She Leads Africa is now taking applications for their Accelerator program

A strong female presence in the entrepreneurial/tech world is something today’s (or any day’s) society lacks. Yes, we have come a long way, but there is still room for improvement. There’s always room for improvement. Thankfully, we have platforms and organisations that empower women to venture into “male-dominated” fields.

She Leads Africa (SLA), in partnership with GTBank and the Work in Progress! Alliance (Oxfam, Butterfly Works and VC4Africa), is inaugurating an accelerator program for women-run businesses aptly called She Leads Africa Accelerator. SLA supports female entrepreneurs in Africa and this is not the first time they are launching a program beneficial to female entrepreneurs looking to build successful careers and businesses.

The She Leads Africa Accelerator is some sort of sequel to the She Leads Africa Entrepreneur Showcase that happened two years ago. In the words of co-founder, Afua Osei, “the pitch competition was a great way to find and fund women led businesses but we weren’t able to work as closely with the entrepreneurs as we would have liked and help them hit key milestones. The accelerator will enable us to really focus on key areas the businesses need to improve on.”

The SLA Accelerator will run for 3 months consisting of one week residencies where entrepreneurs will receive training from the SLA team and business leaders and experts. The main focus will be on growth, marketing and distribution. The participants will then return home for three weeks, after each residency, to implement the lessons they have learnt.

During this “implementation process”, they will be remotely monitored and also given access to online resources on both the SLA and VC4Africa platforms, so they can reach out for help at any time. The program will end on Demo Day where participants will pitch their ideas to both local and international investors and compete for N2 million investment from the SLA team.

Interested applicants should visit the SLA website here  to get more information and also access the application form. Submissions close on the 31st of May, 11:59pm WAT.

Facebook launches Agency Ambassador programme for Africa

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)  has launched an Agency Ambassador Programme for Africa as part of its drive to equip its agency partners with the skills and information they need to make the most of Facebook as a marketing and advertising platform. Agency Ambassadors have a direct line to Facebook and receive extensive training to help them become their agency’s expert in Facebook’s tools, technologies and solutions.

Delegates representing 32 top media agencies from four countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa) gathered at a three-day summit in Johannesburg from 29 March to 1 April, where a Facebook team from around the world trained them to become Africa’s first Facebook Agency Ambassadors. The collaborative training equipped participants with the resources they need to understand how to drive real business results through digital marketing, and in turn share this knowledge within their organizations. The forum also afforded an opportunity for the agency representatives to provide feedback to Facebook.

The launch of the program follows within a year after the opening of Facebook’s first office in Africa—based in Johannesburg, South Africa— when Facebook committed to supporting and up-skilling businesses across the continent.

“We’re so excited to launch the Facebook Agency Ambassador Program, a first for Africa,” says Nunu Ntshingila, Head of Africa for Facebook. “As media transcends to digital, it's of crucial importance that these Ambassadors are equipped to take their learnings back to their agencies –  both digital and traditional - so that they can make the most of the digital opportunity, and ultimately grow brands and businesses.”

The programme incorporates Facebook Blueprint, an education program that trains agencies, partners and marketers on how to use Facebook. Combining online courses, in-person training and certification, Blueprint trains marketers on everything from campaign optimization and how to use video on Facebook to effective ad measurement solutions. The foundation of Blueprint is its eLearning center, which features more than 50 online courses and has tracks organized by category, such as direct response marketing, as well as tracks designed for specific roles, such as digital buying. 

According to Elizma Nolte, Head of Business Marketing for Facebook Sub-Saharan Africa, “Our goal with the Agency Ambassador Programme is to empower agencies to help their clients make the most of our platforms. It’s also a way for us to listen to agencies and learn more about what they need in their specific markets, so that we can improve offerings across the Facebook family of services. Facebook is a partnership company at heart, and this kick-off summit is simply the beginning of a long-term partnership with agencies across the continent.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Facebook.