Johannesburg - The kickstart to the first-ever fully digital South African Innovation Summit, better known as (SAIS), will be different this time around as people from around the world will be able to watch the summit from the comfort of their own homes. The summit kicked off with Fem-In-Tech aimed at empowering South African Women.
Fem-In-Tech is a collaboration between the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and the SAIS, and together they focus on the female entrepreneurship development programmes for South African women.
Fem-In-Tech is aimed at empowering South African women with tech and tech-enabled start-ups with the entrepreneurial and leadership skills to launch and grow their businesses.
Through this programme, a community of female-led start-ups will be created with the purpose of supporting each other through their journeys. At the end of the programme, the women will be equipped with the skills to pitch their business case to potential investors on the Demo Day, and a select group will be matched to potential business supporters and funders through the Match and Invest Platform.
Founder of Alchemy Inspiration, Dr Puleng Makhoalibe unpacked the growth of female entrepreneurship in South Africa and focused on the role SEDA plays to enable female founders with access to the investment market and new markets to enable their growth and scalability.
Dr Makhoalibe also added that she is happy that SEDA supports Fem-In-Tech and she believes that if you educate a female you educate the entire nation as she is also a female founder of a tech company.
Acting Executive Manager at the Seda Technology Programme (STP) and SEDA, Tervern Jafta said female founders give people a different perspective because they come from a nurturing background they raise children and because of that, they will spend time and nurture their business making sure it grows and females have proven that they are resilient.
“If I had my own private equity firm the first the start-up/founder I would invest in is a female founder because I think they are the ones who really understands how to challenge different problem statements and they are able to move real quick to a product market feet to a problem solution feet,” said Jafta.
SEDA together with SAIS hosted online training sessions for female entrepreneurs across the country. The online training covered a variety of sessions called the ‘art of pitching and pathways to markets.’
The Fem-In-Tech live Demo sessions had 4 sections where a group of 20 female tech start-ups were divided into a group of 5. Participants practise what they were taught as the top 20 female tech start-ups showcased their business by pitching during the Demo Day in a 4-minute pitch.
All 12 Investors took turns to ask relevant questions and to mentor all 20 female tech start-ups/participants to venture into their new business.
The summit also had female founders and enablers from across the continent who shared their views on what it takes to be a female entrepreneur in Africa and what needs to be done to grow female entrepreneurship in the continent.