AWS announces applications open for the Femintech Innovation Challenge, a pitch competition targeted at women-led start-ups in Africa.
AWS Startups, part of Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the launch of the Femintech Innovation Challenge, a business proposal pitch competition targeted toward women-led startups in Africa.
The Femintech Innovation Challenge
The Femintech Innovation Challenge is designed as a forum to showcase and celebrate the accomplishments of women-led start-ups and to provide a platform for participating start-ups to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges comprising prominent venture capitalists and industry experts.
According to reporting by Microsoft Start, the competition is part of African tech ecosystem accelerator AfricArena’s Tour 2023. The competition aims to facilitate networking opportunities and to give founders a platform through which to meet investors.
A lack of investment with female founders
Tiffany Johnson, global business development manager on the AWS Startups team, said that AWS created the URF Startup Business Development team in 2020 to focus on accelerating businesses led by underrepresented founders, including women, people of color, and those with African, Latin American, or Native American heritage, “As per the World Bank, only USD 1 is invested in women for every USD 25 directed towards men within the African start-up sphere,” Johnson says. “This imbalance not only hampers the potential of female entrepreneurs but also impedes the growth of the entire African start-up ecosystem.”
According to Johnson, despite the challenges faced by female founders, startups led by women have made impact within their industries and she highlighted Akiba Digital, Okra, LifeBank, PiggyVest and Ovamba Solutions.
Fostering diversity, contributing to growth
According to Johnson, AWS believes that supporting women entrepreneurs will foster diversity and inclusion, and contribute to economic growth and social development across the continent.
All women-founded start-ups in Africa are encouraged to submit their applications to the Femintech Innovation Challenge here.
In the MENA region, female-founded startups accounted just 1.3% of all startup investments in 2022.