Five women-led businesses received $10,000 each as equity-free seed funding after completing 3 months of training through the Standard Chartered Women in Tech incubator programme.

Since November 2020, BongoHive has been working with Standard Chartered Zambia to train and equip women entrepreneurs with a focus on providing digital solutions in their businesses through the Standard Chartered Women in Tech programme. It is an entrepreneurship training programme for women-led startups that are currently using or looking to use digital technology in their businesses. They receive business management and operations training, access to legal advice, accounting and financial coaching, as well as mentorship and tech support.

The second cohort of the programme was launched in November 2021 with over a 100 applications being received. Forty startups were selected for an intense 1 week bootcamp held in February. The women were taught essential entrepreneurship skills such as gaining customer insights, developing a Unique Value Proposition, Business Modeling and how to pitch, leading up to a pitch session that was held over two days. Following the pitches, 12 businesses were selected in the month of March to particpate in the seocnd cohort.

The 12 participating businesses have undergone a three-month long business incubation, and on the morning of Tuesday 14th June, 10 of them pitched to a panel of judges at Standard Chartered House for a chance to win USD10,000 seed funding. The final 10 participants were AccessBubble, AfriConté, EdgeExpress, LARN Innovation Hub, Mighty Finance Solution, Rivuuz, Shengamo Media, Team Gematrix, Wilocate, and Zedex.

The panel of judges consisted of Rashmi Sharma (cofounder of Jewel of Africa), Lombe Lumbwe (Transaction Lead at Open Capital) and Christine Matambo (Head of Office Group Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, and Group Compliance at Standard Chartered Zambia).

During the evening’s Award Ceremony, BongoHive cofounder and Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Simunza Muyangana highlighted that BongoHive is always excited to collaborate with great minds such as Standard Chartered who are keen to contribute to the growth of the economy by equiping local entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills that they need to ensure that they maximise their potential through technology and innovation. He further noted the importance of programmes such as this as many entrepreneurs lack support for capacity building, mentorship and access to vital networkswhen scaling a business.

And Standard Chartered Zambia’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Bwalya also spoke about the lack of support for micro and small business owners, particularly with financial management skills to grow their businesses. He stated that the Standard Chartered Women in Tech is one of the innovative ways in which the Bank empowers and lifts the participation of women-led small businesses to harness technology and help them scale up their businesses through the provision of support, mentorship and access to resources such as funding.

The following are the winners of USD10,000 equity-free seed funding:
AfriConté, an African homeware brand that collaborates with talented African artisans to birth handmade contemporary African pieces for modern spaces.
AccessBubble, a tech startup, working with freelance designers across Zambia to create digital transformation technologies.
Rivuuz, a Zambian business that connects quality, vetted service providers across a wide range of service categories to consumers looking for various services.
Mighty Finance Solution Limited, a business that offers short term financing through financial solutions in a quick, easy, flexible and reliable way.
Wilocate Logistics, a business that provides moving services for both residential and commercial clients.

The 5 winners will receive a further 6-months of continued support from BongoHive and Stadard Chartered Zambia to assist with building their tech products and solutions and go-to market strategies.

We wish all the women that took part in the SC Women in Tech Programme the very best and our doors remain open to impart knowledge and skills needed to build viable solutions that will change the world.

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