Deadline: August 28, 2022
Applications for the second cohort of Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE) Programme 2022 are now open. The Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE) is an enterprise accelerator programme designed to strengthen, energize, and support startups and small businesses led by Black entrepreneurs in the United States.
ABLE identifies Black business leaders with impact-oriented solutions at the local and national level across multiple sectors. 16 entrepreneurs graduated in the inaugural year of the programme in February 2022. The second cohort of ABLE will serve 10 entrepreneurs.
- Provide a platform for the development of Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses in the U.S.
- Provide mentoring and networking to learn from industry leaders and open the doors to potential partnerships and funding opportunities.
- Provide a voice and forum for the recognition of Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses in the U.S.
- Promote business networking ties between U.S. Black entrepreneurs and African entrepreneurs.
- The ABLE Programme Advisory Committee will select the top 10 nominees to receive a fully paid entrepreneurship and leadership training programme complemented by mentorship and network-building forums.
- In addition, the top 10 will participate in a pitch session and graduation with leading Silicon Valley investors, venture philanthropists, and impact investors among others.
- Participants will receive a modest stipend as a financial award upon completion of the programme.
- There is no cost to participate in the programme and companies do not need to give up any equity.
- Open to Founder or executive of a scalable, for-profit startup;
- Company must be led or co-led by Black entrepreneurs;
- The company is early-stage and revenue-generating (seed to Series A);
- Enterprise must be headquartered in the United States;
- Must be an established legal entity already in operation for 6 months or more.
Primary Selection Criteria
- Must demonstrate early traction evidenced in growing usage, revenue, or other metrics. (Pitches or prototypes are not eligible.) The business should have a website and a tangible digital or physical product or service.
- Potential for financial sustainability and investment
- Potential for scalability
- Demonstrate quantifiable impact and market reach
- The entrepreneur must be able to dedicate time to program activities, including enterprise training, mentorship sessions, networking events, and investor roundtables. Finalists are expected to meet with program peers, ADN network members, and sponsors as part of their commitment. Participants are expected to adhere to a high level of personal and professional integrity, respect for one another, and accountability.
Secondary Selection Criteria
- A strong preference for businesses that are impact-oriented. Applications are welcome from all industries, with priority for those in Health & Wellness/Healthcare, Education, and Fintech/Financial Services.
- Balanced gender representation among entrepreneurs. In the United States, Black women receive the smallest amount of VC funding and should be well-represented in the selected cohort.
- Reasonable geographic distribution among the United States and territories.
- Cross-sector diversity and a comprehensive mix that showcases impact and innovation among multiple sectors, including education, healthcare, finance, connectivity, agriculture, and renewable energy.
Applications are due by Sunday, August 28, at 11:59 PM PDT.
For more information, visit ABLE.