Women Led Businesses


The “Training and Mentoring Program for African Women-Led Businesses” (WLB) was developed in 2008 by Femmes Africa Solidarité’s (FAS) PanAfrican Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (PAC), in partnership with Instituto de Empresa Business School’s Center for Diversity in Global Management (IE). The project aims to empower African Women Entrepreneurs and to assist in the consolidation of Women-Led businesses in Africa, generating employment and economic benefits in the entrepreneur’s communities.


The WLB programme has three specific objectives:

  • Train: Develop management and entrepreneurial skills of participant businesswomen so that, equipped with the necessary tools, they can progress in the consolidation of their competitive position in the market. This new knowledge will foster creativity and self-reliance of the selected women entrepreneurs by encouraging the development of their business plans.
  • Connect: Connect participant business women among themselves, and with relevant parties in their business sector and capital risk markets. Connect them with reputed high profile professionals, acting as mentors.
  • International Awareness: Increase international awareness of the potential of African women to promote Africa’s development. Highlight at the international level the relevance of the small and medium enterprise productive network in Africa run by women and the need to develop more focused management tools targeted at the specific needs of women led businesses in Africa, in order to incorporate them in mainstream programs.


Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS)


FAS is a women’s organizations created in 1996 by African women of various nationalities and from various professions to promote and strengthen African women’s leadership in conflict prevention, management and resolution and in political decision making.

Since its inception, FAS has advocated actively for the adoption and implementation of key international instruments such as the UNSCR 1325 (2000), the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of Women in Africa (2003), and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) (2004) to ensure that policies are put into practice for gender parity and mainstreaming.


PanAfrican Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (PAC)


The PanAfrican Centre for Gender, Peace and Development (PAC), the arm of FAS was established as a Centre of Excellence in Africa. The PAC has conducted training seminars by focusing on empowerment at the grassroots, preparing African women to take on leadership roles at all levels so that they become full and equal participants in decision making processes. In order to reach out women’s organizations and provide better advocacy, PAC has produced methodological framework, manuals and publication for the implementation of its programme to show best practices and experiences and lessons learned.

The Centre creates a space and means for dialogue and discussion between different actors involved in peace and development processes in the region. Its curriculum is designed to provide participants with skills that can be applied to address a range of different peace and development challenges, by enhancing the level of knowledge and the skills of those working on these highly complex tasks.

The WLB programme reinforces the Centre’s capacity by addressing women’s economics empowerment, a critical factor in gender and peacebuilding and sustainable peace.

Finally, by supporting FAS’ projects, the PAC has extensive experience working in African regions and countries, especially in the countries of the Women-Led Businesses program. As such, the PAC will provide expertise in the countries’ environments and in facilitating the participation of local networks – whose implication in the program is critical.

FAS implements this program in partnership with IE Business School’s Center for Diversity in Global Management.


IE Business School


IE Business School, is recognized as one of the world´s top business schools, with its MBA programs consistently ranked among the first 5 in Europe and among the first 10 in the world.

IE Business School shapes leaders that promote innovation and change in organizations, equipping directors with an entrepreneurial mindset that generates employment, wealth and social wellbeing. Recognized as one of the world’s leading business schools, IE Business School has an urban campus in Madrid and a faculty of more than 400 professors who teach students from 88 countries on its master, PhD and executive education programs. IE students use innovative online and face to face learning formats, including the IE Communities platform where they exchange knowledge and experiences with 40,000 IE graduates that currently hold management positions in some 100 countries.


IE Center for Diversity in Global Management


The Centre for Diversity in Global Management at IE Business School was created in September 2002. The Centre’s mission is to promote diversity management of gender, culture, personality and age as a competitive advantage in the corporate world, through reflection, creation of knowledge and the dissemination of know-how.

Over these years the Center for Diversity in Global Management has gained very relevant exposure to all regions of EMEA through research and programs such as: Center of Islamic Economics and Finance (in collaboration with King Abdulazid University), Evaluation of ESF support for enhancing access to the labor market and the social inclusion of migrants and ethnic minorities, Program “Women Entrepreneurs In Saudi Arabia: An International Perspective” (in collaboration with Effat College), Think Tank. About Cultural Diversity in the Spanish-Moroccan context, Training and Mentoring Program for Women Led-Business in Liberia, DRC, Rwanda, Senegal, Mozambique and South Africa, First Edition.

Also, the IE Center for Diversity in Global Management has extensive experience in the design and implementation of programs to empower women and advance the economics rights of women throughout the world. Our mentoring program for Women at IE has been running now successfully for five editions. Also we are Goldman Sachs’ partners for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 women initiative in Brazil.





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