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Empower Now in Partnership with TikTok

We need to rethink social, economic and political justice. To contribute to a society that creates inclusion and belonging for all, we must combat discrimination and support solutions that enable participation at all levels. That's why, this year, we want to focus on digital solutions that drive inclusion and equity.

Are you a FLINTA* (female, lesbian, inter, non-binary, trans, agender) impact entrepreneur building a digital solution in Empowerment & Participation?

Do you have a first proof of concept for your business and seek support to strengthen your USP, and business model, build networks and measure your impact?

Would you like to join a community of other FLINTA* founders to exchange and learn?

The Empower Now Accelerator is here to support you!

Our virtual or hybrid support programme is designed by and for FLINTA* founders who are marginalised and/or face (multiple) discrimination working towards a more inclusive, equitable and participatory society. We especially encourage founders from the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities, founders with disabilities, health conditions or neurodiversity to apply.

Empower Now was developed in 2023 in partnership with our intersectional advisory board of FLINTA* founders and SEND e.V. This year, we are running a second, slightly adapted round in partnership with TikTok.

Empower Now Accelerator - Programme Details

  • Program Benefits: Masterclasses | 1&1 Coaching | Expert Mentoring | Visibility | Networking | Safe(r) Spaces
  • Duration: Sept 2024 – January 2025
    • 2 months acceleration: 16.9. 2024 – 08.11. with a break from 07.10. – 11.10. 
    • 4 months of mentoring support: 01.10.2024 – 31.01.2025
  • Who can apply: FLINTA* solo-founders or FLINTA* who are part of a founding team, who work on a digital solution in the field of empowerment & participation and are based in the DACH region or (partly) implement their idea in the DACH region
  • Access: Hybrid (you can join fully online, offline or hybrid)
  • Language: English. We can offer coaching in German. For mentoring, we can do our best to look for mentors speaking other languages if needed and available (eg. Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, French, Turkish or Arabic on demand). Please contact us if you have other language needs. Unfortunately, we cannot offer ASL / DGS at this time.
  • Capacity: Part-time programme with an average of 3-5 hours per week
  • Application Period: 16.07. – 26.08.2024 via this form
  • Cohort selection: Beginning of September

Areas of impact include

  • Democracy building
  • Equitable and inclusive education
  • Inclusive (web) design
  • Digital resilience such as anti-hate speech online
  • Digital health solutions (e.g. chronic illness, mental health, long covid etc.)
  • Building safe(r) spaces and anti-discrimination work
  • Climate justice
  • Empowering marginalized communities and communities facing discrimination such as the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC communities, people with a (forced) migration background, people with disabilities, neurodivergent people
  • & more

Programme Benefits

It needs strong allies to address (structural and institutional) discrimination. We want to support you with the necessary knowledge, contacts, guidance and confidence to successfully transform your initial business idea into a validated and tested product or service, featuring a clear USP. You will have a community of FLINTA* founders and experts by your side to support you along the journey.

Business Support:

Masterclasses & Individual Coaching

Masterclasses by experts on Business Modeling, Financial Planning, Pitching, Impact Logic and Community Management. Based on a needs assessment at the beginning of the programme, we will add or adapt the topics to see what you and the cohort really need. All masterclasses will be followed either by individual coachings with the expert or a peer2peer session.

Individual Goals & Process Coaching

We will help you to set goals for the duration of the incubator to see how we can best support you. We will check-in with you on a bi-weekly basis to support you in reaching your goals.


Mentoring support with FLINTA* mentors who are sensitized towards inclusion and belonging.

Network Access & Visibility:

Community & Space

Access to Impact Hub Berlin’s physical co-working space, our digital resources and community with 24,000+ impact entrepreneurs worldwide


We will host peer2peer sessions to exchange on learnings and best practices, also in smaller groups.


We will portray you on our website, try to support you if you’d like to speak on stages or in panels, and offer exposure to an established impact community.

Safer(r) Space:

Wellbeing & Resilience

The success of a business does not only depend on start-up-specific knowledge and network access. An important part of the accelerator will be the handling of barriers and structural discrimination, your own wellbeing and resilience. For that, we will collaborate with a psychotherapist and wellbeing coaches to help you on topics such as stress management and imposter syndrome. If this is for you, we also offer breathing sessions with our certified coach.

Code of Conduct & Accountability

Who can apply?

  • identify as FLINTA* founders facing (multiple) discrimination.
  • are a solo founder or part of a founding team. If you are several FLINTA* founders, we can offer you up to four spots.
  • are working on a digital solution related to empowerment & participation.
  • have already validated their initial concept of your product or service by testing with users or collecting user feedback.
  • have an idea of how to build an inclusive and financially sustainable business model.
  • are ready to strengthen their networks.
  • are based in DACH or their initiative is (partly) implemented in the DACH region.

Note: Non-profit or charity organizations that aim to create an impactful business model are also welcome to apply.

