SAIS Female Founder Award 2024

 Deadline: 29th of February, 2024

The SAIS Female Founder Award for 2024 is now accepting applications. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has authorized the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to carry out the project “Scaling digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups,” which includes the SAIS Female Founder Award.

As the premier community for IT businesses in the poor world, SAIS aims to revolutionize the food systems. The start-ups that get our financing must have solutions that boost revenue, enhance nutrition, or help with climate change adaptation. Our goal with the SAIS Female Founder Award is to increase the exposure of start-ups run by women and to foster a more dynamic and egalitarian environment so that these women may go on to become the next ‘gazelles’ and succeed in building an unicorn in Africa.


  • The award recognizes African female founders with unique businesses that have a strong digital component and embrace social impact. We honor, support and celebrate your ambition by offering unique opportunities for visibility and further development of your business.
  • The award ceremony for the SAIS Female Founder Award 2024 takes place at VivaTech in Paris on 22- 25 May 2024 in the form of a pitching competition. The three selected winners will be travelling to Paris to attend the event in person. Our prestigious jury will announce the winners’ rankings during an on-stage ceremony.
  • The three winners will win in-kind support worth up to 30,000€ for the first place, up to 15,000€ for the second place, and up to 7,000€ for the third place. This in-kind support can be vouchers and various tailored services to best boost their business, including: 
  • Vouchers for special expenses (e.g. online trainings, software licenses, and other services).


  • Personalized coaching sessions with local and international experts based on individual needs. For example, marketing, investor relations and pitching to further increase visibility.
  • Facilitation of meaningful connections for your business development and potential scaling vision by providing local ecosystem integration
  • Round trip airfare to Paris and accommodation for the entire stay at VivaTech 2024
  • Introduction and involvement to SAIS Female Leader Circle Community wherein women in the start-up ecosystem participate from Inputs sessions with experts from different areas and peer-to-peer exchange sessions. These monthly meetings serve as a platform for insightful discussions, networking opportunities, and skill development tailored to the unique challenges faced by women in the entrepreneurial realm.
  • SAIS Female Founder Award Certificate and a seal for your website to recognize your business


To be eligible for the SAIS Female Founder Award, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Founder
    • You are an African female who (co)founded and runs a start-up / growth stage business.
    • You should have technical experience in your area of operation.
  • Impact
    • You promote female visionary leadership, support other female leaders and contribute to women’s economic empowerment.
    • You are fostering a culture that values diversity.
    • Your work has a positive impact on solving an important problem in the industry.
    • You contribute to start-up ecosystem development.
  • Team
    • Your start-up has a team of at least three people (including yourself as a founder) who work full time for the start-up.
  • Digital product/ service
    • Your product/service is digital or has a strong digital component.
    • Your product is offering an impactful solution in the AgTech, FoodTech or ClimateTech sectors in Africa.
  • Legal form:
    • Your business is registered and operates on the African continent.
    • Your business has an official certificate of registration.
  • Market access and traction
    • Your company has been registered at least 2 years before submitting the application.
    • Your start-up Must have clear evidence of traction (customer base, revenue).
  • Business model
    • You have a unique value proposition in the market(s) where you operate.
    • Your start-up should have an understandable and convincing business model (clear problem statement and defined customer segment).

Click here to apply 

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