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Standard Chartered launches incubator program for women in agritech resizeimage

By George Munene

Standard Chartered Bank Limited has launched the Women in Technology Cohort 5 Incubator Program, an initiative that seeks to fund Kenyan women in tech offering solutions to challenges in agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing, IT, financial services, and logistics.

The incubator program for female-founded businesses helps improve diversity in technology and entrepreneurship. The program is an initiative of Standard Chartered in partnership with @iBizAfrica Centre, Strathmore University.

Speaking during its launch event, Standard Chartered Bank CEO Kariuki Ngari said the funding does not only improve growth prospects for these enterprises but also contributes to more representation in key emerging sectors such as agritech, clean energy tech, and fintech, which are emerging frontiers for economic growth.

“Women-led businesses account for a substantial number of SMEs and it’s therefore crucial that they are well-positioned for growth. To close this gap, there is a need for knowledge building, as well as funding that is customized to remove barriers and eliminate the bias that women founders face,” he added.

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The programs eligibility criteria:

  1. The business must be based in Kenya i.e. be aligned with the needs of Kenyans and operating in Kenya
  2. The company must be tech-enabled and/or leveraging on emerging technologies, including but not limited to; Internet of Things (IoT); Artificial Intelligence; Robotics; Augmented & Virtual Reality; 3D & 4D Printing; Cloud Computing; Big Data; Blockchain; Drone Technology and Biometrics.
  3. The company must be founded or co-founded by a woman with an equal or majority stake.
  4. The founder or co-founder must be over 18 years old and Kenyan 
  5. Business models must have a clear focus on sustainability and alignment to the United Nation’s
  6. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  7. 3 months to less than 2 years of operations.
  8. Seeking support for proof of concept, customer, product, and business model development.
  9. Pre-revenue with early traction (users).
  10. Post revenue is an added advantage, with the creation of a new business module.

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The program will offer participants:

  1. 12 weeks of an immersive learning experience
  2. Access to a leading network of coaching experts
  3. Access to B2B networking opportunities
  4. Personalized mentorship sessions to address your unique business needs
  5. Opportunity to join a supportive Women in Tech Alumni Network
  6. KES 1,000,000 equity-free grant seed funding for the top five finalists
  7. 9 months ongoing support from Standard Chartered and @iBizAfrica to assist with the go-to market and scale for the top five finalists.

To apply, visit here.

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