What are your selection criteria?

The jury will be announced soon.

We are publishing all selection criteria in our application form. You will be able to see which criteria are matched to which question. Here is an overview:

Problem-Solution-Fit & Impact (40%)

You understand the challenge addressed and the needs of the group(s) affected by the challenge. Your solution effectively targets the mentioned challenge. You have validated your idea. Your idea shows a certain degree of innovativeness and you are interested in collaborating with others.

Programme Fit (27%)

You describe your personal motivation to work on your project and you demonstrate a strong motivation to contribute to the cohort by supporting other programme participants.

Skillset & Willingness to learn (20%)

You (and your co-founders or team) have a diverse skill set and expertise within the field of your solution and / or are displaying a willingness to seek for help. We value your lived experience as a strength.

Viability (13%)

You demonstrate awareness of financial sustainability and have first ideas of achieving financial sustainability through your business model (for non-profits this might mean research on funding opportunities).


This accelerator is designed by and for FLINTA* founders facing multiple discrimination and therefore these identities and lived experiences will be prioritized. We encourage FLINTA* founders from all cultural backgrounds, ages, educational backgrounds and religions to apply.

The people behind Empower Now

The Empower Now team is made out of FLINTA* with multiple discrimination backgrounds and long experience in supporting entrepreneurs or lived experience with founding or growing businesses. We host a space for entrepreneurs to learn and grow. For us, this means learning to grow your business sustainably and being in a space that allows growth together as people and supports each other along the way.

Intersectionality is important to us. That is why Vera (she/her), head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, put together a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board when building up Empower Now. We extend a big thank you to our board, who played a big part in co-designing the programme with us in 2023. You can read about Fox (they/them), Kave (she/her), Wadzanai (she/her), Hedda (she/no pronouns), Henriette (she/her) and Amrei (she/her) here. Some advisory board members are still working with us on strategic topics.

This year, the Empower Now accelerator is set up and run by Sara (she/her) for a second time, with the support of Vera and our scouting lead Idil (she/her).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why FLINTA* founders?

FLINTA* and other discriminated groups face structural and institutional barriers when starting businesses, with female founders facing well-known barriers such as lower funding, childcare, and sexism. Inter, trans and gender non-conforming founders experience additional discrimination and are often left out of “female” empowerment programmes. Awareness of inclusive language and pronoun usage is increasing, but it is not yet the norm. Additional discrimination is also experienced by FLINTA* founders who are part of LGTBQIA+ and BiPOC communities, as well as by disabled or neurodivergent FLINTA* founders. We want to support FLINTA* founders facing multiple discrimination working on topics around participation and empowerment – and highlight their strengths and contributions to society.

Why the DACH region?

We would like to support communities locally. We have a wide network of Impact Hubs around the world that are offering programmes in other countries and we are happy to make introductions. If you are based outside of the DACH region and are (partly) implementing your digital solutions here, we will accept your application.

Which legal form will be accepted for this incubation programme?

We support social businesses, meaning you are for-profit but reinvest your profits into your business or social causes, or meaning that you are non-profit with a financially sustainable business model (or have an idea how to make your business financially sustainable in the future).

Do I need to self-identify my gender and other identity markers in order to be able to participate in the programme?   

You do not need to specify your gender identity or any other identity if you do not feel comfortable doing so. By applying, we will trust that you understand that this incubator is designed for FLINTA* founders. Everyone in our team has lived experience as FLINTA* facing discrimination and we know how important it is that you feel comfortable sharing (or not sharing) lived experiences and identities. There will be a few questions that go beyond business questions. The purpose of asking these questions is to make sure that we can host a safe(r) space for FLINTA* founders from LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities, FLINTA* founders with disabilities, health issues and neurodiversity, and other aspects leading to marginalization, discrimination or exclusion. We strive to create an inclusive and welcoming space where all participants can express their thoughts, needs, and emotions freely without fear of judgment or discrimination. You only share what feels right to you. 

How do you protect my identity and personal information?

Data and identity protection are important to us. Therefore, we would like to express that besides following our data privacy policy and GDPR regulations, it is extremely important to us to make sure that the information provided by you is kept safe. The answers provided by you will only be reviewed by our jury and the IHB team who are part of the incubator programme and will be reviewed only for the purpose of selecting the cohort for the Empower Now incubator. All personal data will be deleted after this purpose is achieved.  We will never reveal any personal identity markers, the only public knowledge is that the incubator is for FLINTA* facing (multiple) discrimination. Everyone participating in the incubator will be required to sign the code of conduct. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send Sara an email.

How can you support me if I feel discriminated against, excluded, or otherwise harmed during the programme? 

We are here to support you. Please refer to our code of conduct

, a living document that we can shape and adapt as a cohort in the programme – including an accountability protocol.

Will I receive mentorship and guidance from successful FLINTA* entrepreneurs?

