Women Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders Initiative

Speeches Shim


USAID’s Women Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders Initiative (WE Founders) Initiative is a three-year, $1.2 million activity which builds competence, leadership, and influence of women entrepreneurs and gender-diverse startups. WE Founders Initiative increases the economic impact of women-led startups by strengthening their growth and access to new and alternate sources of investments.


  • Develops leadership skills and business competence of gender-diverse startups through tailored training programs – Business Leadership Development Acceleration (BLD).  The program includes growth and investment readiness workshops, peer2peer learning, and startup mentoring.
  • Increases readiness of senior women professionals who are interested in contributing to strategic growth of startups by taking a board role. Board-Readiness trainings provide essential legal, regulatory, and operational knowledge, along with presentation and negotiation skills.
  • Encourages women entrepreneurs and startups in digital media and tech. Successes are showcased at high-visibility events, such as the annual Regional Capital Market Event, the annual Association for Female Affirmation Women Leadership Summit, and the Association of Business Women Award Ceremony for the Best Business Women of the Year.
  • Builds a community of women entrepreneurs and startup founders, angel investors, advisors, and mentors who are committed to creating and sharing success stories, business models and entrepreneurial practices to new entrepreneurs and startup founders.


  • Launched We Founders Initiative during the 2019 Regional Capital Market Event in Dom Omladine Belgrade
  • Established formal partnerships with the Association for Affirmation of Women (AFA) and Association of Business Women of Serbia
  • Organized 4 WE Founders meetups engaging 100+ gender-diverse participants connecting and sharing entrepreneurial practices


By 2022 the project will:

  • Provide business competence and leadership skills to grow and scale at least 15 start-ups led by a gender-diverse executive team.  
  • Partner with 20 women investors to join angel investor groups as full-fledged members to redress early-stage investment gaps.  
  • Develop mentorship skills of 60 women business leaders
  • Engage 3,000 women entrepreneurs through peer networks where women founders, serial entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors can strengthen their leadership skills and accelerate the growth of entrepreneurship among women.

Project funded by:

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID/Serbia)

Project implemented by:

Impact Hub Belgrade

Project partners:

Association for Affirmation of Women’s Potential and Networking Association of Business Women in Serbia

Where we work:


Project duration:

April 2019 – April 2022

Total amount:



Makedonska 21, Beograd 11103 Phone: +381 11 408 25 50

E-mail:  belgrade@impacthub.net

Website: http://belgrade.impacthub.net

Social media platforms:





Last updated: November 19, 2020

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