The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) in partnership with the NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) are looking for ambitious female leaders in bioscience-based businesses who would like to grow their businesses through an accelerator programme and gain regional exposure and access to international markets.

Selected Bioscience-owned businesses stand a chance to win prizes valued at R300 000, including cash grants and incubation support, as well as chance to compete at the regional pitching event and an opportunity to attend the world’s leading and Europe’s biggest startup event in Finland tagged SLUSH!

Commenting, Irene Ochem, AWIEF founder and CEO said: “Coming together with SANBio to run FemBioBiz II in South Africa is an exciting opportunity for AWIEF to ignite change and promote bio-entrepreneurship with an impact not only on women in the biosciences sector but the entire South African economy.”


The programme will target female entrepreneurs with a business involving biotechnologies and other technologies in health or nutrition under the following categories:
  • Innovative businesses – Entrepreneurs whose business is based on an innovative biotechnology or other technologies that impact health and nutrition;
  • Growth businesses – Bio-entrepreneurs whose business is at minimum R 500 000 and are looking at growing their business twice as much within a year;
  • Social enterprises – Private bio-businesses or bio-enterprises with impact targeting the base or bottom of the pyramid (BoP);
  • Female students in tertiary institutions – With feasible ideas based on innovative biotechnologies or other technologies that impact health and nutrition.

On her part, Zvikomborero Tangawamira, BioFISA II Programme Manager said: “FemBioBiz Accelerator Programme has been created to develop leadership, technological and business skills in female-owned businesses in the SADC region to support deal-making and business acceleration in the Biosciences arena. This programme creates a platform for peer learning and will empower women to lead in health and nutrition through science and technology”.

The call for applications for FemBioBiz II is open until 20 April 2018.