Business 7.6.2018 09:53 pm

Black female tech-entrepreneurs chosen for Absa entrepreneurship programme

Zedek Fibre Telecomms is a unique fibre infrastructure provider committed to enabling internet connectivity for all. Catering for both homes and businesses, founder Lizzy Katlego Mabena has a strong focus on schools, hospitals, and hard-to-reach communities. Pictures: ANA

Zedek Fibre Telecomms is a unique fibre infrastructure provider committed to enabling internet connectivity for all. Catering for both homes and businesses, founder Lizzy Katlego Mabena has a strong focus on schools, hospitals, and hard-to-reach communities. Pictures: ANA

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.

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.

Miriam Vallie (Lily Brinjal eCommerce).

Lily Brinjal, founded by Miriam Vallie, is an online store boasting beautiful, locally-produced items by tapping into Cape Town’s creative pool of talent. Vallie provides a platform for the public to access these local products.

Tarryn Cardre Abrahams (BoudoirBoxSAeCommerce).

Boudoir Box is an online store focused on sourcing locally-produced, luxury, designer lingerie for the plus-size market. Founded by Tarryn Cardre Abrahams, this unique e-commerce store includes a subscription pamper box.

Mpho Kate Sekwele (SintuOnline)

SintuOnline, founded by Mpho Kate Sekwele, aims to promote African heritage to a global customer base by providing a platform for African designers and craftspeople to showcase their products.  Sekwele focuses primarily on women and, through the site, aims to assist them to scale their businesses.

Santina Iya (Rydwith Holdings Security Tech).

Rydwith Holdings Security Tech provides a quick response for people to get out of danger. Founder, Santina Iya, has developed a wearable panic button that allows the user to share their location coordinates with local police, private security, and loved ones.

Zedek Fibre Telecomms is a unique fibre infrastructure provider committed to enabling internet connectivity for all. Catering for both homes and businesses, founder Lizzy Katlego Mabena has a strong focus on schools, hospitals, and hard-to-reach communities.

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)

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