Standard Chartered’s ‘Women in Tech’ accelerator program has attracted over 180 women-led startups. The startups will, however, be reduced to 40 during a shortlisting exercise which has been slated for this week.
The Women in Tech is an initiative targeting women-led start-ups leveraging on technology as a key driver to innovation in business. Launched in 2017 the program supports female-led entrepreneurial teams by providing them with training, mentorship and seed funding. The incubation is a partnership between Strathmore University-@iBizAfrica and the Standard Chartered Bank Kenya.
The teams will be shortlisted based on performance in the programme’s 100 points criteria such as female founder eligibility, addressing problems and solution innovation, availability of market opportunity and social impact in Kenya.
“We are proud to be part of this transformative initiative that is changing the fortunes of women entrepreneurs and business owners in Kenya. We are committed to celebrating women entrepreneurs who bring unique business ideas to the market.” Lamin Manjang, CEO Standard Chartered, said.
“We have seen the tremendous transformation the mentoring and injection of seed capital can do for women running start-ups in Kenya. We are hopeful that this year we can show more support to the groups that have applied. We look forward to announcing the shortlisted applicants in the next few weeks,” said Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director of @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University.
Last year finalists Mzurii, Africa Solutions, Nekkta, Maziwa Plus, Avopower, HeriOnline, Zydii, ZOA, Beta Art, Catapult Studios and Bismart each walked away with Kshs one million in funding for their businesses and have since shown success and growth in their businesses.
The launch of the programme in Kenya follows a successful rollout of a similar initiative in USA by Standard Chartered. The Bank first launched the programme to support women in technology in 2014 at the City College of New York where it created the Women Entrepreneurs Resource Center. The US program includes a dedicated workspace, mentorship, coursework and access to an extensive network designed to support entrepreneurs navigating the challenges of starting a business.