UNDP-4YFN Women Innovators Programme in the Arab States: Call for Applications 2023
What is the WIP?
The Women Innovators Programme (WIP) is a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Arab States and Four Years From Now (4YFN), the start-up platform of the global mobile operators’ association, GSMA. WIP is a mentorship programme for women-led, digital, social impact-oriented start-ups in the Arab States.
Since 2021, WIP has provided 500+ hours of mentorship to 50 start-ups from 16 countries across the Arab States. In addition, participants have had the opportunity to pitch to international investors at an annual Demo Day event, participate in GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, and join peer-to-peer and group learning sessions on topics of interest.
Who we're looking for
Applicants should fulfill the below criteria:
- Women from the Arab States who are Founders, Co-Founders or on the Executive Board of the Start-up.
- Startups that provide digital-based solutions including but not limited to: Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Augmented & Virtual Reality, 3D & 4D Printing, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Blockchain, Drone Technology and Biometrics, E-Commerce.
- Start-ups should be at least Early Stage (i.e. beyond ideation) and already in the market (providing a product or service to their target market).
- Start-up solutions contribute to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Start-ups should be based in one of the following Arab States: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, & Yemen.
- Participants commit to actively participating in the full mentorship programme.
- Participants are able to communicate effectively in English (given the international nature of the mentors).
Mentorship will take place entirely virtually over a period of approximately 3 months, with at least 10 hours of mentorship during that period in addition to approximately 2 hours of peer-to-peer and group learning sessions per month. The programme will begin in May, with a high-level launch event and introductions between participants and mentors. A virtual demo day will be held at the end of the mentorship period, with presentations to international investors. The demo day is organised with the purpose of providing exposure to the start-ups, without any guarantee of funding.
Mentorship support will be available in the following areas, depending on the start-ups’ needs:
- Business planning and strategy
- Pricing and commercial strategy
- Talent and recruitment
- Management and organizational culture
- International expansion
- Product management
- Marketing, storytelling and public relations
- Fundraising and pitch-perfect
- Financial management
- Technology and engineering
- Innovation management, intellectual property protection
How to Apply
The form should be filled in by a woman in a leadership position at the start-up (Founder, Co-Founder or on the Executive Board).
Applications are open from Sunday 26 February to Sunday 26 March. Shortlisted applicants may be contacted for a short interview.
For any clarifications, contact Roxani Roushas (email@example.com).
Are you experienced in entrepreneurship and interested in being a mentor for the programme? Apply through 4YFN here by 15 April.
Learn more about the programme alumnae