ACT NOW Award 2023!

This year, the ACT NOW Award focuses on women who stand up, make a difference and dare to run their own business or found and lead start-ups. 


Any independent female entrepreneur from Africa can apply with and for her business! They will also get the chance to participate in an African Challenge, opening the door to independent funding.

Premiere 2022

The ACT NOW Award is an award for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement in the global South. The aim is to give this commitment the recognition it deserves and provide it with a stage. The ACT NOW Award is aimed at successful, committed, self-employed women entrepreneurs and companies in low- and middle-income countries. The award recognizes companies that have shown particular commitment in the areas of innovation, sustainability and social responsibility.

The categories


On the environment, impact on people in the surrounding area, diversity, entrepreneurship.


Technology, renewable energies, digitalization, originality and degree of innovation of the business solution compared to existing alternatives


Produktivität, Wachstums- und Entwicklungspotenzial, Auftragsvolumen, Vertriebsstärke, Realisierbarkeit der Lösung

The Timeline

May 9, 2023: Opening for submission

August 6, 2023: Deadline for submission of applications is 12 PM (European time).   


September 7, 2023: Announcement of 6 finalists – 2 in each category: innovation, impact, and performance    


September 21, 2023: Pitch Night of finalists at managerswithoutborders and encourageventures Female Founders – ACT NOW Award, African Challenge & the 3 winners will be announced.

The Prizes

The ACT NOW Award

One finalist from each of the 3 categories impact, Innovation and Performance receives an ACT NOW Award – Certificate for the Special Advancement of Women.

Audience Award

One finalist receives the audience award with a prize money of 1 000€ from encourageventures and managerswithoutborders.

All 6 finalists…

Receive professional pitch training and the opportunity to pitch in front of a large network of female investors.

Female Founders ACT NOW Award African Challenge

Together for more diversity in the investor and startup landscape
managerwithoutborders & encourageventures

This year, the ACT NOW Award is held in conjunction with encourageventures e.V.: The Female Founders ACT NOW Award, African Challenge brings together startups founded by women or other companies that have viable, innovative business solutions with a broad angel investor community. The Challenge is designed to showcase and recognize the innovation of startups or companies founded or co-founded by women. Finalists will have the opportunity to win the ACT NOW Award and present their business solutions to business angel investors from the encourageventures network as well as managerohnexecutives on September 21, 2023.

About managerswithoutborders

For over 18 years, we have been promoting the private sector by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises with entrepreneurial know-how and management expertise on all continents. The cooperation between the seconded experts (high potentials) as “Managers without Borders” and the project sponsors leads to a continuation of the projects from their own funds.

The support must have the goal of autonomy and independence. This is the only way to achieve long-term and, above all, sustainable results. Therefore, we always work according to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and are a member of the Global Compact.


We believe that the perfect solution arises where people can sustain it themselves in the long run. For this purpose, we have developed our own social impact assessment system with clear eligibility criteria. The entire consulting process is ISO 9001 certified by TÜV Austria. The aspect of sustainability is essential for us – we promote a stable middle class movement and no dependencies!

About encourageventures

encourageventures is a large network of female investors. We offer diversity, expertise and capital. As investors, mentors and advisors, we support women-led startups in their founding and expansion plans. We encourage female founders to realize their own business ideas. We support, inspire and accompany. We exchange ideas and take the next step together.   

With our encourageventures network, we want to increase the visibility of women in the startup world and bring more diversity to the startup and investor landscape.

Conditions and rules