By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
PHASE two of the Women in Technology (WiT) programme meant to empower female-led businesses will be launched by Standard Chartered Bank in the last quarter of this year.
Standard Chartered launched the first phase of the incubator programme last year, in partnership with BongoHive.
The Women in Tech incubator is designed to provide support, mentorship opportunities, banking products and services to female entrepreneurs, in addition to seed funding.
This presents yet another opportunity for the bank to contribute further to empowering Zambian female-owned businesse, says Standard Chartered Bank Zambia and Southern Africa Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Christine Matambo.
Ms Matambo stressed that the programme also presented another unique opportunity for more Zambian female-owned businesses to participate.
“Despite more individuals and businesses now having greater access to financial services than ever before, many micro and small business owners still lag behind with regard to access to financing and management skills to grow their business,” she said in a statement.
Ms Matambo indicated that with more women starting and owning their own businesses especially in the SME sector, the challenge of scaling up or growing these businesses remained a reality.
“As a bank, we are delighted and very proud that our first cohort of the SC Women in Tech attracted over 80 applications from Zambian female-led businesses. In July 2021, we were, once again, very proud to announce the five winners who received US$10,000 each of seed funding to finance the acceleration / scaling up of their businesses.
She said as a sustainable bank with a rich 115-year history of operating in Zambia, lifting the participation of women, amongst others, in business and wider economy was a key priority for the institution.