Acumen Gender Equity and Advancement Accelerator Program 2022 for Social Entrepreneurs


Application Deadline: April 21st, 2022

To support social entrepreneurs committed to leading the change in gender equity and advancement, the new accelerator will equip leaders with the moral leadership lessons, business skills, and learnings from our portfolio companies to confidently scale their enterprises and embed gender inclusive approaches into their models.

Learn How To

  • Refine and develop a profitable and scalable business model
  • Embed and expand gender equity into your business through market, workforce, and value-chain entry points
  • Develop hard-edged leadership skills — such as practicing courage, deep listening, and stepping outside the status quo — that are necessary for building better, inclusive, and sustainable business solutions
  • Sharpen your presentation skills and practice pitching to an audience of investors and entrepreneurs
  • Build a professional network and lifelong community of social entrepreneurs in East and West Africa who are committed to tackling injustice


  • Run a social enterprise (nonprofit or for-profit) based in East (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia) or West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Gambia) 
  • Have a demonstrated track record of at least 12-18 months, some market traction, and are preparing to scale
  • Have a team equivalent to three or more full-time staff

    Have a commitment to serving women across three entry points, and evidence of action in at least one:
  1. Market (products and services) 
  2. Internal organization (workforce and policies) 
  3. Value chain (supply and distribution)


  • Six Learning Labs alongside your cohort of entrepreneurs
  • Three one-on-one consultation calls with Acumen’s team
  • Video tutorials on customer discovery, sales and marketing, financial modeling, pitching, and more
  • Unconscious bias training, workshops, and self-assessment strategies for embedding gender inclusivity into your scaling plan
  • Case studies from social enterprises that have successfully scaled and contributed to gender equity and advancement

This is an online program. The weekly Learning Labs will be hosted virtually on the Zoom platform. You should have a stable internet connection and the ability to participate in video calls.

Program Dates

The program runs from April 21, 2022 to June 30, 2022


Module 1

Visions of Scale for Social Enterprise Business Models

  • Understand different, customizable models for scaling your social enterprise 
  • Develop a business model canvas that isolates key hypotheses for how your business model currently comes together
  • Define scenarios for how your social enterprise could successfully scale and map out your vision for growth and impact

Module 2

Gender equity and advancement as you scale

  • Build a deep understanding of both the moral and business case for embedding gender equity into your enterprise 
  • Learn  key concepts, identify entry points, and pinpoint ways to engage more women in your value chain, workforce, and as customers

Module 3

Customer Insights

  • Clearly define your core customer and value proposition
  • Design experiments to test your critical hypothesis
  • Conduct an experiment to better understand how women customers interact with your product or service

Module 4

Aligning a Pricing, Sales and Marketing Strategy to Your Value Proposition

  • Build a value proposition canvas using data from customer interviews and experiments
  • Develop pricing models aligned with your value proposition
  • Learn sales and marketing tactics and strategies to optimize your scale strategy 

Module 5

Operational Model: Team and Partnerships

  • Learn common operational models for social enterprises
  • Match your existing or desired talent with related skill sets and plan to expand your workforce in a gender equitable way

Module 6

Building Your Financial Story and Model

  • Identify your major revenue and cost assumptions 
  • Define your major financial milestones for next two years

Module 7

Pitching the Strategic Story of Your Business

  • Identify the right types of capital to finance your business as it scales
  • Practice pitching your business to stakeholders
  • Learn about the 2x challenge eligibility and how to attract investors who invest with a gendered lens

Key Dates

  • Applications Open: January, 11th 2022
  • Program Starts: April 21st, 2022
  • Program Closes: June 30th, 2022

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Acumen Gender Equity and Advancement Accelerator Program 2022


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