Nairobi News


Kenyan women in tech to battle for Sh23 million

Standard Chartered Bank has set aside Sh23 million for a contest that will see seven women walk away with Sh1.3 million each.

The contest is a search for women-led technology business through the lender’s Women in Tech Incubator Programme that enters its sixth edition this year.

Through the programme, a total of 15 applicants will participate in a 12 week incubation programme and thereafter seven will be shortlisted to benefit from the seed funding.

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“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. The programme has been designed to bridge the finance and capacity building gap that women entrepreneurs face,” said Joyce Kibe, the bank’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing Kenya and East Africa.

The window of application is already open and will run for two months until May 28, 2023. The focus areas of this cohort will be centered around women-led startups with components of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things; Big Data; Machine Learning; Robotics; Big Data and Block chain.

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“The business must be a female founded business and the female founder must have a majority stake in the company. Business model must also have a clear focus on sustainability and alignment to the sustainable development goals,” part of the application requirement spells out.

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.

In the venture capital sector, nearly 85 per cent of investors are men supporting male founders, while only 12 percent of venture capital firm decision-makers are women.

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