Calling Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya!

Take Action, Create Value!

We are selecting 8 senior women business leaders and 8 emerging women entrepreneurs to participate in Launch and Grow: the Kenyan Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, at Babson College (Boston, USA).


The Women for Africa Foundation, Babson College, and Banco Santander are committed to the success and growth of Kenyan women entrepreneurs. We firmly believe that this will provide pathways to great economic and social opportunities for all. 

We encourage Kenyan senior women business leaders and emerging women entrepreneurs to join us by applying for “Launch and Grow: The Kenyan Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.”

Program Schedule and Commitments:

  • Pre-meetings, Pre-work and program preparation : May to July 2016
  • Intensive In-Person Training: June 12-17 2016 held at Babson College Boston MA USA
  • Implementation of the projects, web-based coursework and mentoring: July-December 2016
  • Closing Ceremony and presentation of the projects results: January 2017 

Call to Action

The Women for Africa Foundation, Babson College, and Banco Santander invite both senior Kenyan women business leaders and emerging Kenyan women entrepreneurs to apply for “Launch and Grow: The Kenyan Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership” program. For those selected, all program costs will be paid by the Women for Africa Foundation and Banco Santander.  

Program Overview

“Launch and Grow: The Kenyan Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program” is a unique first-of-its kind program offered to select groups of both emerging women entrepreneurs and senior Kenyan women business leaders. The Women for Africa Foundation, through collaboration with Babson College and Banco Santander, will offer a transformational learning experience designed to accelerate the impact and success of the participating entrepreneurs’ businesses. The program includes an intensive one-week residency at Babson’s main campus located near Boston, Massachusetts, USA in addition to e-learning, coaching, and mentoring post-program.

Who Should Apply?

The program will accept applications from two groups of participants, both of whom must be in registered companies. The final number of participants will be eight women for each group. All business women living in Kenya, regardless of their citizenship are eligible. Additionally, both groups of applicants should have an idea for an innovative high impact social venture to life through this program. Seed money for the highest potential high impact social change/social venture ideas will be provided by The Women for Africa Foundation and Banco Santander. 


8 Emerging Women "Emerging Entrepreneurs"

Founder/owner/ of a company that has been in business for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years, which has high potential to grow and scale, or successor with 3-5 years of leadership experience in an established family business with high potential to grow and scale.  Successful candidates will express an interest in engaging in a mentoring relationship with senior business women. All business sectors are welcome. We encourage applications from leaders of companies with a strong social component. 

8 Senior Women "Seasoned Entrepreneurs"

A minimum of 10 years experience either running and growing a business or in a top executive/director role at an existing business. The candidate can be an owner or a member of the company’s board. All business sectors are welcome. The successful candidate will have had extensive experience in leadership positions in at least one entrepreneurial company. Additionally, the successful candidate will have prior experience in coaching and mentoring others. 

Program Objectives 

Women-owned and operated businesses represent one third of all companies on the continent of Africa, contributing significantly to job creation and development. In Kenya, women represent more than 50% of the business sector in the country; however, women-run businesses are usually smaller, have less access to credit, a lower growth rate, and lower rate of re-investment. The time for change is now. 

In an attempt to reduce the skill and opportunity gap between men and women entrepreneurs, the Government of Kenya has launched several initiatives to support women entrepreneurs such as the Women Enterprise Development Fund (created in 2007) and the fund to support women entrepreneurs and their businesses (created in 2012). In addition, the Kenyan government is encouraging women’s participation in public tenders by establishing a quota of 30% for youth, women, and disabled people.

The overarching goal of “Launch and Grow: The Kenyan Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program” is a bold one: to bridge career stage and status to create far greater opportunities for high potential women entrepreneurs in the country to create extraordinary economic and social value. 

As a participating emerging business leader or entrepreneur, you will develop an opportunity-focused mindset and an appreciation for how Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® can be applied to your life and your work in a variety of contexts and environments. The program emphasizes learning by doing. Concepts and theories will be quickly applied through an action learning methodology. Additionally you will have the opportunity to be mentored by a senior Kenyan woman business leader throughout the program.  As you progress through the program, you will work on a business opportunity of your own and you will also collaborate with your senior business leader mentor to design and implement a social venture/social change initiative. 

