Applications to the WE Rise Accelerator 2022
are now LIVE!

WE Rise Accelerator 2022 is a 6-month program for women entrepreneurs in the Philippines to become investment-ready and access financing through hands- on learning activities, customized mentorship, and tailored leadership coaching. The program will support 10 amazing women-led enterprises by providing them with extensive and personalized support to grow their business.

The program will support 10 women-led enterprises to strengthen their business models, firm up their financial systems, and guide them in scaling their business and accessing the right capital for growth. 

The program will be run from October 2022 to March 2023.

The WE Rise Accelerator 2022  is exclusively developed by Villgro Philippines in partnership with The Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

We help ambitious women entrepreneurs unlock capital.

What’s Inside

Leadership Coaching

Design and Development of Growth Plans

Investment Readiness

High Touch Mentorship

Tailored Connections

WE Rise because

 

  • Women Entrepreneurs are critical to a post-COVID resilient economy

 

  • Women Entrepreneurs are the backbone to an inclusive society

 

  • Women Entrepreneurs are left behind due to lack of access to appropriate funding for their businesses

 

  • Women Entrepreneurs do not fit the ‘scalable, high-growth’ definitions of funders and investors most times and are under-resourced

 

  • Women Entrepreneurs face barriers triggered by unconscious bias as women who are balancing home, care and business

 

  • Women Entrepreneurs receive significantly less funding than their male counterparts

WE Rise aims to

  • Showcase scalable and investable women-led businesses in the Philippines

 

  • Demonstrate that support tailored to women-led businesses can successfully help them grow and raise funding

 

  • Connect women entrepreneurs to financial products appropriate for their business models

 

  • Provide tailored one-on-one business mentoring, upskilling through a high-impact curriculum, and technical assistance to become investment ready

 

  • Support enterprises to develop and deploy gender smart strategies to measure and improve their inclusivity

Who Can Apply

We are looking for:

R

Enterprises that are women-led

R

Based and operating in the Philippines for at least 1 year

R

Looking to strengthen and grow their business

R

Interested in accessing investments or other forms of financing

R

Committed to building a responsible and impactful business

What WE Rise Offers

10

WOMEN-LED ENTERPRISES

6

MONTHS OF SUPPORT

USD 5,000

FUNDING FOR 3 ENTERPRISES

We provide ambitious women entrepreneurs access to working capital, mentorship, peer learning and networks necessary to achieving business growth goals.

Over the course of 6 months, Villgro’s team and mentors will work with women entrepreneurs and their teams, side by side, to diagnose risks and opportunities for the business, develop growth plans, and dive into getting the company investment ready. 

WE Rise is a hyper focused accelerator program designed exclusively for 10 Filipina entrepreneurs to BUILD, GROW, and SCALE their enterprises to become investment-ready and access financing.

BUILD is a 1-month diagnostic and self-learning phase focused on identifying key challenges and growth areas, setting up strategic goals to de-risk the business models and set up for growth. 

GROW is a 4-month deep incubation phase focused mainly on mentorship and technical assistance on key areas like accounting, HR, IP, Branding, Marketing and introduction to investment readiness. 

SCALE is a final month focused on investment readiness prep and active support on fundraising. 

Entrepreneurs will attend two immersive virtual workshops designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills to grow their business. The entrepreneurs will also have access to a community of industry experts, investors, and peers throughout the program, as well as access to the WE Rise Community Asia digital platform, a virtual learning hub to access self-paced learning on finance and leadership, an investor database, and a business and investment readiness assessment tool. 


Self-Paced Curriculum

With the help of the WE Rise Community Asia digital platform, entrepreneurs will have access to a host of learning materials on leadership and finance.


Diagnostic Panels

Villgro assembles a custom group of mentors and experts relevant to each enterprise to deep dive into the model and surface risks and opportunities. The panel along with the team will create an Acceleration Plan with actionable and measurable lean experiments.


Learning Labs

Learning Labs are immersive knowledge workshops facilitated by experts delivered through a high-impact curriculum focused on business resilience, growth planning, and financial management. Entrepreneurs will attend 2 Labs virtually, over the course of 6 months along with peers.


Monthly Interactive
Masterclasses

Monthly online sessions will be hosted by leading experts on key topics to help you upskill as a leader focused on business growth. Topics will range from financial management, impact measurement, applying gender lens, fundraising strategies, digital marketing, etc.


Mentoring and
Coaching Calls

Each participant enterprise will be assigned a business mentor, who is an experienced entrepreneur / intrapreneur / industry expert. Each mentor will support the entrepreneur to implement the growth plans, to discuss and brainstorm solutions to challenges, and work on exercises and activities from the masterclasses and Labs.


Technical Assistance

Entrepreneurs will receive technical assistance to prepare the business to raise external capital.


Investment Readiness
Support

Financial experts will work with the team on strengthening compliance and internal financial systems, developing financial forecasts and models for the business, and setting up and monitoring key metrics that investors focus on.


Gender Smart
Strategy Support

Enterprises will be supported to develop and deploy  gender smart strategies to measure and improve their inclusivity.


Seed Funding of
USD 5,000

Top 3 enterprises from the cohort will receive USD 5,000 each.


Follow-On
Financing Support

Enterprises will receive one-on-one tailored coaching based on industry and investment ask.


