Applications for the 2024 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme are currently open. The Westerwelle Young Founders Programme (YFP) is a six-month fellowship designed for 25 leaders who are driving positive change in emerging and developing markets, aiming for a sustainable future. The program provides focused support to help scale the ventures of selected founders and enhance their leadership capabilities. The YFP offers a structured program plan to empower the participating entrepreneurs in their journey towards impactful and sustainable ventures.
- Kick-Off Event: The commencement of the program will feature a two-day digital kick-off event scheduled for the beginning of March 2024.
- Remote Programme: From March to August, participants in the Young Founders Programme will benefit from six months of comprehensive support. This includes personalized mentoring, monthly peer learning sessions, expert workshops, and networking opportunities with corporates and investors.
- Berlin Conference: The top ten performing Young Founders will receive invitations to attend a five-day conference in Berlin in June 2025. Throughout this event, these founders will have the unique opportunity to present their pitches to investors, engage in workshops, participate in networking events, and gain valuable insights into the German start-up scene.
The Westerwelle Foundation is a non-profit organization established with the vision of fostering entrepreneurship and promoting sustainable development, particularly in emerging and developing markets. Named after its founder, former German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the foundation operates various programs and initiatives aimed at supporting young leaders and founders who are driving positive change in their communities.
One notable program offered by the Westerwelle Foundation is the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme (YFP). This initiative provides a six-month fellowship for 25 leaders actively contributing to sustainable development in emerging markets. The program offers targeted support to scale the ventures of these young founders and develop their leadership abilities.
The Young Founders Programme includes a comprehensive structure, encompassing a two-day digital kick-off event, a remote program from March to August, and a Berlin Conference in June 2025. During the conference, the top-performing Young Founders have the opportunity to pitch their ventures to investors, participate in workshops, and gain insights into the German start-up ecosystem.
The Westerwelle Foundation’s commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship extends beyond the YFP, as it engages in various activities and partnerships to create a global network of entrepreneurs and change-makers. By providing mentorship, networking opportunities, and exposure to the international start-up landscape, the foundation seeks to empower young leaders to make a lasting impact on their communities and beyond. Through its initiatives, the Westerwelle Foundation plays a crucial role in empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs dedicated to building sustainable and impactful ventures.
Selection Criteria For The Westerwelle Young Founders Spring for Entrepreneurs Program
Westerwelle Young Founders Programme is looking for entrepreneurs with high potential for impact and growth to become leaders of a sustainable future, with the following criteria:
- You are a citizen or resident of a developing or emerging country.
- You have recently (in the last five years) started a for-profit company focused on developing or emerging markets.
- Your company possesses a scalable business model that has generated revenue or secured a first round of external funding.
- You or your business possesses disruptive qualities that can increase the quality, impact or inclusiveness of the industry.
- You possess a good working knowledge of English.
- You are available to attend the digital kick-off conference and can make time to participate in programme activities for the six months.
Method of Application
The following form is the first phase of the application process and will provide our Programme Team with a general overview of your startup and profile. Westerwelle Young Founders Programme may then request additional information and documentation.
The application will take approximately 8 minutes. Only complete applications will be reviewed.
- Application deadline: Sunday, 11 February at 23:59 CET
- Interviews with shortlisted candidates: 19 February – 8 March
For technical issues ONLY (i.e. cannot submit form): please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notification of all applicants: 11 March
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