Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC has selected 20 female entrepreneurs to participate in Cohort Three of its Women in Technology programme. This was announced during an induction ceremony at its Head Office in Accra.
The incubator programme seeks to support women-owned businesses in applying technological innovation in their operations. This forms part of the bank’s commitment to creating opportunities for female entrepreneurs.
The 20 entrepreneurs will be taken through an incubation programme that comprises business advisory and financial interventions, including a highly-acclaimed, high-value Mini MBA programme managed by Ashesi University’s Ghana Climate Innovation Centre.
Experts on board will work to help the businesses scale-up, and equip them with the necessary skills to thrive in this current business environment.
At the incubation period’s end, the 20 female entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas and plans to a selection committee; and five outstanding businesses will receive US$10,000 (Cedi Equivalent) each to scale up.
Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing at Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, Asiedua Addae, told B&FT that given the contribution small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make to the economy, the programme will put selected businesses in a better position to thrive and experience sustainable growth.
“The reason we considered this extremely important is that we want to see women make an impact. Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest numbers of female entrepreneurs across the world; and in the MasterCard Foundation index, you will realise that Ghana is one of the countries that have the high numbers of female entrepreneurs. So this is our way of supporting female entrepreneurs, and particularly closing the equality-gap that exists,” she said.
She charged the female entrepreneurs to embrace the opportunity to learn and innovate to meet market demands and remain competitive in light of the evolving technological space.
“Beyond the money, the experience they are going to get is invaluable. I wish them the best as they begin this journey,” she added.
For her part, Chief Executive Officer of Eagle Innovations, Winifred Kotin, in her keynote presentation iterated the need for SMEs to understand that technology and innovation are the key measures for navigating the changing business terrain.
She therefore advised them to use technology for improving their operations, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
The Standard Chartered Women in Technology Programme is currently running in 9 countries of the Africa and Middle East region, 5 of which are in Africa. The programme is run in partnership with the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre, an Institute of Ashesi University.