UNDP-4YFN Women Innovators Program in the Arab States 2022

The UNDP-4YFN Women Innovators Program in the Arab States 2022 is now accepting applications.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the Arab States and Four Years From Now (4YFN), the start-up platform of the global mobile operators’ organization, GSMA, have partnered to create the Women Innovators Program (WIP). WIP is a mentorship program in the Arab States for women-led, digital, social impact-oriented start-ups.

While innovative, female-led start-ups are becoming increasingly frequent in the area, women face several challenges to entrepreneurship, including a lack of access to capital and gender stereotypes. A lack of business-relevant mentorship opportunities and social networks are among the impediments, that this program aims to solve.

Benefits

Mentorship will take place remotely over a two-month period, with one to two hours of mentoring every week (10 hours of mentorship in total). The initiative will be out in May with a high-level kickoff event and introductions between mentors and participants. At the conclusion of the mentorship period, a virtual demo day will be organized, including presentations to worldwide investors. The demo day is held with the goal of exposing start-ups to potential investors, although there is no assurance of funding.

Mentorship will be provided in the following areas, depending on the needs of the start-ups:

  • Goals and objectives are developed and implemented as part of a business strategy.
  • Marketing and communication: Creating and evaluating marketing and communication strategies.

Fundraising: Options and strategies for fundraising, including crowdsourcing.

Management & operations: Financial management, legal management, team management, business modeling, and so on are all examples of management and operations.

Pitching: Pitching is the process of developing and presenting a persuasive proposal for funding, collaborations, or sales.

Technology: The digital nature of the solutions need technical assistance.

Women Innovators Program in the Arab States | Eligibility Criteria

  • Women who are the founders, co-founders, or members of the executive board of a startup are eligible.
  • Startups offering digital-based solutions, such as, but not limited to:
  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Augmented & Virtual Reality, 3D & 4D Printing, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Blockchain, Drone Technology and Biometrics, E-Commerce, Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Start-ups should be in the early stages of development but have already entered the market (beyond ideation): i.e. product/service already in use with early customers / demonstrating market fit for your product / demonstrating sales dynamics that will allow efficient growth / ensuring that the right team is in place to execute Solutions developed by start-ups that contribute to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen are all good places to start a business.
  • Participants that are dedicated to taking part in the whole mentorship program.
  • Participants who can properly converse in English (given the international nature of the mentors).

How to Apply for Women Innovators Program in the Arab States

It will take you around 30 minutes to complete the form. You’ll be requested to submit a 2-minute English video (about your start-up and why you want to join the program) as well as a pitch deck (optional).

A woman in a leadership role at the start-up should fill out the form (Founder, Co-Founder, or in the Executive Board).

The deadline for applications is March 21, 2022. Applicants who have been shortlisted may be called for a brief interview.

To apply, go to this link.

Deadline: March 21, 2022

Visit UNDP-4YFN for more information.

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