Sunday, October 25, 2020

Pre-Accelerator program launched for Black women tech founders


According to a survey published by Facebook in 2019, women are still in the minority in SA’s entrepreneurial landscape. Only 34% of small-medium enterprises are women-led. Research conducted by I’M IN also indicates that there is a less than 20% participation of women in technology accelerators.

Too close this gap, I’M IN Accelerator is calling on all South African Black women with early-stage technology business ideas or concepts to apply for the program. The program is set to take place online, over a 12-week period. Successful applicants will be offered R100,000 in pre-seed funding for 10% equity, mentorship and coaching, market growth and development enablement, as well as high-end business skills training in the form of masterclasses and workshops.

The new program will also offer back-office support covering finance, legal and psychological assistance, and technology development support. “We always aim to invest in businesses that will have a significant socio-economic impact. By and giving women tech startups the opportunity to participate in the sector with the right financial backing and business support, we are confident that this is true, a meaningful contribution to the country’s growth” said Polo Leteka, Founder and Chairman of IDF Capital.

In 2018, Illuminate Ventures also found that technology firms led by women experienced a 35% higher return on investment (ROI) than those led by their male counterparts. Furthermore, in another report published by McKinsey it becomes clear that if women started businesses at the same rate as men, the global GDP could increase by $28 trillion by the year 2025. These are compelling reasons that highlight the need for the support and further investment in women-led businesses in general and within the technology space in particular.

“We want to be intentional about increasing the participation of Black women founders in technology accelerators, and also bridge the funding gap between women and men founded technology startups. This is also a tangible contribution to addressing the pipeline challenge of finding Black women-owned early-stage tech startups in the South African ecosystem”, added Octavius Phukubye, Entrepreneur in Residence and Acting Accelerator Manager at I’M IN.

To apply for the 2020 I’M IN Pre-Accelerator intake, visit by 15 September 2020.

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