The Fellowship is an opportunity for African women to design and implement solutions to the challenges faced by their communities. These one-year fellowships will be awarded to young women leaders between the ages of 19-35 who are driving transformative change in their communities and are looking to grow their projects to scale and sustainability.
Currently, most social entrepreneurship incubators are not designed with inclusivity in mind. The number of women in incubators and accelerators pales in comparison to men – and barriers to entry for African women are even greater. The Akili Dada Fellowship Program was designed in direct response to the absence of African women among the ranks of those celebrated in existing social entrepreneurship incubators.
The fellowship program serves to bridge that gap by providing opportunities for dynamic young women leaders to learn essential skills and apply those skills in the context of their communities. As an incubator, we provide financial, intellectual, mentoring, and networking resources to young women as they grow their projects to scale and sustainability.
Fellows will be selected on the basis of the strength of their social change project, previous leadership initiative, willingness to learn from peers and more experienced mentors and the ability to share their skills with peers and intended project beneficiaries. All fellows will need to have deep roots in the communities they seek to transform and be from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In order to reach out to young women who may not have had access to formal education, selection will not be based on past academic performance. Applications from young women engaged in social entrepreneurship are encouraged.
Akili Dada fellows will benefit from a modest stipend for the duration of the fellowship, a series of seminars from experts in the field, site visits to successful social entrepreneurship organizations, an assigned mentor, access to the Akili Dada network of funding partners and social change agents, and access to Akili Dada’s office facilities. By the completion of the program we expect fellows to possess the skills and resources required to lead a strong, healthy, sustainable, and accountable organization that is bringing about measurable social change.