Standard Chartered has partnered with iLab Africa to launch Women In Tech Incubator, an accelerator program to invest into women-led startups.
The new KES 20 million fund aims to identify and empower 5 women-led startups in Kenya and mentor them for over a period of one year.
According to Mr. Sunil Kaushal Standard Chartered Bank Regional CEO for Africa and Middle East, “We are optimistic that the Women In Tech Incubator program will change the fortunes of women entrepreneurs and business owners in Kenya. It will help identify, grow and bring to the market unique business ideas, while at the same time celebrating women in Kenya.”
The Kenyan initiative builds upon Standard Chartered’s global track record of increasing women’s access to entrepreneurial finance, and supporting adolescent girls and women through financing and capacity building. The Women In Tech incubator program is targeting women entrepreneurs and business owners in Kenya who want to or are using technology to grow their business but lack the requisite support.
Upon application, shortlisted entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch to a panel of judges who will then select the top 10 contestants with the most compelling idea or project. Thereafter, the 10 contestants will go through a 10 week Incubation period where they will have a chance to work on their projects and make them come to life. They will then present the final output to a panel of judges. The judges will then select five winners out of the 10, who will be announced during an award ceremony.
Each of the five winners will receive $10,000 to help grow their business. Standard Chartered 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 Center. 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.