In a significant stride towards fostering the growth of women-led technology businesses in Nigeria, Standard Chartered Bank has awarded a total of $50,000 in grants to five successful recipients from its Women in Technology Cohort 4. The initiative, executed in collaboration with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), stands as a testament to the bank's commitment to supporting and nurturing women in the technology sector.
Incubating Success: The Graduation Ceremony
The grants were unveiled during the graduation ceremony of the incubator program, where participants underwent comprehensive courses aimed at enhancing the development of their tech-focused businesses. The ceremony marked a moment of celebration and acknowledgment of the strides made by women entrepreneurs in the tech landscape.
A Commitment to Economic Empowerment
Dayo Aderugbo, Head of Brand and Marketing at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and West Africa, emphasized the pivotal role such initiatives play in addressing the economic disparities that women often face. With nearly half of Nigeria's population comprising women, Aderugbo highlighted the imperative to create income-generating opportunities for this significant demographic.
“In Nigeria, the female population comprises 49.34 per cent of the total population... With fewer income-generating opportunities for the population at large, this leaves nearly half of the population constituting women deprived of economic empowerment through employment, professional growth, and livelihood opportunities," said Aderugbo.
Navigating Demographic Transitions
Aderugbo underscored the unique demographic transition Nigeria is undergoing, akin to other emerging markets. With a burgeoning working-age population, particularly a youthful demographic, there's a pressing need to empower and provide avenues for professional and economic growth.
Standard Chartered's Pledge: Here for Good
Expressing the bank's commitment, Aderugbo stated, “For us at Standard Chartered Bank, the Women in Tech Incubator is one of the many ways we continue to reiterate our Bank’s promise to be ‘Here for good.’ We are optimistic that the program will continue to help female tech-preneurs identify, grow, and bring to the market unique business ideas. It serves as a reminder to celebrate their uniqueness as business owners making a difference in Nigeria."
In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and entrepreneurship, initiatives like the Women in Technology Incubator not only provide financial support but also contribute significantly to creating a more inclusive and diverse tech ecosystem in Nigeria. As these women-led tech start-ups continue to thrive, their impact echoes beyond individual success stories, influencing the broader narrative of women's participation and leadership in the tech industry.