Call for Applications: Participants in the XOESE Fund Young Women’s Professional Leadership Institute



Dates : January to June 2021

Location: Zoom

Deadline for receipt of applications: January 3, 2021


This call for applications is open to young French-speaking women between the ages of 18 and 35, with a concrete business idea and who are nationals of a French-speaking African country or of Haiti.

After reviewing the applications, the shortlisted candidates will be invited to participate in three days of theoretical training and practical work on Zoom. At the end of these three days of training, participants will be asked to submit a finalized business plan of their business creation project. A jury will then be set up to select the best projects. The most innovative business creation projects will receive a prize consisting of a cash envelope as well as technical support for 3 to 6 months.


Women and young women are critical to economic growth around the world. Globally, they represent about 50% of the population, 40% of the workforce, but own only about 1% of the world’s wealth. They are an important lever for development and wealth creation because, unlike men, they invest the majority of their income in the health, education and well-being of their families and communities.

Nevertheless, they face many societal and systemic barriers that severely limit their
and systemic barriers that severely limit their ability to participate fully in
in the economy of their communities and countries. This situation has
impact on their ability to develop their full entrepreneurial potential, earn
entrepreneurial potential, earn money, and provide for those around them.
their families. In our countries, most of them are content to run small businesses in the
small businesses in the informal sector without considering expanding their activities or migrating to the
or migrate to the formal sector.

Although there has been an encouraging increase in entrepreneurial
entrepreneurial initiatives by women and young women over the past decade, more
decade, more effort is needed to overcome the specific factors that discourage
specific factors that discourage them from starting or taking over small or medium-sized
medium-sized enterprises. More importantly, there is an urgent need to create an enabling
environment where those who run small businesses can more easily formalize and
formalize and expand them more easily.

Measures to encourage
the creation and expansion of businesses initiated by women and young women
women and/or their groups can take many forms. They
must include addressing the main problem of access to finance.
financing. While in some countries, legislation will need to be revisited to facilitate
access to resources and funding, in other countries the main need is to facilitate
In other countries, the main need is to facilitate their access to appropriate information.

Another key issue that needs to be addressed relates to the economic policies that govern trade in the target countries. These are logically derived from global macroeconomic policies that are generally not gender sensitive and do not seek to specifically address the needs of women and young businesswomen.

Therefore, XOESE, the Fund for Francophone Women, which has identified the economic empowerment and professional leadership of women and young women as one of its priority areas, encourages the creation and expansion of businesses initiated by young women. It is within this framework that XOESE is launching the first edition of an Institute on Young Women’s Professional Leadership, which is aimed at young women with innovative projects who wish to embark on an entrepreneurial career.


  • Strengthen the participants’ capacities in business creation and management;
  • To develop the leadership skills of participants in order to encourage innovation in their sectors of activity


Location: Zoom

Dates to remember:

January 3, 2021Application deadline
January 19-21, 2021 Start of the Institute
March 1-June 30Accompaniment and technical support of the laureates


This institute is only for young women with innovative projects who want to start their own businesses. To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be French-speaking and between 18 and 35 years old at the time of the award;
  2. Be a citizen of a French-speaking African country or Haiti;
  3. Hold a university degree at the time of application;
  4. Have significant experience in the field of entrepreneurship;
  5. Have a concrete project of creation or development of a company;

The deadline for submission of applications is January 3, 2021 at 23:59 GMT/UTC.

Please note that submitting the
submitting the form does not automatically guarantee your participation.
Only selected candidates will be invited to participate in the Institute.

No phone calls please.