Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited in partnership with the Ghana Climate Change Innovation Centre (GCIC) has launched the Women in Tech Incubator (WIT) Programme.
Championed by Stanchart, the WIT 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.
Additionally, these selected businesses will be given access to GCIC’s highly acclaimed High Values Mini MBA and the Women Entrepreneurs Transformation Programme.
Empowering women led businesses
Commenting on the initiative, the Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, Mrs Mansa Nettey, said, “empowering businesses founded or led by females is crucial to accelerating progress towards achieving our nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Women in Tech Incubator will provide an opportunity for women-owned or led businesses to thrive in a post COVID-19 digital world by tapping into the opportunities offered by technology adaptation.”
“Collaborating with Ashesi University’s GCIC is key due to their understanding of the Ghanaian entrepreneurial ecosystem, expertise and commitment to excellence is distinctively complimentary to Standard Chartered Bank’s values and brand promise Here for good. We look forward to all that will be accomplished through this initiative, including redefining entrepreneurship,” she added.
Also commenting on the initiative, the Regional Head Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Africa & Middle East, Ms Olga Arara-Kimani, said “we have found that female techpreneurs face significant obstacles and structural inequalities in preventing them to scale their businesses, including financing and mentorship.
“With a thriving start-up scene, internet penetration at almost 50 per cent and the country having the highest rate of women-owned businesses globally, we believe that the Women in Tech Programme will plug the gap for female techpreneurs looking to grow their business at scale and foster a stronger and more dynamic startup ecosystem in Ghana,” she noted.
Women entrepreneurs need to thrive
For her part, the Executive Director of GCIC, Ms Ruka Sanusi, said collaborating with Stanchart to build the insight and resilience needed by women entrepreneurs to thrive in the innovation and technology sector was a huge privilege and responsibility.
“We look forward to providing the very best business advisory and support services as well as executive and leadership coaching to the selected women entrepreneurs.
“Working with Standard Chartered, we are committed to building the tenets upon which women entrepreneurs can enjoy mindset optimization, vision clarity and tried and tested structure that aligns with the operations of their business and their overall personal aspirations,” she stated.
Launched in 2014 in New York, Standard Chartered Bank’s WiT is now a global programme. In 2017 the first WIT incubator was launched in the Africa and Middle East region, with Kenya being the first market and have subsequently rolled it out in other key markets including Nigeria, UAE, Pakistan, Bahrain and Zambia with Ghana being the 7th market. In three years, the Bank has provided over $500,000 to various programme cohorts in these markets along with financial backing, Standard Chartered also provides training, mentoring and access to a wider network of other companies for these entrepreneurs.
The first cohort of Women in Tech business incubator will provide premium business incubation services to 40 women-owned or women-led businesses, with five selected top finalists receiving seed funding from Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited.