Female Founders – ACT NOW AWARD
African Challenge

Driving more diversity in the investor and startup landscape together

managerohnegrenzen & encourageventures

The Female Founders – ACT NOW Award, African Challenge launched by managerohnegrenzen and encourageventures brings together female founded startups or other entities that have viable, innovative business solutions and a broad angel investor community.  

The ACT NOW Award in the origin is an award for outstanding entrepreneurial readiness in the global south. The aim is to give this achievement the recognition it deserves and to provide a stage for it. It is for successful, committed, independent entrepreneurs and companies in low-and middle-income countries. Therefore, the award recognizes companies that have demonstrated particular commitment in the areas of innovation, sustainability and social responsibility.   

The Female Founders –  ACT NOW Award, African Challenge is designed to showcase and recognize the innovation of female founded or co-founded startups or other entities with a female in the executive leadership team, as the case may be in Africa. The Challenge offers finalists the opportunity to present their solutions in front of angel investors from the encourageventures network as well as executives from managerohnegrenzen late September 2023 at a virtual event. In addition, an experienced jury will select 6 finalists on September 7th and 3 winners on September 21st, 2023 who will go home with some prestigious prizes from managerohnegrenzen and encourageventures.   

Another highlight of the evening will be the audience award. All interested parties can cast their vote for one of the 6 finalists in the evening for the audience award. The winner of the audience award will be rewarded with valuable prizes from managerohnegrenzen and encourageventures.

The timeline

May 9th, 2023: Challenge opens for submissions

August 6th, 2023: Deadline to submit applications 12 PM (European time)

September 7th, 2023: 6 Finalists are announced – 2 in each category: Impact, Innovation and Performance (for definitions see below: selection criteria) 

September 21st, 2023: Finalists Pitch Night at managerohnegrenzen x encourageventures Female Founders – ACT NOW Award, African Challenge – the 3 Award winners are announced

The Prizes

Prizes for all finalists

6 finalists receive a professional pitch training for future investor/fund raisings & the Female Founders pitch night

6 finalists will get the chance to present their company in front of high-level business angels, with the possibility of receiving an investment of up to 200,000 euros.

1st Prize for Impact

ACT NOW Award in the category impact with a certificate


1st Prize for Innovation

ACT NOW Award in the category innovation with a certificate

1st Prize for Performance

ACT NOW Award in the category performance with a certificate

Audience Award: 1.000€

The audience decides which startup wins the 1.000 €.
The condition is that the prize is used for an entrepreneurial purpose or a special investment for the winning company.

Finanzierung und Beratung für den Start von Startups

Who can apply?

You are eligible to apply if you (i) are an early-stage startup or another entity located in Africa and (ii) fulfill all the below criteria: 
Any kind of sustainable and viable business, that has Impact, an Innovation or a Performance track record 
A woman in your founding team or executive leadership team, who is available to pitch on our virtual event on September 21st, 2023 
Have not raised any VC funding from VC Funds 

What do we need from you?


A pitch deck (Please see this PDF for further information, which details we need from you.)


A description of your solution


Please use this form to upload both

Please review the official rules more details

The Judges

Helene Prölß

Evelyne Dioh

Onejiru Arfmann

Dr. Andrea Rösinger

Hannah Subayi Kamuanga

Myriam Kirschner

Selection Criteria

Please fulfill at least a criterion of the following: impact, innovation & performance, but please always include team profile and business model.


Effects on environment, impact on the people of the surrounding area, diversity, entrepreneurship 


Technology, renewable energies, digitalization, originality and innovation level of the business solution compared to existing alternatives 


Productivity, growth and development potential, order volume, sales strength, viability of implementing the solution 

Team profile

Profile of the founder(s) and co-founder(s), ability to lead the solution to success, hard and soft skills of the operational team 

Business model

Demonstrated traction and product-market fit 

About Managerohnegrenzen

managerohnegrenzen tries to promote small and medium-sized businesses in low-income countries with the help of entrepreneurial mentorships. Our goal is to make small and medium-sized local businesses independent. Only if the middle class is independent, long-term jobs can be created. Help must be help to independence, so that social prosperity can develop.

About encourageventures

encourageventures is a large network of female investors and founders. We offer diversity, expertise and capital. As investors, mentors and advisors, we support female-led start-ups in their founding and expansion plans. We encourage female founders to realise their own business ideas. We support, inspire and accompany. We exchange ideas and take the next step together.

With our encourageventures network, we want to increase the visibility of women in the startup world and bring more diversity to the startup and investor landscape.

© 2024 - encourageventures