Scaling female tech founders in order to bridge gender divide
DIVERSITY and inclusion in the technology space are not uniquely a South African challenge, but has become a global imperative. Women are stepping up to own and run businesses in numbers that would have been hard to imagine a few decades ago.
According to analysts, this is redefining women’s economic and reshaping the modern global economy. A recent study paints a picture of the ideal world, where women play an identical role in labour markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26%, could be added to global annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.
Accordingly, an initiative has been launched to bring more women into entrepreneurship, mainly technology. Rise – the innovation hub owned by Absa – has launched the Rise Scalarator, focused on female founders in the Western Cape.
The Rise Scalarator is geared to play a crucial role in the global call-to-action actively focusing on Women-In-Tech.
The programme aims to support South African black female founders who have developed a post-minimum viable product tech solution to boost and scale their start-up, while acquiring a range of new competencies.
The initiative will focus on five female founders, from June to November 2018. The programme will kick off with a 12-week bootcamp, culminating in a funding pitch to be held at Rise, which will assist women to secure investment opportunities with the broader network.
The five selected founders will receive support from a business coach to boost their personal growth and leadership skills, to support the growth of their own employees, leadership team and company.
Antoinette Prophy, founder and managing director at the 88 Business Collective, who co-created the programme with Absa as project manager, said the programme was designed to focus on the beneficiaries holistically.
“They will have access to an advisory board, a business coach, financial management and modelling tools as well as access to a world-class network by being based at Rise Cape Town for the duration of the programme,” Prophy said.
“We are actively enhancing the trajectory of start-ups and increasing long-term sustainability,” said Camilla Swart, ecosystem manager at Rise Cape Town. – CAJ News