Startup Balkans

Albania: Women Founders Accelerator

Women Founders Network Albania has teamed up with Spring Activator and gained support from the EU for Innovation to deliver the first Women Founders Accelerator in Western Balkans.

Acceleration programs are not a novelty for the Western Balkans region. But one that is designed exclusively for female founders is something new and an exciting event. Women Founders Network Albania has teamed up with Spring Activator and gained support from the EU for Innovation. Together, they deliver the Women founder accelerator program, the first acceleration program designed exclusively for female founders. The program is on in Tirana this fall.

What is a Women founders accelerator?

The Women founders accelerator program aims to enable Albanian female founders to explore different opportunities and expand their business regionally and globally. Participants will gain the knowledge and skills they need for scaling a business and for reaching investment readiness.

During three months, the program will provide different learning activities, networking opportunities, and chances for connecting with other entrepreneurs.

The program is created by Women Founder Network Albania and Spring Activator, with the support of the EU for Innovation project.

Women Founders Accelerator

How does the Women founder accelerator program look like?

The Women founder accelerator program started in mid-September 2020, and it will last till the beginning of December. The program is designed to be a comprehensive educational and networking course for a selected female founders group.

The program includes:

  • Online and live workshops – with industry-leading experts from all over Europe and North America,
  • Bootcamps – intensive weekly learnings with specific topics in focus,
  • Study visits – to successful local businesses,
  • Networking events – aiming to create long-lasting relationships among participants, mentors, and guest experts,
  • Mentoring sessions – with local and international mentors.

Who is participating in the program?

Participants in the program are women founders who have already started their business. One of the main criteria for participating in the program was to have established business and the initial traction.

You can meet all the participants in the Women Founders Network Albania Instagram page here. The ten ladies who are attending workshops, bootcamps, and other activities in the program are intensively looking for different ways to improve their businesses.

Participants in the Women founders accelerator

What is next for the participants of the program?

The grand finale of the Women founder acceleration program is scheduled for the beginning of December. As a final activity, the ladies will attend a bootcamp week with a Demo Day at the end.

Besides participants, Demo Day will gather investors, mentors, donors, sponsors, and a broad community closely following the program. This will be an excellent opportunity for attendees to present their work, knowledge gained through the program, and future plans.

Another benefit of such a program is the “aftercare.” Once the ladies graduate, they will still be in the alumni network of the Women Founders Network Albania and Spring Activator. Meaning that they will be a part of an exclusive alumni network and events, with ongoing support and engagement with both organizations.

Why are such programs significant for the entire region?

Programs such as the Women founders accelerator are vital for the entire Western Balkans region for multiple reasons:

  • They are helping and empowering women founders to explore how to scale their businesses;
  • They are making local organizations who are supporting entrepreneurship more relevant in the regional and global scene
  • They are encouraging partnerships among local and international organizations, as well as the private and public sectors.
  • They are incredibly inspiring for the entire community throughout the region.

Ivana Sabo