Standard Chartered Launches USD 175K Women In Tech program

By Soko Directory Team / Published March 29, 2023 | 8:00 am




KEY POINTS

Research indicates that female-led startups in Africa attracted less funding in 2022 compared to male-led startups in the region. Challenged by societal bottlenecks and financing limits, this points to a need for increased capacity building and focused funding toward female-led enterprises.


Women

Standard Chartered Kenya in partnership with @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University has today launched the 6th Cohort of the Women in Tech (WIT) Incubator Program.

The program aims at championing more diversity in technology and advancing entrepreneurial and leadership excellence for women-led businesses.

Edith Chumba, Standard Chartered Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, and Strathmore University Vice Chancellor, Dr. Vincent Ogutu presided over the event at the bank’s Head Office.

The theme for this year’s cohort, Embracing Equity, is tied to the 2023 International Women’s Day theme and calls for more inclusion in the digital and technology space.

The 6th cohort of the Women in Tech program will see 15 applicants participate in a 12-week incubation program with 7 women-led startups receiving seed funding. This is an increase from the previous cohorts, where 10 businesses were incubated and 5 startups per cohort received funding.

Businesses chosen to participate in the incubation program will undergo training, coaching, and mentorship offered by the @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University network of key industry experts, faculty, business leaders, experienced mentors, and professionals.

Through the incubation, all the entrepreneurs will get expert training in the areas of idea conceptualization, strategy formulation, and marketing which is key in moving the businesses from incubation to sustainable ventures.

Speaking during the launch, Edith Chumba said; Technology and innovation are key enablers of digital transformation and socio-economic growth in emerging markets. By empowering women-led businesses in the technology space to thrive, we not only contribute to their business growth but also drive sustainability and inclusion.

The focus areas of this cohort will be centered around women-led startups with components of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things; Big Data; Machine Learning; Robotics; Big Data, and Blockchain among others

Commenting on the need for equity and inclusion of women in entrepreneurship and leadership was the Strathmore University Vice Chancellor, Dr. Vincent Ogutu who stated; “Women do business differently with a substantial number of them leaning towards social enterprises that make an impact on communities and economies as a whole. Driven by the high work ethic and ambition, Africa holds the largest number of female-led enterprises, which highlights the need for more investment.” 

Research indicates that female-led startups in Africa attracted less funding in 2022 compared to male-led startups in the region. Challenged by societal bottlenecks and financing limits, this points to a need for increased capacity building and focused funding toward female-led enterprises.

In the venture capital sector, nearly 85 percent of investors are men supporting male founders, while only 12 percent of VC firm decision-makers are women, but when these women do make decisions, they are twice as likely to invest in female-founded startups. Because men constitute the majority of the workforce in technical organizations, men can assist by taking up mentorship roles for women in the computing tech and engineering space.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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