Application for 2015 Fellowship Year
Completed applications must be submitted by Wednesday, December 10th 2014


Akili Dada is an international award-winning leadership incubator nurturing a generation of young African women from underprivileged backgrounds whose commitment to the underserved will transform their communities. Our leadership development curriculum creates the foundation on which young women ages 13-35 build their skills and earn the essential qualifications they need to access key decision-making roles and leadership positions. By selecting from and building the capacity of some of Africa’s most innovative young women change makers, we are meeting the urgent need for both more African women in leadership as well as the overall need for transformative leadership across the continent.

Our investments in talented young women include:

  • Rigorous leadership training based on service learning pedagogy
  • Personalized and group mentoring by a cohort of dedicated professional women
  • Competitive and comprehensive scholarships enabling brilliant but poor girls access to top high schools
  • Young women’s leadership clubs across Kenyan high schools
  • Comprehensive fellowships that incubate young women’s social change projects to scale and sustainability

For more information visit our website

The Akili Dada Fellowship is an opportunity for young African women to design and implement solutions to the challenges faced by their communities. These one-year fellowships are awarded to young women leaders between the ages of 18-35 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 inclusive; 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 Akili Dada 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. You can read about our current fellows here

Fellows are 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 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 is not based on past academic performance or qualifications. Applications from young women engaged in social entrepreneurship in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) are encouraged.

Akili Dada fellows benefits 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 are bringing about measurable social change.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Be a woman between the ages of 18-35
  2. Be from an economically disadvantaged background.
  3. Demonstrate previous leadership initiative and experience.
  4. Have been working on your project for at least one year preferably on a full time basis
  5. Be able to commit one year to the fellowship program (January 2015-December 2015)
  6. Be able to attend trainings every other month for one week in Nairobi

Young women from marginalized communities (women living with disabilities, pastoralists, Arid and Semi-Arid Land areas) are encouraged to apply

To be considered for this fellowship, submit the following:

  1. Complete the Application Form (see below). If you have trouble with the online form for any reason, you can download the 2015 Fellowship Application Form here.
  2. Submit two letters of recommendation from persons who are well acquainted with you, your commitment to social change work, demonstrated leadership initiative and experience, and your connection to the community where you intend to implement your fellowship project.

Deadline: Submit application and letters of recommendation by Wednesday, December 10th 2014. Your proposal and letters of recommendation may be scanned and sent as e-mail attachments to , or may be mailed separately to the following address:

Joyce Ngumba Director-Innovation in Leadership Program Akili Dada
P.O Box 27847-00100

Due to the high volume of applications we anticipate, only short listed candidates will be notified.