Addis Ababa, December 20th, 2022 – The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in partnership with Betacube, organized the first Demo Day of the Tech African Women (TAW) program at Adore Addis Hotel.
Tech African Women (TAW) is an entrepreneurship program that is dedicated to empowering African female entrepreneurs by helping them transform their ideas into validated business models and building a strong female-led tech start-up pipeline and community in Africa.
TAW 1.0 was first launched in August 2022 with a series of boot camps in four African countries offering a 5-month entrepreneurial program for women-led and idea-stage tech start-ups that provided solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first TAW cohort was composed of eight idea-stage start-ups from Tunisia, Senegal, Tanzania and Ethiopia. These start-ups benefited from an intensive three-month incubation phase, supervised by a network of developers, designers and business experts. During their training, the start-ups were able to attend tailored webinars led by international trainers and were put in touch separately with different experts who supported them on branding, business planning, market analysis, and pitching among others.
On the occasion of this first Demo Day, eight founders representing the four targeted African countries got invited to Addis Ababa to pitch their ideas with an opportunity to win a prize of USD 7,000. A start-up ecosystem tour was also organized in which the finalists visited a coworking space and an innovation hub, in addition to meeting successful local start-ups.
Mactar Seck, Chief of Technology and Innovation at ECA, further indicated the significance of such initiatives in ‘narrowing the gender digital divide and harnessing the various opportunities that digital transformation offers for young women entrepreneurs’. By 2020, only 15.2% of start-ups in Africa were founded or co-founded by women, according to studies presented during the session. He further recalled the continental priorities set within the Digital Transformation Strategy of the African Union that ECA is jointly supporting and noted the ‘foundational role digital skills and women-led tech start-ups play in the implementation of the strategy’.
Based on four criteria; impact, market size, team and competitive advantage, the start-ups were scored by judges, and Ujana was announced as a winner of TAW 1.0. Ujana, created in Tanzania by Juliana Busasi, is an e-commerce platform for accessing sexual and reproductive health supplies whereby youth can purchase products and receive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information without fear of judgment.
A second edition of TAW program will be launched in 2023. More updated information will be made available at www.techafricanwomen.com.
About the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN's five regional commissions, ECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges. For more information about ECA visit www.uneca.org.
Betacube is a venture builder created in 2019, co-creating tech Startups with exceptional founders. Betacube focused so far on fintech and mobility and collaborates closely with corporations as development partners for its start-ups as well as for corporate innovation programs. Betacube’s core business is the creation of quality start-ups, securing their growth and funding path. For more information about the Tech African Women program visit www.techafricanwomen.com.