Standard Chartered Bank  has partnered with @iBizAfrica Strathmore University to launch the 5th cohort of the Women in Tech incubator program. The program aims at championing for more diversity in technology and for more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership excellence.

The program’s theme for this year is‘’ Advancing global trends in women owned businesses’’, indicating that a high level of consideration will be given towards women owned businesses that incorporate global trends including emerging technologies, sustainability and digital economy accelerants. This is aligned to emerging global trends as well as local post pandemic recovery efforts that have signaled that businesses will need to adopt these trends for sustainable growth.

The 5th cohort of the Women in Tech program will choose 10 applicants to participate in the 12 week incubation program. These companies will  undergo training, coaching and mentorship offered by the @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University network of key industry experts, faculty, business leaders, experienced mentors, and professionals. Through the incubation, all the entrepreneurs will get expert training in the areas of idea conceptualization, strategy formulation and marketing which is key in moving the businesses from incubation to sustainable ventures.

Among the thematic areas that will be covered in the 5th cohort is post Covid-19 recovery, along with its intersection with the rise of internet media, AI & Big Data, gender diversity in businesses and green businesses. The 5th cohort provides a unique opportunity for women with unique innovations to grow their entrepreneurial success through capacity building, mentorship, coaching and access to financial support.

The Women in Tech program is part of the bank’s community engagement initiative, Futuremakers. It aims to tackle the issue of inequality and promoting greater economic inclusion for young people in various communities and economies, with a focus on girls and women.

Since its launch in 2017, the Women in Tech program has attracted over 1,150 applications supporting 4 Cohorts. Of the applicants, 41 businesses have gone through the program with 20 teams being awarded USD 10,000 each in seed money. Winning teams have ranged from ecommerce platforms to food supply and nutrition, beauty care, education, insurance, and more.

 Kariuki Ngari Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Standard Chartered Bank said, “ SME’s contribute to 70% of jobs and are therefore a huge enabler of economic growth. Without SMEs, there would be a low level of innovation, economic productivity and global competitiveness. Therefore, as the country inches towards economic recovery, a strong SME ecosystem supported by access to capital and capacity building will be integral. Women led businesses account for a substantial number of SMEs and it’s therefore crucial that they are well positioned for growth.’’

You can register for the 5th cohort here.