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StanChart allocates Kes 20M to Support Women Entrepreneurs

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Standard Chartered in partnership with Strathmore University @iBizAfrica has announced that Women in tech incubator cohort three is now open for women-led small and medium businesses leveraging on technology.

The Bank has set aside KES 20 million for capacity building for women-owned small enterprises leveraging on technology.

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 Mr Kariuki.

To date, from cohort one, 4 out of 5 of the companies have received investor funding ranging from USD 50,000 – 150,000.

“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.

Strathmore University Vice-Chancellor designate, Dr Vincent Ogutu said that over the last 2 years through the Women in Tech programme @iBizAfrica has incubated over 20 women-led startups, 10 of whom have received USD 10,000 in funding for their businesses.

“We have offered mentorship, coaching, legal and financial advice to help them better understand how to leverage more on the opportunities that they have in order to place their business at an advantage in the Kenyan market. This is yet another year, another opportunity for more women in Kenya to apply for this programme and give their business a great chance at success,” Ogutu added.

Speaking at the same launch, Permanent Secretary, Ms 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 Ms 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 a 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 the 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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