NEXT Acceleration Program For Female Founders
We are a one-year educational training, business mentoring and networking program for female founders who have decided to scale up and internationalize their enterprises.
The NEXT Acceleration Program For Female Founders targets female founders whose companies are ready to grow. It provides one year of educational training, business mentoring and networking sessions with other female entrepreneurs. The program, which was created and organized by Female Entrepreneurship Foundation with support of JP Morgan, considers itself an MBA, for all intents and purposes, but for business owners. It is the first, and now one of the top, accelerator programs for female founders in Warsaw’s startup ecosystem.
Seven years prior to founding NEXT, its founders were offering an acceleration program called Business in Women’s Hands for future female founders. During the eight-month program, they taught founders how to start a business and lead it with a business plan. Since the first Business in Women’s Hands edition, almost three hundred female-owned businesses were able to grow and scale up, both in the Polish and global market. After years of incubating early-stage female startups, the founders saw the needs of the women involved to keep growing, expand internationally and continue to digitize and innovate. Thus, NEXT was born.
NEXT’s ultimate goal is to encourage more women leaders who aspire to scale up and bring their business onto the global stage while building new contacts, strengthening self-awareness of their own competencies and breaking down barriers for women founders in unique industries. During the program, all participants are offered an initial diagnosis of their enterprises' business potential along with different educational paths that focus on either digital transformation, innovation or networking. Within the program, mentors and expert consultants discuss strategy ideas, legal issues and any business challenges that may arise. Workshops and demo days are also included within the program.
Be a registered company in Warsaw or the Mazovian district.
You must be Poland-based to apply.
Represent a micro-enterprise or startup.
That is, at least in the refinement or scaling phase (have a minimum one to two years in the market or be currently expanding or in the pivoting process).
Represent a sector that was hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Startups in retail, hospitality and services take precedence, as these fields experienced a significant decrease in revenue during the pandemic.
Be largely female led in some capacity.
Whether that is by having a female founder or cofounder, or where women employees make up at least 50 percent.