SCWomenInTech WomenInTechKe StanChartKe
SCWomenInTech WomenInTechKe StanChartKe

Cohort 5

Advancing global trends in women owned businesses

COHORT 5 THEME

  • Advancing women owned businesses through global trends.
  • Promoting women owned businesses through global trends.

Global Trends

  1. Climate/Our relationship with our planet/Environmental social & governance factors
  2. Ecommerce
  3. FinTech
  4. AI & Big Data
  5. Sustainability through social responsibility.
  6. Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses.
  7. Rise of internet media & creative class.
  8. Digital learning & remote work.

Thematic Areas: The programs look to fund women in these areas: Digital Media, Agriculture, E-commerce, Health, Education, Climate, Fintech, AI & Big Data

Date: Applications Ongoing

Time: Deadline for application 9th May 2022

CONCEPT NOTE

Background

The Global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic hinges on a delicate balance amid new waves of infection, labour market challenges, lingering supply-side constraints and rising inflationary pressures. The global economy grew by 5.5 per cent in 2021 – the highest growth rate since 1976 – after contracting by 3.4 per cent in 2020. The recovery of output in 2021 largely represented the resumption of household spending and investment, which had come to a screeching halt in 2020 amid lockdown measures worldwide. The world economy is projected to grow by 4 per cent in 2022 and 3.5 per cent in 2023, converging towards its long-term trend of around 3 per cent per year between 2010 and 2019. As vaccinations progress and mobility increases, countries need to support small and medium enterprises, with a focus on youth and especially women.

Introduction

Women-led businesses are important contributors to the global economy, especially in developing countries, where SMEs are estimated to generate 70% of jobs and 40% of economic growth (Schnabel and Keenan, 2020). According to CNN, BBC and the Telegraph (UK), many women owned businesses have mushroomed post covid and they realize that “recovery from Covid-19 is impossible without women recovering.”

The post – covid effects on women owned businesses is one of the thematic areas that will be covered in the Women in Tech Cohort 5 along with its intersection with the rise of internet media, AI & Big Data, gender diversity in businesses and green businesses. These businesses are vital since in emerging markets, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, which create 7 out of 10 jobs.

Many youths across the world including Kenya are creating internet content. The Covid 19 pandemic has largely contributed to this trend. Artists, influencers, vloggers, gamers, educators, fashion houses, comedians, etc are resorting to the internet to create content and monetize it.

Women in Kenya face gender-based barriers when starting and growing their businesses, for example, in accessing business development support, social capital, and financial services. Underpinning these difficulties are gender norms that explicitly make the enabling environment more challenging for women in business. Support programmes such as the Women In Tech Incubator program are important in overcoming these barriers that impact on women’s ability to start and grow their businesses. The International’s Women’s Day 2022 theme “Break the Bias” supports this agenda.

The Covid pandemic has led to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and the decrease in transport which in turn has caused positive effects on the environment. Congnisant of the fact that the world today is embracing green growth, we count on the young entrepreneurs from the Women in Tech program to develop a more sustainable future.

Since its launch in 2017, the Women in Tech program has attracted over 1,150 applications supporting 4 Cohorts. Of the applicants, 41 businesses have gone through the program with 20 teams being awarded USD 10,000 each in seed money. Winning teams have ranged from ecommerce platforms, to food supply and nutrition, beauty care, education, insurance, and more. The launch of the Women in Tech Cohort 5 provides a unique opportunity for women with unique innovations to grow their entrepreneurial success through capacity building, mentorship, coaching and access to financial support.