Calling Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya!

Launch and Grow: The Kenyan Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program!

Calling Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya! Take Action, Create Value!.

We are selecting 16 women entrepreneurs of high potential ventures 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 experienced 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 2017
  • Intensive In-Person Training: June 19-23 2017 held at Babson College Boston MA USA
  • Implementation of the projects, web-based coursework and mentoring: September 2017-May 2018
  • Closing Ceremony and presentation of the projects results: May 2018 

Call to Action

The Women for Africa Foundation, Babson College, and Banco Santander invite both seasoned 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 seasoned Kenyan women entrepreneurial 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 in Nairobi.

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 b

1.8 Emerging Women 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.

2. 8 Experienced Women Entrepreneurs

A minimum of 10 years of experience in 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 seasoned women 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. 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: emerging entrepreneurs and seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders. In each cohort, EIGHT early stage entrepreneurs and EIGHT more experienced entrepreneurs/business leaders will be grouped into teams and work together on building social and economic impact of their ventures. 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.

Mary Gale is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Babson and the Faculty Director of the Babson Summer Venture Program in Wellesley and San Francisco. She teaches a range of entrepreneurship courses, including venture conception and feasibility assessment, leading growth, social entrepreneurship, and developing technology ventures. Before Babson, Ms. Gale was involved in eight start-ups as an investor, director, and/or senior executive.  She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She serves on the boards of Sponge-Jet, Inc., Portsmouth, NH (advanced, recyclable, industrial surface preparation technology); and Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine.


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.  

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