HBWS FAQ

1. Who are Harambeans?

2. How can I access an Harambean Opportunities, i.e. angel investment, fellowship, internship, scholarship, etc.?

3. What is the Harambe Bretton Woods Symposium (HBWS)?

4. When and where will the next HBWS be held?

5. How do I apply to join Harambeans, the HBWS or access a specific Opportunity?

6. What are the HBWS application deadlines?

7. What are the eligibility criteria?

8. What if I do not meet the eligibility criteria of any of the Harambean Opportunities?

9. What do I have to submit to apply?

10. How do I submit recommendations from my referees?

11. How many applicants will be admitted?

12. Will I be interviewed by a Harambean?

13. What is the Harambe Bretton Woods Declaration?

14. What are the costs associated with the HBWS?

15. When and how do I pay the HBWS Registration Fee?

16. Will Harambeans issue a visa letter for the US Embassy or a fundraising letter for my university?


1. Who are Harambeans?

Our Alliance is a network of highly educated young African entrepreneurs spearheading high impact social and business ventures across the length and breadth of Africa. In partnership with reputable private and public sector groups our Alliance is establishing an ecosystem to support the entrepreneurial aspirations of young African leaders with mentors, feasibility study grants, scholarships, pro bono legal services and access to angel and venture capital.

2. How can I access an Harambean Opportunities, i.e. angel investors, fellowships, internships, scholarships, etc.?

Any young African wishing to gain access to any Harambean Opportunities must apply to join the Alliance and participate in Harambe Bretton Woods Symposium (HBWS).

Some Opportunities require you to  ll out third party applications in addition to the Harambeans application. For instance if you are applying for the Harambe Scholars Program at Fletcher, Oxford or Yale, you will also have to  ll out their applications, in addition to taking the required GMAT / GRE tests. Please carefully review the  year of each  Opportunity for specific instructions.

A complete list of current Opportunities can be found in Opportunities section of the Harambeans application.

3. What is the Harambe Bretton Woods Symposium (HBWS)?

The Harambe Bretton Woods Symposium (HBWS) is the annual gathering of the Alliance and an opportunity to welcome the new Class of Harambeans. During the four day gathering new  Associates introduce their ventures,  Opportunities are awarded, while accomplished Harambeans and Harambe Angels share their experiences and insights on Africa with the incoming Class of Harambeans.

4. When and where will the next HBWS be held?

The 12th annual HBWS will be held April 5-8, 2019 at Harvard University and the historic Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA.

5. How do I apply to join Harambeans, the HBWS or access a specific Opportunity?

If you would like to join Harambeans, attend the HBWS or access any Opportunities, you must complete an online application available on www.harambeans.smapply.io

6. What are the application deadlines?

  • Early Admission Deadline is November 30, 2018
  • Regular Admission Deadline is December 30, 2018

Applicants who submit their applications by the early admission deadline will be notified by February 2, 2019. All other applicants will be notified by March 9, 2019.

7. What are the eligibility criteria?

Eligible candidates to the Alliance must be of African birth or origin; currently enrolled in a college or university or be recent graduates; and be at the early idea stage or advanced stages of a social or business venture focused or related to Africa.

However, please note that every  opportunity has specific eligibility criteria. So please reference the  year of your  opportunity of preference for more information.

8. What if I do not meet the eligibility criteria of any of the Harambean Opportunities?

If you do not meet the criteria of any of the listed Harambean Opportunities you may still be admitted to the Alliance on the basis of the strength of your venture or idea. Additional opportunities may be available to you upon admission to the Alliance.

9. What do I have to submit to apply?

Candidates must submit an application consisting of the following completed sections:

  • Your Venture
  • Progress to Date
  • Essays
  • Harambean Opportunities
  • Mentors
  • Recommendations
  • Leadership & Work Experience- Awards / Recognition & Skills
  • Education
  • General Information
  • Terms & Conditions

10. How do I submit recommendations from my referees?

In the Recommendation section of the HBWS application you will be invited to submit the contact details of two referees.

Once you submit your application your referees will receive an automatic notification with the details of the recommendation form. Please encourage your referee to complete the recommendation form by the January 10 deadline.

You will also receive a notification once your referee submits your recommendation.

11. How many applicants will be admitted?

Between 20 and 30 applicants are admitted to the Alliance each year.

12. Will I be interviewed by a Harambean?

Yes. A pool of prescreened applicants will undergo several interviews with current Harambeans.

13. What is the Harambe Bretton Woods Declaration?

“We will check our road and the nature of our battle, yet in the end, the Africa our generation desires can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is ours.”

The Harambe Bretton Woods Declaration is a solemn document that outlines the beliefs and principles of our Alliance. HBWS participants sign the Declaration at an official signing ceremony in Bretton Woods, which renders official their association to the Alliance.

The declaration is what binds Harambeans together. As per tradition it is signed by every class of Harambeans in the historic Gold Room of the Mount Washington Hotel.

14. What are the costs associated with the HBWS?

HBWS participants must cover the following costs:

  • $100 Registration Fee
  • Travel to and from the rendezvous point at Harvard University in Boston, MA

15. When and how do I pay the HBWS Registration Fee?

The HBWS Registration Fee must be paid online two weeks prior to the start of the HBWS.

16. Will Harambeans issue a visa letter for the US Embassy or a fundraising letter for my university?

Yes. Admitted applicants will receive the assistance from the Harambeans Admissions Team to secure travel documentation to the United States and to raise funds for travel to the meeting point atHarvard University from their university and / or supporters.


Essay Questions

NOTE: Please be mindful of the prescribed character limit allocated to each question, and be conscious that it is NOT a word count.

Your Venture

  • High-concept pitch. In one line, brie y describe what your venture does in a way that we’ll get it. (max. 150 characters)
  • What challenge / opportunity are you addressing? Describe the market opportunity. (max. 600 characters)
  • What is your solution (what will you make or do)? For whom are you solving this problem? (max. 600 characters)
  • Please describe your venture from a customer’s point of view, by explaining a typical customer journey. (max. 600 characters)
  • Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? (max. 600 characters)
  • How are you going to generate revenue? (max. 600 characters)
  • How are you connected to the challenge / opportunity? Describe your personal nexus. (max. 600 characters)
  • What do you envision the long-term impact of your venture to be? (max. 600 characters)


Progress to Date

  • What potential industry partners and / or customers have you met with to validate your idea?List your top three contacts (name, position), and what you learned from meeting with them. (max. 600 characters)
  • Describe for us the market research you’ve conducted: detail data collection method, audience reached, and number of people engaged. (max. 600 characters)
  • How far along are you in developing your venture’s product / offering?- Incorporated venture (Check all that apply)
    • Completed prototype or proof-of-concept
    • Actively developing product / offering
    • Piloting product / offering with users
    • Product / offering in production / on the market
    • None of the above
  • Building on your selection above, please describe what you have completed to date. (max. 600 characters)
  • What traction / feedback have you received from customers / users? (max. 600 characters)
  • Describe the traction / feedback and the number of users / customers you’ve gotten it from (max. 600 characters)
  • Have you received any funding to date? Please itemize the amounts from each source. (i.e. Competition / Challenge Prizes; Friends / Family; University funded / grants; Angel funding; Venture Capital; Crowdfunding; Revenue.)(max. 600 characters)
  • Please share with us your timeline and corresponding milestones for the next 6 months. (max. 600 characters)