Your WCW Journey

The Graca Machel Trust & Women Economic Social Advancement Programme Approach



Nurture a caring societies that value social justice, promote and protect the rights of women and children.


Amplify women’s movements, influence governance and promote women’s contributions and leadership in the economic, social and political development of Africa; and advocate for the protection of children’s rights and dignity.

How We Work:

We convene and connect people and groups who should know each other and work together to Expand Equality and Inclusive Growth.

Purpose Statement

We believe women

have the potential to lead thriving, impactful and wealth creation businesses.

And, when women have more wealth, they invest to transform the lives of

families, communities, and the world.

The Problem We Are Solving

A World Bank research finding is women’s entrepreneurship in is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world and yet women’s businesses remain survivalist, micro and small with very little prospect of scaling without targeted interventions.

The Graça Machel Trust Women’s Economic and Social Advancement programme conducted 2 significant research in 2017 to inform an intervene that will target women entrepreneurs who have the potential to not just create income but build businesses that create jobs and wealth for the families and communities

  • The first is the Women Creating Wealth publication which features case studies of 60 women entrepreneurs across the continent The study of these women’s entrepreneurial journeys confirms the three most significant constraints faced by African businesswomen as being:
  • a lack of financial and business management skills;
  • limited ability to tap into support services including coaching, mentoring and business networks; and,
  • poor access to finance and markets.
  • It concluded that while structural barriers (such as access to finance) are generally beyond each individual’s control, capacity building, coaching, mentoring and technical and peer support groups make a substantial difference to building resilience and opening-up opportunities.
  • The second GMT’s Women in Finance conducted a survey on Barriers to Growth for Women Entrepreneurs in East Africa with 600 entrepreneurs. The survey confirmed women entrepreneurs:
  • play it safe, lack advice, mentorship and networks in their business
  • have no confidence in the financial services to engage for growth, and remain reliant on self-finance, grants, angel investors.

Women Creating Wealth Programme Solution

Women Creating Wealth (WCW) is a women-focused entrepreneurship development programme designed to transform women’s mindset and businesses from income generation to wealth and employment creation.

  • Its objectives are to:
  • Inspire, build confidence and entrepreneurial competencies of 1000 women in 10 countries in 5 years to grow their businesses over 10 months.
  • Connect the the entrepreneurs and build a vibrant businesswomen network to drive intra-Africa trade.

In partnership with Virgin Unite, the WCW was successfully piloted in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia with 30 entrepreneurs in 2016 and scaled to 100 in 2017 thus completing the programme with 300 entrepreneurs

Virgin Unite has partnered  with us again in South Africa in 2020 to replicate the program with 120 entrepreneurs. And, with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are digitising the program which will also support our aim to scale the programme in existing countries and replicate in 6 other targeted countries.

WCW programme Requirement & Expected Results

The selection criteria:

  • 2-3 years of business experience and demonstration of entrepreneurial talent
  • Turnover range $10,000 and $100,000, and
  • operate in agribusiness/agro-processing, manufacturing, construction, energy, retail/trade and/or services.

Expected results:

  • Improve leadership acumen and confidence to lead in business
  • Increase turnover by at least 50% and in the Covid Pandemic help increase the business survival rate so that at least 80 percent survive and grow in resilience.
  • Strengthen business systems to allow the entrepreneur to work ON their business and not IN their business.
  • Boost knowledge and ability to innovate, diversify and access new markets.
  • Better prepare entrepreneurs to access finance to grow their businesses.
  • Build a vibrant pan African businesswomen’s network

WCW Programme Process




Feminine Powered Programming – Shared Aspiration/Pledge

  1. We Share from My Power Center:  we foster trust and create safe space containers for each other. We engage with a sense of belonging while connected to our internal and external resources. We commit to being generous with each other and share information, encouragement, ideas, feedback, and resources through peer coaching & mentoring.
  2. We give  Feedback with Care:  we offer kind feedback and thought partnership. We ask generative questions before offering solutions, remembering the inherent talent and creative problem-solving strength that is in each one of us
  3. Tensions are Dealt with to ReConnect:  we know that in any group it is normal for there to be tensions and irritations. We will be resourceful and respond to tensions in ways that reconnects us
  4. We Respect The Confidentiality And Intellectual Property Of Our Team Members: While it’s natural for ideas to be generated with each other, we commit to not directly use ideas that are shared unless due permission is sought and given.

AIM After Care Framework

Approach: AIM – Accountability, Inspiration & Mastery


  • Practice and apply core competencies of personal and entrepreneurial mastery in business practice to strengthen self-belief and business confidence
  • Organising business sector clusters, compiling due diligence to for B2B market and finance facilitation & linkages
  • Build the foundations the WCW network ecosystem through the peer coaching support work and identifying leadership strengths and talents to drive initiatives in the network.


  • Re-enforce accountability through peer coaching
  • Energising, inspiring and learning through testimonies, and sharing best practices and and ‘how to talks from the WCW cohort and greater stakeholder and entrepreneurship development communities.
  • Sector focused group coaching and mentorship to deepen and address specific sector needs
  • Sector focused B2B linkages.
  • Mentorship Find