5th Cohort of Standard Chartered's Women in Tech Programme Begins in Pakistan, in Partnership with INNOVentures Global

By: GWL Team | Friday, 21 July 2023

On July 20, 2023, Standard Chartered's Women in Tech (WiT) programme has launched its 5th cohort in Pakistan, in collaboration with INNOVentures Global (Pvt.) Ltd. The Women in Tech initiative is a cornerstone effort of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, the bank's global initiative to address inequality and promote economic inclusion. The primary objective of this programme is to bridge the gender gap in entrepreneurship by supporting and empowering female-led businesses in Pakistan.

Since its inception in 2019, the Women in Tech initiative in Pakistan has received an overwhelming response, with over 1,200 female-led businesses expressing their interest. Presently, 88 of these founders are participating in the bank's accelerator programme, which provides them with essential capacity building, company management training, and mentorship.

One of the significant milestones of the programme is that 26 female-led businesses have successfully secured seed finance after completing the accelerator programme and delivering their final pitches.

During the event, Mr. Rehan Shaikh, the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Pakistan, highlighted the bank's commitment to promoting financial inclusion and education while also supporting the growth of small enterprises. He emphasized that the Women in Tech programme aligns with the government's priorities and aims to empower female-led businesses by leveraging technology to expand their operations. Over the past four years, the initiative has served as a vital platform for ambitious Pakistani women entrepreneurs, removing barriers and promoting financial inclusion.

The collaboration between Standard Chartered and INNOVentures Global seeks to drive economic and social progress for women in Pakistan through innovation and technology-driven entrepreneurship. The programme aims to empower and support female-led businesses by helping them commercialize innovative ideas and celebrate the achievements of Pakistani women.

The Women in Tech Incubators/Accelerators were initially introduced by Standard Chartered Americas as a local project in October 2014. Since then, the programme has expanded to thirteen additional countries and has made a significant impact by assisting over 3,200 female entrepreneurs worldwide.

Standard Chartered's Women in Tech programme reflects the bank's commitment to enhancing women's access to entrepreneurial finance and empowering young girls and women through capacity building, aligning with their Futuremakers community strategy to empower the next generation in learning, earning, and personal development.