The winning firms include,Ecila firms,Ufasiri Halisi SLI innovations Limited,The Viwanda Africa Group,Runnovate,Mandevu Beard Care.
The successful participants were selected through a rigorous process undertaken by a team of professionals, from, Dry Associates Limited ,Victoria Ventures ,Standard Chattered Africa Bank and @ iBizAfrica-Strathmore University.
The participants were required to meet the expectations including the in the following areas, scalability, technology adoption, entrepreneurial and leadership excellence.
The fourth cohort of The Women in Tech program was virtually launched in October 2020 and in the end 10 participants were selected out of 111 who had applied. The successful participants have undergone, training, coaching and mentorship @iBizAfrica-Strathmore University by key industry experts, faculty, business leaders and professionals.
The theme of the program was Accelerating Digital Economy Through Women owned Business and was focused on business that were Tech enabled or those that were leveraged on emerging Technologies such as IOT, Robotics, Augmented and virtual reality, Cloud Computing and Drone Technology and Biometrics among others. And in addition, those who have been in operation for three months and not over 5 years.
Women in Tech program is part of the Bank’s community engagement strategy, Futuremakers which aims at tackling issue of inequality and promoting greater economic inclusion for young people in various communities and economies, particularly , girls and women. The program is in partnership with iBizAfrica – Strathmore University Incubation Centre.
Kariuki Ngari, CEO & MD, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya & East Africa said, ‘’Sub Africa has a substantial number of women entrepreneurs, yet female led tech startups only account for a very few of these. This is despite research showing that technology firms led by women experience have 35 percent higher return on investment. Having this in consideration and through engagement with the past participants of the program, we understand that there is a need for enabling ecosystems for women entrepreneurs especially in the technology space which carries enormous potential for growth across many industries.’’
The joint initiative aims to offer entrepreneurial training, incubation and financial support which are instrumental in building sustainable businesses. It was noted that, during the pandemic, the 10 business under the program were still thriving and even some increasing turnover since joining the program
Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director iBizAfrica and @iLabAfrica Research and Innovation Centre, Strathmore University said, “@iBizAfrica Centre is proud to have worked with the 10 businesses participating in the fourth cohort of the WIT Program. During this incubation period, we’ve seen these impressive women led businesses increase the number of staff, carry out product enhancements, receive funding and obtain new clients. These milestones are very encouraging and a testament of the success of the program and we look forward to facilitating the growth and scalability of even more enterprises across the continent.’’
Since launch of the program, the past participants have recorded a massive increase in revenue and secured further independent seed funding.