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 HGCP2022 Applications Open: Accelerate Your Business with our 12-week program

The SLA High Growth Coaching Program is a 3-month program to provide growth focused entrepreneurs with coaching and support to scale their businesses.

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About HGCP

The High Growth Coaching Program is an exclusive opportunity to develop an action plan for your business with support from your own personal business coach and a community of women to keep you accountable.
This is a digital program open to women led businesses across Nigeria.

This program offers you:

~ 3 months of intensive training on business and operational skills

~ Access to a private community of high achieving founders

~ Check-in calls with a personal business coach

~ Monthly virtual support group meetings

~ Personalised scorecards to keep track of weekly lessons and your business

~ Support in creating a roadmap of tangible business goals


Illustration of a woman - She Leads Africa

How The Program Works

  • Step 1: Put together a top-notch application package, ace the semi-final interviews and get selected by the SLA team.
  • Step 2: Get on-boarded on the SLA app where all your learning will take place.
  • Step 3: Get access to 18 masterclasses on crucial business skills with top business experts, every month for the next 3 months.
  • Step 4: Get assigned to your business coach who will be working with you in setting KPIs for your business, provide guidance on what masterclasses are relevant for your business goals, and any help that you may need.
  • Step 5: Investor Run! Present your business to local and international investors. 

Check out highlights from our previous SLA coaching programs

Accelerator She Leads Africa-

Our Partners

The 2022 SLA High Growth Coaching Program is run in partnership with the Work in Progress! Alliance – a consortium of Oxfam, Butterfly Works and VC4A focused on driving job creation and youth employment in Nigeria.

The Work in Progress! Alliance is focused on unlocking the economic potential of young women and men in Egypt, Nigeria and Somalia. The project aims to enable them to generate sustainable and living incomes – by finding regular employment or starting enterprises. Alliance partners include Oxfam, VC4A (Venture Capital for Africa) and Butterfly Works. As part of the project, VC4A partners with local accelerators and works to strengthen local investor networks.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do applications close?

Applications will be open from March 22, 2021 until May 28, 2021, at 11:59 pm WAT. Any late applications will not be considered regardless of the circumstances.

Who is eligible to apply? Your business must fulfil all of the following criteria…

We are looking for 2 categories of entrepreneurs
– Those who are interested in positioning their businesses to receive external funding either from the program or from other external investors. You will be required to submit a pitch deck during the application process.
– Those who are looking to rapidly grow and scale their businesses within 6 months. You will be required to submit a growth strategy plan during the application process.

Note: The businesses must be based in Nigeria or have operations in the country.

Do I need to be Nigerian to apply?

You do not need to be Nigerian to apply but your business needs to be based in Nigeria.

Are foundations, nonprofits or NGOs eligible?

The coaching program supports nonprofits, NGOs or foundations. Businesses with a social mission or CSR programs integrated into their businesses are eligible.

Is there a fee to participate?

There is no fee to apply or participate in the High Growth Coaching Program.

Can I apply even if I have applied for other SLA programs in previous years?

Previous applicants are eligible to apply but must demonstrate growth and integration of any previous feedback received since the last application.

If I have two businesses can I apply with both?

We only allow one application per person, so please submit your strongest business.

If my business has two female cofounders should we both apply separately?

Only one application per business is accepted, regardless of the number of female co-founders.

Can I apply even if my business is not registered?


Is my company eligible if I founded it with a man?

Yes, your company is eligible.

Do I have to be a member of the SLA community to apply?

No but we encourage you to join to access helpful tips to assist in your application. You can easily be a part of the SLA community by joining here.

Must I attend the info sessions to apply?

Info sessions are optional, however attending will give you an opportunity to receive answers to the questions you might have about the High Growth Coaching Program and learn useful tips that will strengthen your application.

How do I know that my application has been received?

Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, only semi-finalists will be notified.

Can I submit my application in another language?

At this time we are only able to accept applications in English.

What do I need for my application?
  • Complete the online form HERE
  • Submit a 1-minute pitch video (optional)
  • Submit a pitch deck/ Growth Strategy
How do I submit the online form?

Go to the VC4A website to submit your application, but you must first set up your VC4A profile. Find the how-to guide for doing so here.

What should be in the pitch video?

We want to learn more about you and give you a chance to express why your business is unique and interesting. The video does not need to be professional, you can take it on your phone or from your computer, but please ensure the video is audible and clear.

What is the difference between a pitch deck and a business growth plan?

A pitch deck is a brief presentation, typically created using PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi, that tells the story of your business in a simple but compelling way while business growth plans are short-term outlines for where a company sees itself in the next one to two years.

Does my pitch deck or growth plan need to be designed by a professional?

No, you do not need professional expertise, but it should be easy to understand. Use a balance of diagrams/graphics, visuals and text to tell your story.

How long should my pitch deck be?

Your pitch deck should not be longer than 10-15 slides.

What exactly should be in a pitch deck?

Your vision:
What do you do? How do you do it? Why do you do it?

The problem:
Tell a personal story that defines the problem that your product solves. What does your product do? Why does the market care?

The solution:
Discuss why your product is the solution and what sets it apart from anything else in the marketplace.

Your business model:
Detail how you plan to make money. Keep it simple and be specific.

