreneurs, mentors and experts to meet, wrap up their experience over the past 6 months, and work towards the next phase of their growth.