August is the time of year South African honour and celebrate women from all walks of life. This Women's Month, Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi) is going one step further by empowering female entrepreneurs to invest valuable time and effort into their businesses.
Female entrepreneurs are encouraged to take their business processes online by joining the Top Tech Tools for Women in Business programme - a free entrepreneurial development programme, and growing circle of powerful female entrepreneurs who use technology to grow and scale their business for the digital economy.
Conceptualised by the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi), together with the City of Cape Town, the fully-funded programme aims to create an empowering atmosphere for women who are eager to infuse technology into their businesses. The programme boasts a supportive and creative environment that exposes female entrepreneurs to the latest available technology resources to improve and grow their business.
What to expect
Participants will benefit from access to comprehensive information and experience shared by highly skilled facilitators and mentors. The program provides a forum for entrepreneurs to introduce efficient systems and processes through the implementation of technology products and services that promote growth, sustainability and scale-up.
The programme is implemented through a series of facilitated interactive sessions. These sessions are designed to clarify, test and apply business learnings whilst maximising peer-to-peer knowledge sharing practices.
Participants are provided with the opportunity to focus on strengthening their entrepreneurial abilities while learning critical business skills. The programme allows entrepreneurs the intellectual space to focus in a flexible and accessible way.
Participants are guided through each stage of business development via monthly face-to-face community mentorship sessions during which they are allowed to learn, share information and collaborate.
In response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the programme has been adapted to suit an exclusively online engagement strategy. Also, participants will have access to additional online learning components.
Lara Rosmarin, Head of Incubation and Entrepreneurial Development at the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi), says, “Despite recent events, the CiTi team is determined to deliver a successful Women in Business programme. We've adapted a sizable portion of our programme to an online format to play our part in social distancing to limit the spread of Covid-19.”
To apply for the Women in Business programme, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Female founders and CEOs with a desire to introduce or improve technology in their businesses (at least 51% female-owned)
Business must be registered (CIPC) and operational for at least 12 months
Business must have valid tax clearance
Applicants must be 25 years or older
Be available to attend weekly workshops every Tuesday morning (Woodstock) and Thursday morning (Khayelitsha) for the duration of 10 weeks physical workshops (June–August 2020) where applicable, however, an adapted a sizable portion of the programme is conducted online.
Be available once a month for online support and once a month for mentorship sessions for a duration of the 10 months starting in September 2020. (September 2020–June 2021).
Successful applicants must be able to travel to one of the specified venues (Woodstock or Khayelitsha). If face to face workshops are not possible, an online format will be utilised to deliver components of the programme.
Female entrepreneurs who would like to take part in the Women in Business programme must submit their applications on the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative’s website or follow the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative - CiTi on Facebook for news and updates. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be invited to an interview which will determine who is selected to take part in the programme.
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