Village Capital and Standard Chartered Bank have partnered to pilot a financing facility to invest in the bank’s Women in Tech program alumni.

The focus of the program will on early stage, impact focused start-ups led by women founders. The initiative seeks to address the gender financing gap that persists in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It will provide much needed catalytic capital, empowering women entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges they face in accessing investment and financing opportunities.

“We’re extremely excited to partner with Standard Chartered Bank to support their vision to lift participation of women globally by driving more investment capital to impact-driven women founders,” said Heather Matranga, Vice President, Impact Investments, Village Capital.

“For over a decade, Village Capital has been developing systems and processes to improve equity in investment decision-making and ultimately unlock more opportunity and capital for women-founded and led ventures. Through this pilot facility, we intend to provide innovative and catalytic financing that truly meets the needs of women entrepreneurs across a range of business models and markets,” she continued.

As a milestone in this partnership, Village Capital has announced its inaugural investment in two women-led start-ups. They are;

1. Bena Care, a Kenyan start-up delivering affordable clinical and supportive care to patients with life-limiting illnesses in the comfort of own homes.
2. Mighty Finance, a Zambian fintech start-up with a compelling mission to provide access to capital for primarily women-led businesses.

Benacare will receive USD 75,000 (Ksh. 12 million), while Mighty Finance will receive USD 75,000, bringing the cumulative investment to $150,000 (Ksh. 24 million).

“We are excited to be able to partner with Village Capital to bolster our successful Women in Tech program, which has trained more than 70 women-led businesses by providing them with critical support to help scale their businesses to international standards,” said Joyce Kibe, Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Standard Chartered. “We believe by supporting more women in business, we are stimulating more robust and resilient economic activity, while providing support for inputs that are often neglected for start-up businesses”.

Since its inception, Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech program has successfully completed six cohorts where 64 women led businesses have participated in the programme. Thirty two of the businesses have been awarded grants totaling Ksh. 44 million.