iHub Women in Business program – Opportunity for Female Entrepreneur

CcHub and iHub has launched the 2nd edition of the Women in Business program, as one that not only focuses on women-led technology businesses, but women-led businesses as a whole, and how these women can better leverage technology to scale their solutions in the African market. The program is now also open to Nigeria in addition to Kenya.

Some of the benefits to female entrepreneurs include:

1. The use of technology to achieve a strategically differentiated business that speaks to the heart of customer needs.

2. An ability to speak investor language and leverage sound financial understanding of one’s business to secure capital and partnerships.

3. Support to expand one’s business across multiple geographical markets

4. Knowledge on how to attract, develop, and retain a strong team

5. Access to a robust network of investors, corporate executives, and software developers to help scale one’s business

This program will bring together female entrepreneurs, software developers, investors, SMEs, corporates and industry experts across multiple sectors.

More details on the program can be found here: https://ihub.co.ke/blogs/34722/women-in-business-cohort-2, and a link to the application form here: http://bit.ly/ihub-wibform.

Blogpost

Background

With the rise of technology innovation in Africa, multiple sectors such as energy, agriculture, finance, and healthcare are undergoing rapid changes. We’re starting to see African solutions that have global applications in areas such as digital payments and drone delivery for instance.

Africa’s populations currently consist of 50% men and 50% women. There is a growing conversation on the disparity in the number of men and women in technology and a growth in interventions to combat the ‘leaky pipeline’ phenomenon that sees women deviating from careers in STEM due to structural barriers such as poor support networks for childcare amongst others.

In 2019, we launched the Women in Business program, to grow the number of socially and economically empowered women who run sustainable businesses working in the technology sector in Kenya.

The conversation on supporting more women in Technology is crucial, but just as crucial, if not more so, is the need for female entrepreneurs to be supported in leveraging technology in their business regardless of the sector. People are often less likely to build solutions in industries or sub-industries they have no relationship with. Given that a majority of women in Africa run non-technology businesses, there is currently a case to support women-led businesses that will benefit from the application of technological innovation.

Objective

Against this background, CcHub and iHub will implement the 2nd edition of the Women in Business program as one that not only focuses on women-led technology businesses, but women-led businesses as a whole, and how these women can better leverage technology to scale their solutions in the African market. This program will focus on businesses in Nigeria and Kenya with the aim to:

  1. Enhance the ways in which women-led businesses leverage technology to better serve their market

Our Design team will support program participants in assessing and improving their product-market fit, as well as strengthening their value proposition. This will highlight opportunities for the embedding of technology in their processes.

  1. Build the capacity of women-led businesses to secure capital

Training from our internal team will support program participants toward being investors ready. We will create avenues for the women to engage with investors through a showcase and a demo day at the end of the program. There is also the opportunity for the participants to get investment from CcHub/iHub via our investment vehicles.

  1. Catalyse the expansion efforts of women-led businesses in the African market

From cohort 1, we identified a need to support participants in their efforts to expand into other African markets. Cohort 2 will see us take a more intentional approach in providing participants with knowledge and strategies around expansion, as well as relevant introductions through our networks.

  1. Build the capacity of female entrepreneurs to attract, develop, and retain quality talent

This has always been a big challenge for startups on the continent. We will be tackling this in our program by leveraging our People team’s expertise and creating linkages to quality talent – both through our graduate internship program as well as partnerships with organizations that train tech talent.

  1. Create access to market opportunities

The women will have the opportunity to increase their market share through engagement with corporate executives and industry advisors in our extensive network. This will be done through multiple ways including a matchmaking process to give participants continuous support throughout the program. We believe that access to industry-relevant expertise will provide key insights and introductions that will propel the participants and their business forward.

Benefits to Female Entrepreneurs

1. The use of technology to achieve a strategically differentiated business that speaks to the heart of customer needs.

2. An ability to speak investor language and leverage sound financial understanding of your business to secure capital and partnerships.

3. Support to expand your business across multiple geographical markets.

4. Knowledge on how to attract, develop and retain a strong team.

5. Access to a robust network of investors, corporate executives and software developers to help scale your business.

This program will bring together female entrepreneurs, software developers, investors, SMEs, corporates and industry experts across multiple sectors

Criteria

The criteria for participation for the program include:

* Women-led business interested in leveraging technology to scale their businesses

* Registered, with operations in Kenya or Nigeria

* The strong (well-rounded) founding team, working full-time on the business

* Businesses with proven traction in the market (e.g. customers, revenue)

* Scalable businesses that meet a real need.

Apply to be part of the program

If you fit the above criteria, please fill out an application on this link: https://bit.ly/ihub-wibform. If you have any questions during the process, please send an email startups@ihub.co.ke or ask a question on the application platform.

On July 31st, we will host a webinar to answer questions from applying entrepreneurs. Look out for more information on this on our website and social media.

Email copy for sharing with eligible entrepreneurs

Email Subject: Exciting Opportunity for female entrepreneurs- The iHub Women in Business program

Dear [Name],

Last year, iHub launched the Women in Business program to grow the number of socially and economically empowered women who run sustainable businesses in the technology sector in Kenya. On Friday 10th July, they graduated the 1st cohort of 7 entrepreneurs from the program. A replay of the event is available here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/women-in-business-demo

.

iHub recently launched the 2nd call for applications for their Women in Business program which will support both tech and non-tech businesses! This program will focus on businesses in Nigeria and Kenya with the aim to:

1. Enhance the ways in which women-led businesses leverage technology to better serve their market.

2. Build the capacity of women-led businesses to secure capital

3. Catalyze the expansion efforts of women-led businesses in the African market

4. Build the capacity of female entrepreneurs to attract, develop and retain quality talent

5. Create access to market opportunities

If you’re interested, learn more about the program here: https://ihub.co.ke/blogs/34722/women-in-business-cohort-2.

The application form can be accessed on this link: http://bit.ly/ihub-wibform. The deadline for applications is August 15, 2020.

On July 31st, iHub will host a webinar to answer questions from entrepreneurs filling out applications. Please look out for communication about this on iHub’s Twitter account, @iHub. If you have any questions as you fill out the application, please contact startups@ihub.co.ke.

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Innov8tiv.com

Innov8tiv is a dynamic Web source for technology news, resources and innovation, with a special focus on the entrepreneurial advances of Africans on the continent as well as in the Diaspora. This site seeks to not only inform consumers and companies about the latest in tech trends and ideologies, but to shed light on a phenomenon often ignored: the inventive, life-changing and creative engine that exists in Africa and among leaders of color around the world, including the UK, the Caribbean, Australia, and Asia. Send story ideas to info@innov8tiv.com

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