Standard Chartered bank launches USD 175,000 Women in Tech program
NAIROBI, Kenya, March 29 – Standard Chartered Kenya in partnership with @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University has launched the 6th Cohort of the Women in Tech (WIT) Incubator Program that aims at championing more diversity in technology and advancing entrepreneurial excellence.
The women in tech program will see 15 applicants participate in a 12-week incubation program with 7 women startups receiving over Sh1.2 million (USD 10,000) in seed money.
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.
“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” said Edith Chumba head of Consumer, private and Business banking
The program is part of Standard Chartered Bank Future makers by the bank which aims at reducing social inequality amongst disadvantaged young people especially girls and persons with disabilities learn, earn and grow furthermore the initiative empowers the next generation by focusing on education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Each year the program trains more than 10 small and medium businesses leveraging on technology by offering mentorship, advisory, coaching, networking opportunities, access to seed capital, and investor forums that help mold their businesses to international standards.
50 start-ups have participated to date, and 25 have been awarded over Sh1.2 million (USD 10,000) in seed funding.
50 businesses have so far gone through the incubation process with the first five cohorts attracting over 2,000 applications.
“Strathmore is proud to complement the advancements made by women entrepreneurs by providing training and capacity building facilities that make it easier for them to access finance, scale and innovate,” said Vincent Ogutu, Strathmore university Vice Chancellor.
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.
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