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STANCHART TECH INNOVATION TO ATTRACT MORE WOMEN

With just less 10 days before Africa’s leading incubator programme for female-run and founded businesses closes it’s doors for this year’s incubation programme, BongoHive says it is optimistic that a reasonable number of women will be recruited.
Zambia’s first technology and innovation hub, BongoHive discloses that the Hub has received a number of applicants for the Standard Chartered (SC) Zambia sponsored Women in Technology (WiT) incubator in the last 6 weeks and it remains hopeful that it will recruit even more during the last 10 remaining days.
The SC WiT Incubator programme is meant to reach out to women who are using technology in their businesses and those who are not currently using it but can see the possibility to incorporate technology innovation in their business.
It aligns with calls for more diversity in technology, entrepreneurship and for more opportunities for women to develop entrepreneurial and leadership excellence.
This is in line with the bank’s Sustainability and Community Engagement strategy and focuses on supporting innovation, infrastructure and technology.
Meanwhile, BongoHive notes “the challenge, therefore, has been in recruiting more than just tech-based businesses. We are looking to have businesses that are varied, but all we want to see women are currently using technology.”

The SC WiT programme, which was started in 2014, is aimed at supporting the growth of female-led enterprises by providing an opportunity for women business owners who are using or want to use technology as a catalyst for the growth of their businesses.

In partnership with BongoHive, Standard Chartered Bank will be running an incubator and accelerator programme for women in Zambia who have technologically oriented business concepts that they have developed and are ready to scale up.

In the first 3-month, the incubation programme will guide the participants on how to successfully transition from being an early-stage startup to an established company through mentorship and coaching.

Participants will get the opportunity to have one-on-one business advisory sessions as well as gain knowledge on business modelling, finance and legal advisory, among others.

As an additional incentive, they will also be introduced to funding opportunities, promotional opportunities and access to regular webinars from experts.

However, the participants through digitalisation and digital transformation will be provided with specialised technical support from a professional software development team.

The programme will help to leverage technology to significantly improve various aspects of their business; from streamlining sales and distribution to managing remote teams efficiently. “We will also help your business to have a digital presence by developing mobile and web applications.”

Five months of technical support towards the development and launch of the winning businesses digital solutions will be unleashed and an additional three months support in the promotion of the winning businesses online, in media and at industry events.

The programme is an initiative of Standard Chartered Bank Zambia and being implemented by BongoHive, following the successful implementation of the Women in Tech programme in Kenya, Nigeria and Bahrain to mention a few.

The key objective of the incubator programme is to help Zambian Women entrepreneurs or business owners who want to or are leveraging technology to grow their business but lack the necessary support. The programme is designed to provide targeted support in areas of business operations, digitisation and digital transformation, accounting and financial management.

What do you think?

Written by Alfonso Kasongo

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