Five women joined the league of winners in the prestigious Standard Chartered Women in Technology Incubator programme (SC-WITI) in Nigeria. Chief Executive Officer, Lamin Manjang announced the winners from the 3rd cohort of the program at the graduation ceremony in Lagos earlier today.
Like the last 2 editions, the 10 young businesswomen in this cohort were shortlisted from over 1,000 applicants and went through a rigorous 16-week executive boot camp during which they also interacted with business development coaches and executives from Standard Chartered. At the end of the training period, five winners with the most compelling ideas were chosen with each winner scheduled to also receive up to $10, 000 in seed funding to scale up and expand their business operations.
This year’s winners are Oluwadamilola Soyombo – Founder of Skooqs; Bolarinwa Kemisola – Founder of Nextwear Technology; Adegbite Adenike – Founder, The Trillionbucks Company; Zita Agwunobi – Founder/CEO of Iverify and Wunmi Akinsola – Founder of Fashtracker.
Speaking on the event, Country CEO, Lamin Manjang said,
Today we congratulate and celebrate these exceptional women who have gone above and beyond to prioritise the growth, sustainability and community impact of their businesses. As part of our Bold Stands, to Lift Participation, initiatives like the Women in Tech incubator gives us the opportunity to unleash the full potential of female entrepreneurs who in turn are able to improve the lives of people around the world, especially in Nigeria. We continue to stand up for equitable access to financial support for women and small businesses. We are committed to accelerating the provision of quality financial services to women in Nigeria, purposefully connecting SMEs to international markets and building partnerships to expand the reach and scale of financial services. These are just some of the ways we continue to reiterate to our communities and customers that we are here for good.
Dayo Aderugbo, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing added,
We are optimistic about the impact this programme will have on their businesses. Through the Women in Technology Incubator program, the Bank focuses on capacity building for women-owned small enterprises, under our Future makers by SC Community Investment initiative, which we believe serves as a great opportunity to support greater diversity in gender representation within technology entrepreneurship for women in Nigeria. The resources the beneficiaries have received from the sessions are theirs for life and will certainly support the resilience of their businesses while creating employment for more women and youths in the country. We are excited about the endless growth opportunities and ripple effect this growth will have on the economy. This initiative builds on the Bank’s track record of increasing women’s access to entrepreneurial finance, employability and supporting adolescent girls and women through financing and capacity building.
Launched in Nigeria in June 2019, the SC Women in Tech Incubator (SCWITI) was established to support and promote the economic and social development of women engaging in the technology-led enterprise. Implemented for the Bank by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), the programme targets female-owned technology-driven businesses, including startups, and provides the shortlisted candidates with training, mentorship and knowledge exchange sessions with industry experts and thriving businesses in the country. To date, nearly half a million dollars has been invested in the program in Nigeria.
The businesses five selected businesses will also receiveportfolio advisory support for 10 weeks. They would be exposed to potential investors and join the global SCWIT alumni network to have access to additional networkingevents, resources, content, and business scalingopportunities.
The Bank first launched the global initiative to support women in technology in 2014 at the City College of New York, USA where it created the Women Entrepreneurs Resource Centre. The program is currently also running Kenya, Pakistan, UAE, Zambia, Ghana and Bahrain with the aspiration to launch more tech incubator and accelerator programs for women within the Africa and the Middle East region in the coming years.