The Spring Accelerator Programme, sponsored by the Nike Foundation, Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

The accelerator is going to identify early-stage ventures that produce services that can improve the lives of girls while supporting these ventures with funding worth 50 thousand pounds. Starting in three pilot East African countries, it will roll out to five other countries across Africa and Asia (i.e. Tanzania, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal).

Early stage enterprises that intend to apply must operate (or have plans to secure representation) by May 2015 in Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda. They must also demonstrate revenues for a minimum of one year and ensure that the target customers (or beneficiaries) of their business, are girls aged between 10-19 years old.

18 applicants will be chosen out of 50, to join the programme. The selected start-ups will work hand-in-hand with peers, mentors, advisors and coaches in a syllabus that has been tailored to their needs. The start-ups will pitch in front of a group of international investors in September. 200,000 adolescent girls are likely to be reached with this initiative. Start-ups will be encouraged to implement their product solutions after the exercise.

Social entrepreneurs with products tailored towards this objective can now apply before March 1, 2015. More information can be found on the Spring Accelerator website.

The Spring Accelerator Programme a very laudable project that will empower the girl child at a very creative stage of their development milestone.

Olumuyiwa Coker Author

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