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[Kenya] Standard Chartered Bank launches programme to fund women in tech

The search for Women in Technology is Back. The call for application for the Standard Chartered Women In Tech Incubator cohort lll is now open for Women led small and medium business leveraging in technology. The programme was launched in 2017 partnership with iLab Africa, a division of Strathmore University has seen the bank support over 20 women-owned small enterprises through mentorship and providing seed funding.
Speaking during the launch, CEO Kariuki Ngari said applications will be open online effective 11th September 2019 to 31st November 2019.
“The Bank will then identify ten start-ups through a rigorous process who will go through a 12-week incubation period with the top five finalists benefiting from a seed funding of KES 1,000,000 each,” added Kariuki.
The Bank has set aside Sh20 million for capacity building for women-owned small enterprises leveraging on technology.
“To date, from cohort one, 4 out of 5 of the companies have received investor funding ranging from USD 50,000 – 150,000, and their businesses have grown revenue and sales in double digits. In addition to growing their businesses, some of the companies have been able to form strategic partnerships with multinationals like MasterCard and Uber,” added Kariuki.
Speaking at the same launch, Permanent Secretary, Betty Maina said, The Women In Tech Incubator program will help identify, grow and bring to the market unique business ideas and change the fortunes of women entrepreneurs and business owners in Kenya. “This program is well aligned with the government’s Big Four Agenda with some of these entrepreneurs playing in different sectors like Manufacturing, Food Processing and Healthcare services,” added Maina
The Standard Chartered Women in Technology Incubator Kenya is Africa’s leading women in tech incubator, aligning with calls for more diversity in technology and for more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership excellence.
The program is an initiative of Standard Chartered in partnership with Strathmore University’s @iBizAfrica.
The program combines world class startup support with local and international experience to provide Africa’s most competitive and attractive startup incubation program focusing on immersive learning, mentorship, building and growing Africa’s next iconic startups taking on the continent’s most relevant challenges and opportunities.
After successful rollout of a similar initiative in USA and Kenya, the bank has now rolled out the program in Pakistan, UAE and Nigeria with plans to expand to more countries across Africa and Middle East.
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 Centre.
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.

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