Impact Showcase

In the final phase of the program, Villgro will facilitate meetings and connections with potential investors and/or market partners based on the needs of the business. Entrepreneurs will also have an opportunity to present their businesses and achievements to different stakeholders at the program culmination, the WE Rise Impact Showcase.

Timeline of Activities

Launch of Application

October 2022

Application Deadline

October 17, 2022

Selection Process Begins

October 24, 2022

Declaration of Selected Enterprises

November 17, 2022

Learning Lab 1

November 21, 2022

Incubation Support Begins

November 2022

Learning Lab 2

January 2023

Investor Roadshow Begins

March 2023

Impact Showcase

March 2023

What Makes WE Rise Special

WE Rise Accelerator is a flagship program from Villgro Philippines, designed with a sharp focus on financial challenges faced by Women Entrepreneurs. The program’s focus on access to capital, and the expert guidance on how to focus on growth and prepare for investments in a challenging environment for women-led businesses, is what makes WE Rise relevant and crucial for small and growing businesses.

WE Rise is an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to access high-touch support for business success through intensive upskilling, development of resilient, gender smart business growth strategies, investment readiness training and hands on fundraising support, and coaching to become the best leader she can be.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the WE Rise Accelerator?

The WE Rise Accelerator is a 6-month program designed to help women entrepreneurs in the Philippines become investment-ready and access financing through hands-on learning activities, customized mentorship, and tailored leadership coaching. At the end of the program, 3 enterprises will be selected to receive USD 5,000 in seed funding.

What is the application process?

Women entrepreneurs who are interested in applying to the program should submit the online application form. The enterprises that will make the shortlist will be informed via email within 7 days after the application deadline to schedule an interview call with the WE Rise team. After which, shortlisted enterprises will be informed via email within 7 days to schedule an interview with the selection panel. A total of 10 women-led enterprises will be selected to join the program.

Is the program free for participants?

Yes, the program is free for all selected participants.

How many ventures will be selected?

10 enterprises will be selected to participate in the WE Rise Accelerator program.

How do you determine if a woman-led enterprise is eligible for the program?

The WE Rise team will receive applications of women-led enterprises based on the following eligibility criteria:

  • Led by women;
  • Based and operating in the Philippines for at least 1 year;
  • Looking to strengthen and grow their business;
  • Interested in accessing investments or other forms of financing; and
  • Committed to building a responsible and impactful business.

If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria but want to join a similar program, please reach out to us at werise@villgrophilippines.org.

What can I get from joining the program?

Selected participants will receive 6 months of investment-readiness support in the form of customized mentorship and coaching, peer learning and networking opportunities, and access to seed funding necessary to achieve business growth programs.

How do I get the seed funding worth USD 5,000?

Full participation to the WE Rise Accelerator program is a prerequisite to the selection of the 3 enterprises who will receive the seed funding. These 3 enterprises will be selected and announced during the Impact Showcase.

How much time do I have to spend on the program?

The WE Rise Accelerator has 3 major elements:

  • Learning Labs – There will be 2 Learning Labs throughout the duration of the WE Rise Accelerator, scheduled for November 2022 and January 2023. These are workshops which are common to all entrepreneurs scheduled at specific times – it is planned to take place over one week, with about 3 hours a day.
  • Diagnostic Panels – There will be 2 Diagnostic Panels throughout the duration of the WE Rise Accelerator, scheduled for December 2022 and February 2023. These are 2-hour long strategy meetings designed to help an enterprise set actionable goals for both the short term (100 days) and medium term (1 year).
  • Mentorship and Technical Assistance, Other Support Activities – Each enterprise will be assigned a business mentor to work with through the program – we recommend at least one call with your mentor every month, In addition, you will work with finance experts on financial management and systems, creating financial forecasts and compliance checks, and with digital branding professionals on your enterprises’ online presence and growth strategies. We estimate this will be between 1-3 hours a month, based on your business needs.

The specific dates for all activities under the WE Rise Accelerator will be shared with you by the team upon being selected to participate.

How will my application be evaluated?

The WE Rise team will assess the applicants on the following criteria:

  • Feasibility of Business Models: The enterprise must have a defined customer segment and a viable revenue stream. It must have a strong product-market fit and it can be applied efficiently to the target market. There should be strong channels to reach consumers.
  • Potential of Scale: The product must be relevant to its target market. The business model should be replicable to other markets or geographies.
  • Sustainability: The enterprise  is able to adapt to economic, environmental, social, political. technological and market changes in its industry. It is able to manage and grow the business through its profits.
  • Impact: The enterprise is creating a relevant improvement to current practices of their industry. It is improving the lives of its customers, employees, partner organizations. The team and board are committed to building an ethical and responsible business.
  • Capability of the Team to Execute: The entrepreneur and their team is passionate and committed, has the right set of skills and mindset to execute their ideas, and has the ability to inspire confidence among future stakeholders.
  • Growth Capital Needs: The entrepreneur is motivated to grow the business and would require growth capital to do so. The entrepreneur and their team are interested and open to accessing external funding to meet their growth needs.

 

I have other questions. How do I get in touch with you?

Please contact the WE Rise team at werise@villgrophilippines.org for any questions or concerns.

Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.

MICHELLE OBAMA

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