Earlier this year Future Females secured a partnership with the UK-SA Tech Hub, to support 50 South African, early-stage female tech entrepreneurs, to transform their ideas into businesses and the first cohort recently graduated.
This program was for any South African female entrepreneur with an idea or early-stage business, ready to upskill and utilise technology to bring their businesses to life!
“I joined this course thinking it would help me develop the digital tools I needed for an app I am going to build but it actually took me in a different and even more exciting direction. It has also been a huge help in further developing my vision of becoming a global academic.” said political analyst and entrepreneur, Asanda Ngoasheng.
“Our partnership with the UK-SA Tech Hub arose out of the need for greater skills development support for South African female entrepreneurs, in particular for those entrepreneurs in underserved regions, who generally do not have access to programs of this nature” states Lauren Dallas, co-Founder of Future Females.
The programme sponsored entrepreneurs from five provinces namely, Western Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal & Gauteng, with 68% of the ladies aged 18-35 years and the other 32% aged 36-50 years.
Dallas further explains, “We hand-selected 50 female entrepreneurs who were passionate about their ideas, about technology, and about having a positive social impact - who want to build businesses that won’t just benefit themselves, but also their community and the world around them, and we are so excited to have supported these ideas to come to life.”
Low economic growth in South Africa (GEM states just 1.3% growth in GDP for 2017), has resulted in a drop in the number of women who are participating in entrepreneurship.
“We were really hoping to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to get started on their journey and to overcome the pervasive fear of failure that exists, particularly with female entrepreneurs. Starting can often be the most difficult part!” says Shirley Gilbey, director of the UK-SA Tech Hub.
The program was delivered primarily online, with the launch having been held in Cape Town and the graduation event taking place in Johannesburg, with all members invited to attend - to network, meet the team, and celebrate their achievements and businesses.
Rain sponsored all graduating students in the best way possible by providing a Rain SIM that gives them free data during off-peak times (11pm-6pm) for the nine months post-program so they can continue and revise and implement learnings as they continue on to launch and upscale their businesses.
“Reading success stories of other entrepreneurs can be both inspiring and depressing because you want to get there but there are so many obstacles you even consider getting a job. This is why I hope other entrepreneurs also get an opportunity to be part of this program and this community,” said Nombulelo Ngcamu, a university student and budding entrepreneur.
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