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How we can support female tech entrepreneurs in Africa

Technology is becoming big business in Africa. From Silicon Savannah in Nairobi to Silicon Lagoon in Lagos, young entrepreneurs, governments and global technology firms are looking to build the next big thing out of Africa’s creative cities.

Not to be left behind, young women also see the ICT sector as an area ripe for opportunity and professional success. Unfortunately, while young women enter the field with big dreams, they often face significant obstacles to achieving their potential, including cultural stereotypes and limited access to seed finance. Yet the continent has much to gain by encouraging young women to enter business. Entrepreneurship has the potential to create jobs for the more than 200 million young Africans aged between 15-24. This can further accelerate Africa’s impressive recent economic growth.

Supporting female entrepreneurs can also reap significant benefits for families and the continent. Women tend to be ‘investment multipliers’ who channel the majority of their income into their families and communities. Consequently, investments by women result in well-educated and healthy children who can make a positive contribution to society. What’s more, young women with a passion for tech can spur innovation in the ICT sector and create solutions to Africa’s most pressing challenges.

She Leads Africa passionately believes in supporting high-potential female entrepreneurs by helping them jump-start their businesses. To this end, we’re excited to partner with Intel to host ‘Who wants to be a tech millionaire’, workshops for young women who are interested in building tech-enabled businesses. Our workshops provide training in building a minimum viable product, developing a go-to market strategy and reaching their first 1,000 users. As a result, these young women will get the training they need to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses that can actually generate revenue. They will also get the chance to connect with other likeminded female entrepreneurs, allowing them to develop powerful networks that will help them throughout their careers.

Our first ‘Who wants to be a tech millionaire’ workshop came to Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday January 24, with further events planned for Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa. Working together, we can increase the vibrancy of Africa’s tech sector and ensure that more women participate in the continent’s growth story.

 

She Leads Africa is a social enterprise dedicated to supporting high-growth female entrepreneurs or start-ups with at least one female founder. In the last quarter of 2014, SLA hosted an all-female pitch competition, which was supported by the likes of Aliko Dangote and Hakeem Belo-Osagie, two of Africa’s richest men, and was featured in various publications including Forbes, Black Enterprise, Fox Small Business and Ventures Africa. The founders of the organisation, Afua Osei and Yasmin Belo-Osagie (pictured above), were recently selected by Forbes magazine as 20 of the youngest power women in Africa.For more information on their technology programmes and other events,  check out their website here.

 

Photo: Woman / ?, Taichiro Ueki, December 21, 2014

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