Published: October 25, 2023 12:44 (EAT)
Seven Kenyan women-led startups on Wednesday received seed funding of Ksh 1.4 million each at the sixth graduation ceremony of the Women in Tech incubator program.
This year’s program, run by Standard Chartered Bank Kenya in partnership with Strathmore University’s iBizAfrica incubator, launched in March with the theme “Leveraging Technology for Impact.”
It included 15 women-led startups from the agriculture, law, education and healthcare sectors.
Standard Chartered awarded Ksh9.8 million to seven ventures; Register with us, Instruct Africa, Saidiwa Rides, PanaCare, Imani Health, Know Learning Limited and Rhea Soil Health Management.
We have been able to drive growth within our latest cohort and we are confident that entrepreneurs who have gone through the program will be better equipped to seize opportunities in the various sectors they serve, said Kariuki Ngari, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Kenya.
The Women in Tech incubator program supports women-led businesses through an immersive educational experience, providing them with access to mentoring and coaching services, seed funding, and business-to-business connections for high-potential startups.
According to a joint statement issued by Standard Chartered and iBizAfrica, the 15 ventures underwent a three-month incubation period that included modules such as business plan development, strategy formulation, Internet of Things (IoT), marketing, big data and artificial intelligence (AI). ).
Since 2017, the Women in Tech program has trained over 64 women-led businesses and 32 of them have received seed funding worth over Ksh 1.2 million ($10,000) each.
Oxfam data on SMEs in Kenya shows that 31.4% of local SMEs are owned by women, which is significantly lower than the total number in Africa, which is 58% according to the World Bank.
Limited access to finance, exclusion from key networks, as well as social and legal constraints resulting from social norms are just some of the challenges that hinder the development of women-owned businesses compared to their male counterparts.
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