Female entrepreneurs are re-building the economy, one business at a time, with help and support from CiTi and FNB. A Cohort of 30 female business owners from across South Africa is participating in the Top Tech Tools for Women in Business programme, sponsored by FNB and presented by VeloCiTi, the entrepreneurial development and incubation arm of the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi).
“At FNB, we believe strongly in entrepreneurship and women empowerment. We recognise the power of supporting female entrepreneurs and the socio-economic impact they have in their broader communities, which is why, through various initiatives and interventions, we aim to support and partner with them on their growth journey, celebrate their successes and collaborate with them to have an impact in the communities within which they operate,” says Nicole Sykes, FNB’s Head of Women in Business.
It is fitting that FNB was given an honourable mention in the Global SME Finance awards2021 for the Best Bank for Women Entrepreneurs, affirming that FNB is indeed leading the way. As at the end of December 2021, FNB had over 244 000 like-minded women in their business clients’ portfolio and a women-owned asset book of over R33 billion. “Our support of the CiTi Women in Business programme is testament to our commitment in supporting women entrepreneurs to ensure that they can compete in the modern tech world,” says Sykes.
VeloCiTi’s Women in Business programme is a flagship entrepreneurial development programme aimed at providing strategic support and developing the capacity of female entrepreneurs. The Women in Business programme creates a supportive space for women entrepreneurs to participate in an in-depth, hands-on experiential learning programme looking at game-changing tech tools available to aid in the growth and development of their business and includes a 10-month entrepreneurial development programme.
“In Africa, women business owners are defying social norms in the face of systemic obstacles that include limited access to funding, inadequate scaling resources, and challenges with work-life balance,” said Lara Rosmarin, head of incubation and entrepreneurial development, Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative. “Through the Women in Business programme, we are creating an environment where women can overcome these hurdles with strategic support, mentoring, peer to peer learning, and networking opportunities that enable them to navigate tough competition and thrive. With the incredible support of FNB, we are thrilled to provide female business owners across South Africa with the powerful tools they need to grow their businesses.”
The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) has a history of 22 years of impact in building a future-fit, inclusive society through technology and innovation. Working with government, business and society, CiTi promotes the inclusive growth of the digital economy. CiTi plays an integral role in catalysing and supporting the South African tech ecosystem.