Standard Chartered Bank, in collaboration with Strathmore University, launched the fifth cohort of the Women in Tech incubator program on Wednesday, selecting 10 applicants for the 12-week program.
The program intends to promote more technological diversity and provide more opportunities for women to acquire entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
This is in line with developing worldwide trends as well as local post-pandemic recovery efforts, both of which have indicated that businesses will need to follow these patterns in order to grow sustainably.
According to Standard Chartered Bank CEO Kariuki Ngari, the program aims to foster this change by distributing finance and incubator support that promotes innovation, growth, and long-term business models.
“Women-led businesses account for a substantial number of SMEs and it’s therefore crucial that they are well-positioned for growth. To close this gap, there is a need for knowledge building, as well as funding that is customized to remove barriers and eliminate the bias that women founders face.”
According to Emmanuel Kweyu, Deputy Director @iLabAfrica Research and Innovation Centre, Strathmore University, many SMEs face numerous hurdles, including a lack of infrastructure, knowledge, and finance that would allow them to scale.
“@iBizAfrica recognizes this and wants to bridge this gap by equipping women-led businesses with the resources they need to sustain their growth and accelerate innovation,” Kweyu
As proven by former program participants, incubation and funding not only improves development prospects for these businesses, but also helps to increase representation in critical growing industries such as fintech, agritech, and clean energy tech, all of which are new horizons for economic growth.
Key industry experts, teachers, business leaders, experienced mentors, and professionals will provide training, coaching, and mentorship to these selected businesses.