Standard Chartered Bank (SCBPL), in partnership with INNOVentures Global (Private) Limited, announced winners of #SCWomenInTech Cohort 4, 2022. SCWomenInTech is a global programme aimed at supporting gender-representation within technology-based entrepreneurship.
Shortlisted from over 1400 applicants, seven winners have received upto PKR 1,500,000, in seed-grant funding for their businesses to grow through technology. These businesses were selected from a pool of the top 22 teams that have been through the #SCWomenInTech incubator for three months. During this time, they were offered coaching and mentoring in business-management skills, to accelerate their business-growth to the next level. Sania Nishter, member of the senate along with Claire Dixon, Global Head Corporate Affairs and Brand and Marketing graced the graduation ceremony.
Rehan Shaikh, CEO, Standard Chartered Pakistan commented, “Four years ago, Standard Chartered Pakistan committed to lift participation through our #SCWomenInTech programme which focuses on greater financial inclusion and gender equality for female entrepreneurs across Pakistan. The programme was curated with a simple objective of removing barriers, providing opportunities and furthering financial inclusion for women in Pakistan, which is a key priority of the Government and State Bank of Pakistan as well. Over the years this programme has surfaced to be a great platform for aspiring female entrepreneurs in Pakistan by helping them realise their true potential. This initiative further builds upon Standard Chartered’s focus on increasing access to entrepreneurial finance and lifts participation of women in the economy through capacity building. It encapsulates the essence of the Bank’s sustainability strategy of Futuremakers, enabling the next generation to learn, earn and grow.
With the most diverse portfolio to date, the #SCWomenInTech 2022 had start-ups representing 14 Business Verticals. This year the programme attracted entrepreneurs and founders who are focused on many social issues focused on sustainable development goes including tackling issues of ‘Female Reproductive Health’, ‘Access to Feminine Hygiene products’ through Fem-Tech, improving ‘Air-Quality through a locally built product’ which are focused on SDG Goal-3 – ensuring good health and wellbeing.
The main verticals also included Agri-Tech, Health-Tech, Ed-Tech, Mental-Health, Fin-Tech, Prop-Tech, as well as Art & Design, along with start-ups working to put together an aggregate market-place and Web 3.0. The winners will be supported with extended mentoring and milestone-based disbursement of the winnings, for a period of 9 months.
The seven winning companies for 2022 are:
- GameTrain – a platform to train specialised human resources for the gaming industry of Pakistan.
- Soan Valley Tech – a fintech startup that facilitates affordable and sustainable supply chain financing from existing sources available to previously unbanked SMEs and retailers.
- BreathIO – a startup addressing climate change through an indigenously developed air cleaner/purifier to monitor and improve air quality and health.
- Apna House – an online startup focussing on buying and selling of home maps and architectural plans for expatriate Pakistan.
- SeeVitals – SeeVitals is an integrated hardware and software remote/contactless patient monitoring solution that reduces hospitals’ burden of patient care.
- Soul Food Co. – Soul Food Company is a natural and organic health foods company seeking to grow and go digital.
- Bechlopk – Bechlo.pk is an online social marketplace created for and by women to buy and sell brand new and preloved products from their mobile devices.
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. To-date, the programme has touched the lives of over 100 female-led entrepreneurs, many of whom have seen their businesses grow and expand.