For senior women business leaders and entrepreneurs, this program will provide the unique opportunity to develop and refine your coaching and mentoring skills and to apply these skills by providing mentoring guidance to the emerging women entrepreneurs during the implementation of their social change/social venture initiatives. Additionally, these participants will have the opportunity to attend all the entrepreneurship programming to further heighten their entrepreneurial business skills and to enable them to provide informed coaching to their mentees upon their return to Kenya. 


This blended learning program will feature a carefully designed mix of in-person and online lectures, interactive exercises, coaching and mentoring. Above all else, the focus is on applying learning so that new ideas can be immediately translated into action. A sampling of topic areas include:

  • Entrepreneurial Thought and Action®
  • Vision and values and building your culture
  • Creativity and design thinking
  • Business model development
  • Building effective teams
  • Financing
  • Marketing and brand building
  • Growing and scaling your ventures
  • Learning and growing from Failure
  • Strengths based power and influence
  • Creating effective mentor relationships
  • Building your networks and community?

Participant Mix

This program will bring together two distinct groups of Kenyan businesswomen: young entrepreneurs and senior entrepreneurs and business leaders. In each cohort, EIGHT early stage entrepreneurs and EIGHT senior entrepreneurs/business leaders will be paired into teams and work together on creating a social innovation project. In addition to both groups fully participating in the core aspects of the program, participating senior leaders will receive coaching from Babson faculty on how to effectively mentor the young entrepreneurs. The structure of the participant mix creates a learning community reciprocity that benefits all. Bonds will form that last a lifetime. 


“Launch and Grow: The Kenyan Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership  Program” will be taught by a group of leading faculty members from Babson College, the #1 institution for entrepreneurship education. The Babson faculty team is unique in its use of both academics who are thought leaders and accomplished researchers as well as practitioners who are seasoned business leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors. Just as important as our faculty’s academic and professional qualifications is their approachability and dedication to participants’ success. As a participant, you will work closely with faculty as they coach and mentor you.

The faculty team will be led by two seasoned Babson College faculty directors:

Dr. Susan Duffy is the Executive Director of the Babson College Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), where she educates, inspires and empowers women to transform their entrepreneurial potential into entrepreneurial impact.  CWEL’s latest innovation is the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab that accelerates women who are ready to think big, be bold, and launch successful companies. Susan earned her Ph.D. from The George Washington University. Susan is an advisor to several early stage companies, an angel investor and sits on Tory Burch Foundation board, the Walmart Foundation International Advisory Committee, and the Boston Small Business and Entrepreneurship Advisory Council. 

Dr. Elaine J. Eisenman is Dean of Executive Education at Babson College. In this role, she is responsible for the strategy and growth of this top ranked executive education division, as well as for all non-degree programs in entrepreneurship. She also is responsible for the management of the award-winning Babson Executive Conference Center. Elaine is a seasoned board leader with board appointments at several public, and private companies, include startups and family businesses. Prior to her role at Babson, Elaine’s career includes experience as a business leader and general manager, HR executive, and organizational consultant. Her key areas of expertise include growing and scaling companies as well as executive selection, transition, CEO succession, and the alignment of strategy, selection, compensation, and performance during periods of growth and transformation. 


In case you have any query or need additional information please contact us at:

About the Women for Africa Foundation

The Women for Africa Foundation is a private entity launched in 2012 by former Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, for the purpose of contributing to the development of Africa through the drive of its women. In the past two years, the Women for Africa Foundation has set up more than 15 projects in the areas of education, economic development, health, knowledge, and empowerment. 

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.​​ 

About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership

The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College educates, inspires, and empowers women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their organizations, and society. The Center does this through innovative education programs, events, and by supporting and widely disseminating research about the unique skills and experiences of women entrepreneurial leaders. Additionally, CWEL supports and advances gender equality as a growth strategy for individuals and for organizations of all sizes, everywhere in the world.

About Santander Universities

Santander Universities, a global division of Banco Santander, was created in 1996 with the conviction that supporting higher education is the best way to contribute to economic and social development. The Global Division has agreements with more than 1,100 academic institutions in 20 countries. Since its founding, Banco Santander has allocated more than $1.3 billion dollars to collaborative projects with universities and research centers around the world.