Five black women in technology entrepreneurs have been selected by Absa’s Rise innovation hub to participate in an entrepreneurship assistance programme, hosted at the Cape Town facility.
“The chosen entrepreneurs will enter an intensive, 12-week boot camp that is set to culminate in a funding pitch to potential investors at Rise,” said Camilla Swart, ecosystem manager at Rise Cape Town, Absa’s Cape Town-based innovation hub.
“Absa is thrilled to be able to support this programme, which will essentially allow the chosen female tech founders access to an advisory board, a business coach, financial management and modeling tools as well as access to a world-class network by being based at Rise Cape Town for the duration of the programme.”
According to the most recent global entrepreneurship monitor, despite climbing up one spot to rank 22nd in terms of gender parity, South Africa still has a way to go in closing the entrepreneurial gender gap, where only seven women are engaged in early-stage entrepreneurship for every ten male entrepreneurs.
Some industries, however, have more work to do than others when it comes to leveling the gender playing field.
Swart had also highlighted the technology sector as one such area that required additional support in terms of driving diversity and inclusion.
“The initiative aims to plug the so-called leaky tech pipeline by actively focusing on black female business founders, and the five chosen participants have just been announced,” Swart said.
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Following intensive coaching during the boot camp, Antoinette Prophy, co-creator of Rise Scalerator said that the five selected founders will have the opportunity to attend monthly networking events with tech experts and investors.
She emphasised that being part of the extensive Rise community will no doubt have a ripple effect and benefit to the entrepreneurs well beyond the funding pitches.
– African News Agency (ANA)