The second cohort of the Standard Chartered Bank’s Women in Technology (WIT) Incubator programme has been launched in Accra.
The initiative is in collaboration with Ashesi University’s Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC).
Championed by Standard Chartered, the Women in Tech Incubator Programme, is specifically designed for women-led or women-owned businesses that are applying technological innovation to their operations, or women-owned tech start-ups.
For the duration of the programme, Standard Chartered Bank, through Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) will offer a series of interventions to selected businesses including opportunities to pitch for and secure financial grants for scaling up their business and access to dedicated enterprise and portfolio managers.
These selected businesses will be given access to GCIC’s highly acclaimed High Values Mini MBA and the Women Entrepreneurs Transformation Programme.
The first cohort of Women in Tech business incubator provided premium business incubation services to 40 women-owned or women-led businesses.
Five top finalists were awarded GH¢57,000 each as seed funding from Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited to scale up their business operations.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer of StanChart, Mansa Nettey said the Women in Technology programme affirms their commitment as a bank to empower women.
Operating in Ghana for 125 years, she noted that, they have contributed to the socio-economic development of the nation by reducing poverty and inequality through various initiatives.
The StanChart CEO was happy to announce that the businesses they supported in the first cohort have increased revenue and have been able to employ 27 full-time workers and 22 part-time workers; 60 percent of whom are women.
Madam Mansa Nettey noted that they have expanded cohort 2 to accommodate a lot more entrepreneurs, added more causes to help enhance their businesses.
“I expect that the cohort 2 we are launching today, will build on the successes to further enhance the programme” she added.
Managing Director of Dimension Data, Yvette Adounvo Atekpe said the initiative by StanChart is timely.
According to her, 52 percent of women are financially excluded in the digital technology space hence such initiative is laudable.
Madam Yvette Atekpe advocated for a Women Venture Top-up Fund to be set up to mitigate things that limit women businesses.
She urged young women to take advantage of the opportunity offered by StanChart and apply.
Deputy Minister of Communications, Ama Pomaa Boateng also commended StanChart for the laudable initiative.
She said the SC Women in Tech programme is in line with government’s goal to empower young women and girls to pursue careers in the technology space.
The Deputy Communications Minister assured of government’s readiness to create the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
Ama Pomaa Boateng said the Ministry is ready to collaborate with StanChart and other private entities helping to digitally transform Ghana’s economy.
Global Head, Community Engagement, Standard Chartered, Khadija Hashimi underscored StanChart’s commitment to bring women into a socially inclusive platform.
“The whole idea is for us to identify female lead businesses which has wonderful opportunities to grow through technology”
This, she stated is part of their support to boost learning through technology across Ghana and other markets in Africa and Middle East.
Madam Khadija Hashimi also urged young women with start-ups to take advantage of the opportunity by StanChart. “I wish all the women who will join this cohort the very best. Please use this opportunity; it is a wonderful platform for you to learn outside Ghana” she said.