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Women entrepreneurs in Mauritius invited to apply for WIA 54 scheme  

Women in Africa (WIA) invites women entrepreneurs from Mauritius to apply for an intensive programme that will boost their businesses and confidence by 7 May 2021.

Women entrepreneurs in Mauritius are invited to present their company and strategy on the form on WIA’s website here:

The deadline for applications is 7 May 2021 at midnight CET. Applications will be judged according to social impact, innovation, business plan, growth potential and the capacity of teams to implement their plan.


The programme, WIA 54, is open to women from all African countries. First launched in 2017, the programme promotes women entrepreneurs in Africa who are at the early stages of running a business.

In 2021, the programme will welcome 540 finalists who will benefit from continental and global visibility; group mentoring; networking with leaders and investors; and a virtual training bootcamp in which they will learn how to pitch their business to potential investors, build a relationship with investors, write a business plan and brand their products.

A jury of patrons and WIA representatives will select 54 stars from among the 540 finalists. WIA will invite the stars for a customised support and training programme as well as individual mentoring.

The African continent has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world. Over a quarter of adult women in sub-Saharan Africa are entrepreneurs. Women invest up to 90% of their income in education, health and food for their family. Men only invest up to 40% of theirs.

“Investing in businesses led by women can transform societies,” said Aude de Thuin, founder of Women in Africa. “We are aiming to help women entrepreneurs to succeed and to become role models for the next generation,” she added.

Last year, Mauritius saw three women entrepreneurs recognised for their pioneering initiatives under WIA 54. Dr Salonee Cunthen Ujoodha, Managing Director of Health Monitor Limited, was announced as the overall winner in the Health category, while Jessica Teerovengadum-Naga, Managing Director of Digital Associates Limited, was announced as a winner in Southern Africa’s Digital category. Further, Veda Dean, Co-Founder and COO of Panda & Wolf Holding, was announced as one of the finalists.


Samantha Seewoosurrun and Nasrine Faucheux WIA

First launched in 2017, the WIA 54 Programme was initially available to 54 women. For 2021, 540 women will take part. The goal is to offer the programme to 10,000 women by 2030.

Highlighting how this unique initiative can help women entrepreneurs in the island economy, Samantha Seewoosurrun, WIA Ambassador for Mauritius, said: “The WIA 54 programme just became bigger and better. In a 10-fold increase over last year, we now have 540 women entrepreneurs who can avail of practical training and support in key areas such as digital marketing, personal branding, effective pitching, as well as building the right financial strategy and an effective business model, apart from taking advantage of exceptional networking opportunities with like-minded women in Africa.”

“Women entrepreneurs from start-ups in Mauritius who are seeking to introduce innovations in the new normal are strongly encouraged to apply for this outstanding initiative which brings such unparalleled opportunities in its wake,” she added.

Jessica Teerovengadum-Naga and Dr Salonee Cunthen Ujoodha


The WIA Programme is organised through WIA’s Endowment Fund, WIA Philantropy. WIA Philantropy’s patrons are Société Générale, Roland Berger, Orange, Stop Hunger, AXA, Inetum, Meridiam, Honoris United Universities, DS Avocats, and Total Foundation.

Further information is available in the form of an instruction leaflet, FAQs and video.

About the WIA Initiative:

Women in Africa was launched in 2016. Hafsat Abiola from Nigeria is its current president. It is the foremost international platform dedicated to the economic development and support of African women entrepreneurs. WIA is dedicated to developing programmes that women entrepreneurs need to succeed.

WIA’s Main Programmes:

  • WIA 54 – annual pan-African training programme for women entrepreneurs.
  • WIA CODE – the programme focuses on digital skills’ learning for the next generation.
  • WIA YOUNG LEADERS – the programme identifies and supports the continent’s young leaders.



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