KARACHI: Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited announced the names of the shortlisted start-ups for Cohort 2 of #SCWomenInTech.
#SCWomenInTech is a global programme aimed at supporting gender representation within technology-based entrepreneurship.
This year the programme received more than 250 applications out of which 25 have been shortlisted to embark on journey of discovery, learning and development. This year in addition to regular proposals we had introduced a new category for “COVID-19 relief-based proposals”. Of the 25 shortlisted businesses, five are COVID-19 related projects.
The Bank will be focusing on capacity building for women-owned small enterprises. The Standard Chartered Women in Tech programme targets female-led entrepreneurial teams to provide them with training, mentoring and grant funding. With the support of our partners, INNOVentures Global, these 25 shortlisted candidates will go through an extensive training and mentoring programme spread over more than 2 months. At the end of the training period, up to five winners will be chosen and each winner will be awarded a grant up to PKR1.5million to invest in their business. This year in addition to the regular businesses we will be giving two additional grants to COVID 19 related businesses.
Commenting on this launch Ms. Khadija Hashimi, Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered said, “I am proud to announce our second year Cohort which also includes female entrepreneurs who are working on solutions for COVID-19 relief. We are optimistic that this programme will act as a great platform of support for aspiring women entrepreneurs and business owners in Pakistan by helping them realise their true potential. This initiative builds upon Standard Chartered’s focus on increasing women’s access to entrepreneurial finance, and supporting adolescent girls and women through capacity building. It encapsulates the essence of the Bank’s sustainability strategy of Futuremakers, enabling the next generation to learn, earn and grow.”
Partnering with INNOVentures and the Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF), the Standard Chartered Women in Tech programme aims to promote the economic and social development of women in Pakistan through innovation or technology led entrepreneurship. This initiative was launched in Pakistan last year. #SCWomenInTech is aimed at helping identify and grow female led businesses by bringing their unique business ideas to the market whilst celebrating women in Pakistan.
The launch of the programme in Pakistan follows a successful rollout of a similar initiative in USA, Kenya, Nigeria and UAE by Standard Chartered. The Bank first launched the programme to support women in technology in 2014 at the City College of New York where it created the Women Entrepreneurs Resource Centre. The US programme includes a dedicated workspace, mentorship, coursework and access to an extensive network designed to support entrepreneurs navigating the challenges of starting a business.