Westerwelle Young Founders Program Autumn 2024

Westerwelle Young Founders Program Autumn 2024 for Young Entrepreneurs: Apply Now!

Westerwelle Young Founders Program Autumn 2024

About the Westerwelle Young Founders Program

The Young Founders Program is a prestigious 6-month fellowship designed for exceptional young entrepreneurs hailing from emerging markets. The program serves as a gathering point for visionary leaders from around the globe, all sharing a common goal of striving for entrepreneurial excellence.

The Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding is a philanthropic organization operating as a non-profit entity with its headquarters located in Berlin, Germany. At the core of their mission is their commitment to fostering equal opportunities for all by championing the advancement of emerging markets through the promotion of empowered entrepreneurship.

Eligibility Criteria 

To lead a sustainable future, only entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria and have a strong potential for growth and impact are eligible to apply:

  • You are a resident or citizen of a nation that is developing or rising.
  • You recently launched a for-profit business with an emphasis on developing or emerging markets (within the last five years). 
  • Your business has successfully raised its first round of outside funding or produced revenue thanks to its scalable business model.
  • You or your company have disruptive attributes that can improve the standard, influence, or inclusivity of the sector.
  • You are proficient in using the English language.
  • It is within your reach to join the six-month program activities and you are available to attend the digital kick-off conference.

Selection Criteria 

The selection process will involve multiple stages. Firstly, applicants will be assessed based on their written application. Those who meet the initial criteria will then be shortlisted and invited to participate in a Skype interview. Following the interviews, a panel of judges will thoroughly review the results of the written applications and the Skype interviews to ensure a fair and comprehensive evaluation. Finally, the selected candidates will receive invitations to participate in the Young Founders Program.

Benefits of the Westerwelle Young Founders Program  

For 25 leaders, the Westerwelle Young Founders Programme (YFP) is a six-month fellowship that elevates developing and emerging markets in the direction of a sustainable future. With the following program plan, they aim to provide focused assistance to help founders grow their businesses and hone their leadership skills:

  1. Entry to a worldwide network of business owners
  2. Supervision by professionals in the field
  3. Expert seminars for startups in their growth stage 
  4. Possibility of interacting with investors
  5. Opportunity to join our Berlin conference

The Westerwelle Foundation will pay for travel and lodging related to the Young Founders Conference. Every fellow is expected to take part fully in both the scheduled mentoring calls and the Young Founders Conference.

Programme Details

  • Kick-Off Event: A two-day digital kick-off event will take place in mid-September 2024.
  • Remote Program: From September 2024 to February 2025, the Young Founders will receive six months of support, including a personal mentor, monthly peer learning sessions, monthly expert workshops and networking opportunities with corporations and investors.
  • Berlin Conference: The ten best-performing Young Founders will be invited to a five-day conference in Berlin in June 2025. During this conference, the founders will have the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, participate in workshops, join networking events and get insights into the German start-up scene.

How to Apply

Applications are done online via the link provided below, but to assist their programme team in understanding your startup and profile, please ensure you have the following key elements prepared:

1. Your startup pitch deck

2. Basic financial information (e.g. revenues, funding)

3. Your LinkedIn profile and/or CV

With these documents at your disposal, the application process is estimated to take around 20 minutes. Please note that only complete applications will be reviewed. The deadline for submitting your application is August 11, 2024.

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