Getting access to world-class developmental support is the foundation for achieving success for so many high growth potential women entrepreneurs in Africa. So, an exciting new initiative, the Stanford Seed programme, created by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, could be the key to that success. On Friday 10 May, a special event was organised by Lionesses of Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, hosted by NATSAVE, our impact partner in the country, in conjunction with Stanford Seed. The aim of the event was to introduce the Stanford Seed programme to potential women entrepreneur candidates from Zambia who are looking to grow their businesses and take their leadership expertise to the next level.
Around 15 leading women entrepreneurs from Lusaka in Zambia gathered at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel in the city to learn more about the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme. The event was hosted as a collaboration between Lionesses of Africa, NATSAVE and Stanford Seed, with Mukwandi Chibesakunda, CEO of NATSAVE acting as host and chairing the luncheon meeting on the day. Davis Albohm, Associate Director, Global Operations - Stanford Seed, Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, was the guest presenter at the event to introduce the programme.
Speaking about the decision to collaborate with Stanford Seed on this event and the programme going forward to inform the Lionesses of Africa community of women entrepreneurs about this unique opportunity, Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa said:
“For any woman entrepreneur in Africa who has ambitions to grow a sizeable and sustainable business, one that in turn can create Africa’s much needed jobs, they themselves need specialist training and development in order to become a real leader in their sector. This exciting opportunity from Stanford Seed is just such a programme, geared up for women entrepreneurs who have already done the hard yards to grow their businesses, often in tough sectors, but need to ramp up to the next level. It is good to see the power of partnership in action to bring such opportunities to our Lionesses of Africa community. A big thank you to the team at Stanford Seed, and of course, to our supportive partners NATSAVE, for collaborating to bring this opportunity to Zambia’s high growth potential women entrepreneurs.”
The Stanford Seed Transformation Programme is aimed at high growth potential entrepreneurs, and is a 12 month programme which helps business owners to scale their businesses and create the jobs that Africa needs. It also looks to train a new generation of business leaders on the continent and, in turn, their own leadership teams within their companies and organizations. The programme incorporates a combination of Immersion Weeks, In-Company Workshops, Leadership Labs, and Coaching and Consulting. To date, the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme has trained 628 leaders in 19 countries, 149 of which have been women. 72% of the businesses on the programme have introduced new products and services into the marketplace; 61% have created new full-time jobs; 89% have increased their customer base; 50% have expanded into new geographies; 39 million dollars in capital has been raised; and 59% do business with one another from the programme. The Stanford Seed Transformation Programme is open for applications from founders and ceos of companies and market-driven social enterprises, and any sector is eligible. Annual company revenue should be a minimum of $150,000. The application deadline for the 2020 programme intake is 15 June 2019. The programme fee is $6000, and is highly subsidized by philanthropic contributions. Participants are responsible for their travel and lodging.
Speaking about the event, Davis Albohm said:
“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and interacting with over a dozen inspiring female entrepreneurs and stakeholders in Lusaka. Thanks to Lionesses of Africa, Stanford Seed has made terrific inroads as we look to increase our impact in Zambia, and recruit more women-led SMEs into our Transformation Program.”
For more information on the Stanford Seed Transformation Programme click below.