Standard Chartered funds women owned tech startups

Standard Chartered funds women owned tech startups

Standard Chartered Bank has set aside Sh20 million to launch an Incubation program that seeks to finance women entrepreneurs in the ICT sector.

The move is part of a joint partnership with iLab Africa, a division of Strathmore University.

The incubation hub, dubbed ‘Women For Tech’ is targeting women entrepreneurs who want to incorporate technology at growing their business but lack requisite support.

Speaking during the launch, Standard Chartered Bank Regional CEO for Africa and Middle East Sunil Kaushal said that the program aims at closing the gap between men and women in technology.

“This initiative builds upon Standard Chartered’s global track record of increasing women’s access to entrepreneurial finance, and supporting adolescent girls and women through financing and capacity building,” Mr Kaushal said.

The project will also play a key role in identifying, growing and help bring the market new and unique business ideas while still celebrating women in the society.

He blamed the gender digital divide socio-economic practices which he said have resulted to women lagging behind in training and eventually starved off financial opportunities.

Principal Secretary for ICT Sam Itemere said that the funds will help upgrade women-owned SME’s and help them find opportunities and solutions for accessing more markets.

“The need to focus on women cannot be disputed because they form a significant part of our population. Despite the growth of ICT, challenges prevail and the hardest hit businesses are the women-led enterprises,” the PS indicated.

The participants who will apply online will be invited for a pitch to a panel of judges will in turn select the top 10 contestants will go through a 10-week incubation period where they will be mentored and five will stand a chance of winning $10,000 to help grow their business.

Report by Lilian Makena