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15 Women-led Startups Selected for Standard Chartered Women in Tech Cohort 6 Program

Standard Chartered tech cohort

Standard Chartered Kenya, in collaboration with @iBizAfrica-Strathmore University, has announced the shortlisting of fifteen women-led startups for the Women in Tech Program. These selected startups will undergo 12 weeks of intensive business incubation training, with seven of them receiving USD 10,000 each in funding to support their business growth.

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The Women in Tech (WiT) program by Standard Chartered aims to provide support to female-led entrepreneurial teams through business management training, mentoring, and seed funding. This year, the program received applications from over 250 startups across various sectors, including agritech, fintech, healthcare, mobility tech, disability tech, and construction. The number of businesses selected for incubation and funding has increased from previous cohorts, which saw 10 businesses incubated and 5 startups per cohort receiving funding.

The rigorous selection process for the Women in Tech Program required teams to demonstrate execution capacity, potential to solve socio-economic challenges in Kenya, and a balanced skill set across team lead, business development, product development, and marketing, with a focus on leveraging technology.

Ms. Joyce Kibe, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand, and Marketing East Africa at Standard Chartered, congratulated the fifteen women-led enterprises for making it through the selection process. She emphasized the bank’s commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs and addressing the funding gap that exists for women-led startups in Africa. According to research, female-led startups attracted less funding in 2022 compared to their male-led counterparts, and Standard Chartered aims to contribute to closing this gap through capacity building and targeted funding for women-led enterprises.

Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director of @iBizAfrica-Strathmore University, expressed his confidence in the Women in Tech Program’s ability to bridge the finance and capacity-building gap faced by women entrepreneurs. He encouraged the selected beneficiaries to take full advantage of the program, which will equip them with the necessary skills, training, mentorship, and financial literacy to enhance their chances of success.

The business incubation training for the Women in Tech Program aligns with the theme for this year, “Embracing Equity in Women-Led Businesses.” It focuses on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data, while also covering essential business aspects like idea conceptualization, strategy formulation, and marketing, which are crucial for transforming businesses from incubation to sustainable ventures.

The 15 enterprises chosen for the 12-week mentorship program at @iBizAfrica, Women in Tech 2023, include:

  1. Ecorich Solutions Limited: Provides affordable primary farm fertilizer through an AI-enabled recycling device called WasteBot.
  2. Imani Health Wallet: An e-wallet that enables individuals to save specifically for healthcare services.
  3. Sol Active (fusion): A web platform that connects landlords with empty retail spaces to brands for easy booking.
  4. Saidiwa (squad) Rides: A hailing app that aims to bridge the gap between unreliable public transportation and expensive digital taxis by introducing a cost-sharing model.
  5. Ento Farm: Produces protein-rich animal feed from dried insects using biotechnology.
  6. AgriTech Analytics: Builds innovation capabilities for startups in the geospatial information systems and AgriTech sectors, developing profitable and sustainable solutions.
  7. Techtenum Minds LTD: An e-learning platform that bridges the gap between academic curriculum and the job market by raising subject matter experts.
  8. MyAfya Africa: A digital health company focused on revolutionizing the accessibility and availability of mental health services.
  9. Rhea Soil Health Management Limited: Develops an IoT soil analysis device for smallholder farmers, providing data-driven recommendations.
  10. Know Learning Limited (Recess): A platform that facilitates transparent and efficient communication between parents and schools to improve learning outcomes.
  11. Sign with us: A sign language training institution that offers courses both online and in Meru.
  12. Acre-insights: Utilizes drones and satellites to collect data on crop growth, soil moisture, and other indicators to provide farmers with actionable insights.
  13. Instruct Africa: Provides affordable legal solutions to professionals in the informal sector.
  14. Panacare: Offers affordable and accessible healthcare services through telemedicine, leveraging USSD technology for consultations and remote monitoring.
  15. Tynka Global: A platform that connects entrepreneurs, experts, and investors, simplifying the process of forming partnerships.

Since its inception, the Women in Tech Program has supported more than 10 small and medium businesses by providing mentorship, advisory services, coaching, networking opportunities, access to seed capital, and investor forums. To date, 50 startups have participated, with 25 receiving over KES 1.2 million (USD 10,000) in seed funding. The previous five cohorts received over 2,000 applications, demonstrating the program’s popularity and impact in Kenya’s startup ecosystem.

About author

Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email: kaluka@techarena.co.ke
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