Seven women-led companies win up to Rs1.5m in seed grants from Standard Chartered Bank

KARACHI: Standard Chartered, in partnership with INNOVentures Global (Pvt) Limited, has announced top seven winners of #SCWomenInTech Programme 2020.

Through the initiative, the seven women-led businesses, shortlisted from over 280 applicants, had each won up to Rs1,500,000 in seed grants for their businesses. This year, in addition to the regular five grants, the programme had announced two additional grants for “Covid-19 relief-based projects”.

Seven businesses were selected from a pool of 23 teams that have been through the #SCWomenInTech programme incubator for three months. During this time, they were offered coaching, mentoring and business management skills to grow their businesses to the next level. The programme aims to support gender representation within technology-based entrepreneurship.

This year, ConnectHear, CreditBook, OrbitEd, PakAgri, Scaryammi, Foster Learning, and Skin Deep International emerged as winners.

The winners will be supported with extended mentoring and milestone-based disbursement of the winnings for a period of 9 months.

The shortlisting criteria mandated that the team must be a woman-led business where at least one-third founders are women for at least one year. They must also be a registered business that is a technology venture or a traditional business aiming to grow through the use of tech. Ths business must be between 3 months to 2 years old at the time of application and must have achieved or potential for significant growth and impact. Investment by SCB in the venture or business must be of a material difference.

Speaking on the occasion Standard Chartered Pakistan CEO Rehan Shaikh said, “I would like to congratulate the winners of the #SCWomenInTech programme and appreciate all the participants who had applied to this programme. Irrespective of the final outcome, remember that in your own right, you are positively transforming our country’s economy and creating more job opportunities. Just like the Bank, you are striving to be a force for good, promoting sustainable economic and social development in the markets and communities where we operate.”

Standard Chartered launched Women in Tech in Pakistan in March 2019. This programme aimed to promote the economic and social development of women in Pakistan through innovation or technology led entrepreneurship.

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Ariba Shahid
The author is a business journalist at Profit. She can be reached at [email protected] or at
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