Yes, we will match you with a mentor to guide you throughout the incubator. We will also host peer learning sessions within the cohort so that you can learn from and with each other, and we will connect you with our community of social entrepreneurs, of whom many are FLINTA* founders.

Will the incubation programme help me connect with potential investors and funding opportunities?

It will be our common goal to help you build partnerships, also with potential investors and donors if this is something you are interested in. We have a large community of impact investors and can make introductions on an individual basis if fitting. 

Will I have the opportunity to showcase my business idea to a wider audience upon completion of the incubation programme?

Yes, we will have a closing event/demo day where you will present your business to a relevant audience. During the incubator, we will do our best to connect you to relevant stakeholders and you will be portrayed on our website and on our social media channels.

Can I apply to the incubation programme with a team, or do I need to apply as an individual?

We accept applications from solo-founders and co-founders. If you are several FLINTA* co-founders, we can offer you up to four spots. Your non-FLINTA* co-founders can join sessions upon request and consensus from the cohort or watch the recordings.

How can I apply for this incubation programme, and what is the application process like?

You can apply via this form. You can find all application questions with their matching selection criteria as an Excel file here. If you don’t feel comfortable using Typeform, you will be able to answer most answers in Excel – you will however need to answer the first few questions on Typeform. Please get in touch with Idil if you have any questions (idil.serifoglu@impacthub.net) and we are happy to help. 

Will it weaken my application if I am openly sharing the struggles and challenges I am experiencing as a FLINTA* founder?

No. This will show awareness of where we can support you and your willingness to learn. We also want to value your lived experience in this incubator as a strength. Following the idea of “nothing for us, without us”, we have integrated leveraging your lived experience in order to support your community with your venture/initiative as a selection criterion.

I participated in the Empower Now ideathon and bootcamp. Can I apply?

Of course! We are excited to receive your application.

Where will the incubator take place?

The incubator is accessible fully online. If you are based in Berlin, you are welcome to join in person and join the incubator in a hybrid format. We will use Zoom, Slack and Miro to work together and are open to other suggestions. We will do our best to lower barriers to participation by having flexible hours, making sure that we have enough breaks (latest after one hour), welcoming switching off your cameras, and giving the opportunity to work in small groups if that feels more comfortable for you. We will encourage everyone to state their needs by sending around a survey at the beginning of the programme.

Are there any fees I need to pay or do you take equity from my business?

No, the programme is for free and we don’t take equity from you. This is possible through the funds provided by our partner TikTok.

How long is the accelerator programme, and what are the time commitments required?

The programme is a 4-month part-time programme starting in Mid-September 2024 and running until the end of January 2025. The programme consists of two parts which will run in parallel:

  • 2 months acceleration: 16.9.- 08.11.2024 with a break from 07.10. – 11.10.2024. Here you will need to invest a minimum average of 3-5 hours per week. 
  • 4 months of mentoring support: 01.10.2024 – 31.01.2025. This depends on your and your mentor, they are available a minimum of 3 hours per month.

We will try to keep the hours flexible and to schedule dates in advance so that you can plan around it. We will record Masterclasses.

What language will the programme be in?

The programme will take place in English, therefore you should be able to follow the programme in English. If you feel more comfortable with another language, we can make sure that we match you with a German-speaking mentor and will give our best to accommodate other languages for mentoring if needed. We are very aware that not every person speaks English, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate a multilingual programme at this point in time, this includes ASL / DGS. It is not easy for us to realize that we cannot accommodate every need, and we are considering this when looking for future funding. We do appreciate your feedback if you would like to share your thoughts. If you’d like to partner with us to make translation possible in the future, get in touch!

Why did you switch back to English after the Empower Now Ideathon & Bootcamp were in German?

We wanted to try and offer Empower Now in German this year to be mindful of the fact that not everyone speaks English, be it people growing up in the DACH region or newcomers who have been learning German as their second language. During the ideathon, we realized that English was better afterall for all who participated and this is why we decided to switch back to English to offer them the opportunity to continue their projects by applying to the accelerator.

Is there any financial support available to participants in the incubation programme?

Unfortunately, we are not able to give you a monthly stipend. We are however happy to provide financial support for travels to Berlin, childcare or individual needs that may arise upon request. Please let us know in the application form if you have any specific requirements. We are also able to provide funding for additional coaching you might need based on the goals you define.

Can I participate in the incubation program while still working? 

Yes! As long as you can commit to an average of 4-5 hours per week throughout the acceleration part. We will do our best to plan all dates in advance.

Please look over the Terms and Conditions for Empower Now here

Questions, ideas, remarks on the Empower Now programme? Get in touch with the project lead Sara Moczygemba (she/her) at empowernow.berlin@impacthub.net.

Ecosystem Partner

The accelerator is part of Empower Now, a programme supported and funded by our partner TikTok.

We thank TikTok for enabling us to run a second round of Empower Now and for the great and trust-based collaboration.