We have detected you are using an outdated browser.

Kindly upgrade your version of Internet Explorer or use another browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Kenya Women-Led Businesses to benefit from KSH 5M set aside for Cohort Four of the Women in Tech Incubator by Standard Chartered and Strathmore University

Atabantu CEO and Cofounder, Carrie Kaumbulu: right, emerged the winner of the Cohort Two of Women In Tech in 2019. She was a panelist during the Launch of Women In Tech Cohort Four.

@iBizAfrica, Strathmore University’s business incubator, in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, launched the Fourth Cohort of the Women in Tech 2020 programme on Thursday, October 15. The launch of the Women in Tech Fourth Cohort provides an opportunity to reflect on the representation of women entrepreneurs and determine pathways to enhancing their participation in the ecosystem.

KES. 1 million in seed funding

The initiative will see women-led businesses in Kenya stand a chance to win KES. 1 million in seed funding. The ‘Women in Tech’ is an initiative targeting women-led start-ups leveraging on technology as a key driver to innovation in business in Kenya and across Africa. This year’s theme, “Accelerating the Digital Economy through Women-Owned Businesses” reinforces the importance of scaling the gains of female-focused entrepreneurial programmes and expanding our mandate in bridging the financing and industry gaps for early-stage ventures.

Since the launch of the Women in Technology Programme in 2017, over 1,100 entrepreneurs have applied to be a part of the programme, 120 start-ups have been shortlisted with 30 taking part in the incubator programme. 15 outstanding start-ups have benefitted from the seed funding of KES. 1 million each to grow their businesses.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Joseph Sevilla Director of @iBizAfrica, said, “Over the last three years we have seen a large number of women led businesses apply for the Women in tech programme. Last year alone we had over 700 applicants showed interest in the programme. This, combined with applications from cohort 1 and cohort 2, shows the appetite and demand for such support framework for women-owned businesses. These women-led business have received support in the form of training, mentorship and coaching at Strathmore University through our supportive network with Standard Chartered Bank.”

12-week incubation mentorship

Key guest, Standard Chartered Chief Operating Officer, Peter Gitau, said, “To date, over 75% of innovations in different cohorts have attracted additional funding from both development partners and equity investors ranging from USD 50,000 – USD 150,000, and their businesses have grown revenue and sales in double digits”.

Apart from the KES. 1 million seed funding each of the top five participants receive, the teams are taken through a 12-week incubation mentorship and training through the Bank’s Employee Volunteering programme. Through the incubation, all the entrepreneurs are offered expert training in the areas of idea conceptualization, strategy formulation and marketing which is key in moving the businesses from incubation to sustainable ventures.

Women-led startups leveraging on technology

Some of the women-led businesses beneficiaries of the programme include Bena Care, Lugha Ishara, Nature Bowl, Atabantu Tech, Dermijoy, and Bumpy Maternity. One of the past winners, Carrie Kaumbulu – Founder, Atabantu Tech, took part in the panel discussion that was moderated by Ms. Jaine Mwai – Chief Information Officer, Standard Chartered Bank.  Other panelists included Rebecca Wanjiku- CEO Fireside Communications, Dr. Catherine Adeya- Board Member, Standard Chartered Bank, Olga Arara-Kimani- Regional Head Corporate Affairs Brand & Marketing all from Standard Chartered bank.

The call for applicants is now open for women-led small and medium businesses leveraging on technology and new business models to drive change and grow communities.

The programme is an initiative of Standard Chartered in partnership with Strathmore University’s @iBizAfrica to provide startups with the right support to grow their businesses to international standards. To register for the programme visit www.womenintech.co.ke


This article was written by Annete Karanja.


Would you like to share your experience of living through the circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic? Kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu