RIYADH: Women-led tech startups working in Saudi Arabia stand a chance to receive $50,000 in funding support if they take part in a tech program launched by Standard Chartered and Falak Investment Hub.
The Kingdom's first cohort of the ‘SC Women in Tech’ program will provide women entrepreneurs opportunities for economic and social development, as well as funding.
Applications for the eight-week program, part of Standard Charter’s global ‘Women in Tech’ initiative, currently available in six other countries, began on Nov. 28 and is set to remain open for around six weeks.
During the program each start-up will be provided with opportunities to meet one-on-one with Falak teams, mentors and industry experts during workshops, events, or private discussions. The startups are expected to benefit from the guidance of entrepreneurs, technologists, as well as investors, aimed at supporting their growth.
At the end of the program, all start-ups will be provided with the chance to pitch to over 40 angel investors, Venture Capital, and family office representatives through Falak Angels (the second established angel network in the Kingdom). The winners of this year’s cohort will receive up to $50,000 in total funding.
Earlier this year, the Kingdom announced over $$6.4 billion in future technologies and entrepreneurship investments. It is a key pillar of Vision 2030, which focuses on strengthening entrepreneurship by boosting private-sector investment, supporting innovation, and attracting and training talent.
Speaking about the initiative, Mazen Bunyan CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Saudi Arabia, said: “We are proud to collaborate with Falak Investment Hub and bring our ‘Women in Tech’ program to the Kingdom.
The spirit of diversity and entrepreneurship are important values that we celebrate at Standard Chartered, and we hope that by providing early-stage support and mentorship we can help women succeed and become leading job creators.”
Vision 2030 promotes Saudi women as an important part of the Kingdom’s strength. It aims to develop their talents, invest their energies, and provide them with the right opportunities to build their futures, contributing to the development of society.
Saudi women now comprise 33.6 percent of the Saudi workforce as of March 2022, according to the General Authority for Statistics. That figure is up from 17.4 percent just five years ago.
The unemployment rate of women was the lowest in 20 years as of the first quarter of 2022, falling to 20.2 percent from 22.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2021.