The growth plan:
Show how you plan to grow by leaps and bounds and how you will position your product for market dominance. Use sales and growth data (real and projected) to show why your startup is like a coiled spring ready to pop.

Your investment needs:
Expand on what you need in detail. How much money do you want to raise? How exactly will you use it? If you’ve already raised some capital or have notable investors and advisors, explain who invested, what they invested (money, time, advice), why they got on board, and how you’re using their money (or expertise).

Where can I find sample pitch decks?
What exactly should be in a Growth Strategy?

Executive summary:
Its primary purpose is to “sell” the plan to the intended audience, enticing them to read on. It should be an easy-to-read overview presented concisely, ideally on one side of A4.

Business aims:
What will your business be doing in 5 years time? What will it have achieved? What are the main growth targets for sales revenue and profit by the end of year 3? By the end of year 5?

The offer to target customers:
What does the product or service do (the features)? What benefits make the offer unique, or just different?

Market potential:
What is the market potential in terms of sales revenue? Is the market growing, staying the same, or declining?

Marketing and sales plan:
Show how you plan to grow by leaps and bounds and how you will position your product for market dominance. Use sales and growth data (real and projected) to show why your startup is like a coiled spring ready to pop.

The team:
Who are the key team members, their roles and profiles (e.g. skills, experience) Are there any important gaps in skills and/or experience to fill?

What is your financial contribution to the business? Is there any additional funding needed? Where will it come from (e.g. friends, family, bank, business angels, venture capital)? What will it be used for?

Where can I find a growth plan template?
  • Download our Template here
Where can I find help in creating my Pitch deck or Growth plan?

There will be live webinars to provide you with advice and assistance on putting together a pitch deck. Join the SLA community, telegram channel or follow on Instagram to be notified about upcoming sessions.

How do I submit my application?

Pitch decks and Business Growth plans must be uploaded to your VC4A profile in order for your application to be complete. Do not send it via email to She Leads Africa. Find out how to do so here.

Will I be able to change my application once it has been submitted?

Once an application is submitted it is final, and we will not be able to facilitate any changes to the application.

Will I be able to change my application once it has been submitted?

Once an application is submitted it is final, and we will not be able to facilitate any changes to the application.

What do I do if the application system is not working?

Please refresh the page or try a new browser. If this does not work, send a message to VC4A on Twitter or Facebook to request help. It is advisable to apply at least a week before the deadline so that you do not have to deal with latency or technical issues.

When will applicants find out if they’ve been selected as a semi-finalists?

Semi-finalists will be notified of their status by May 31, 2021.

Will applicants receive personal feedback about their application?

Unfortunately, due to the number of applications we receive, we will not be able to provide personalised feedback on your application.

How are the semi-finalists and finalists selected?

Our review committee will be evaluating applications against several critical factors:

  1. Proof of Concept
    • Clear problem, which the candidate is hoping to solve
    • Well-defined solution
    • Pathway to monetizing the proposed solution
  2. Understanding of Competitive Landscape
    • Candidates should be able to describe competitive landscape comprehensively
    • Candidates should be able to identify risks and propose mitigants for risks identified
  3. Management Team
    • Assessment of personnel capabilities
    • Strengths of the team align with startup needs
  4. Financials
    • Clear understanding of how this business will make money and the key value drivers
    • Specific investment ask and a plan for how they will utilise the funds
    • Reasonable investment ask for their stage of business
  5. Customer
    • Clear understanding of their customer demand
    • Clear identification of their sales pipeline


Why is the 2021 SLA High Growth Coaching Program closing out with an Investor Run?

This is an opportunity for the finalists to meet with and pitch to potential investors or venture capitalists. These sessions will further provide information, intimate advice on how these businesses can work towards the next round of funding. Investors can also express interest in funding businesses they meet with. The investor run will also include some media coverage and exposure to announce winners.


What are the other benefits of being accepted into the SLA High Growth Coaching Program?

Acceptance into the SLA High Growth Coaching program will provide you with access to support from She Leads Africa.

This support will include:

  • Media promotions – we are often contacted by local and international media who are looking to interview female entrepreneurs. You’ll always be put forward first.
  • Promotion through SLA’s online community
  • Access to SLA’s network of supporters, influencers and advisors.


Where should I send my questions?

If your questions have not been answered in this document, please email programs@sheleadsafrica.org with the subject line “SLA High Growth Coaching Program”.

When and where will the trainings be?

This is a virtual coaching program so all trainings will be conducted online.

Am I allowed to miss parts of the trainings?

No, the trainings are mandatory for every company in the program.

What was the experience like for previous participants?

Dara Adekunkle, Founder of Farmties, told us “The [program] really helped with defining my business
and creating our process of operations. My team and I are able to streamline and focus on our core competence
in achieving our business objectives,” while Jumoke Dada, Founder of Taeillo, said “The [program] opened my mind
to new opportunities that I didn’t know existed.” Chika Madubuko, Founder of Greymate Care, added “Get ready to work
really hard. There will be a lot of criticism but it is for your benefit.”

Where should I send my questions?

If your questions have not been answered in this document, please email programs@sheleadsafrica.org with the subject line “SLA High Growth Coaching Program”.

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