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Standard Chartered UAE launches third cohort of flagship Women in Tech programme alongside DIFC Fintech Hive and Hub71

Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive VP, DIFC Fintech Hive, Rola Abu Manneh, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank UAE and Jida Itani, COO of Hub71

Standard Chartered Bank UAE today announced the launch of the third cohort of the Women in Tech programme, held in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive and Hub71.

The launch event, which took place at the DIFC Fintech Hive, was attended by several members of the local start-up community, as well as executives from Standard Chartered, Hub71, Fintech Hive and Finyal Media. In its third year, Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech programme aims to promote the economic and social development of women entrepreneurs in the UAE through innovation and technology-led entrepreneurship.

The UAE-leg of this programme is part of the Bank’s global Women in Tech initiative that is live across nine markets, including Standard Chartered New York, Kenya, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bahrain. In the UAE, the programme is focused on capacity building for women-owned enterprises and targets female-led entrepreneurial teams to provide them with training, mentorship and seed funding. In addition to mentorship programmes, Standard Chartered, DIFC Fintech Hive, and Hub71 will be giving away a total of USD 100,000 in funding to the winners of this year’s cohort.

Rola Abu Manneh, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank UAE, said: “At Standard Chartered, we embrace and celebrate diversity, and we are proud to launch our third cohort of the Women in Tech programme in the UAE, in partnership with the DIFC Fintech Hive and Hub71. The initiative is part of our commitment to be Here for good, while bridging the vast funding gap that still exists for women entrepreneurs in the area of technology. We are confident that with such strong partners on board we will be able to bring even greater value to entrepreneurs for the third year, especially given a more simplified and favourable ecosystem for start-ups in the UAE.”

Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive VP, DIFC Fintech Hive, said:The Women in Tech program is a great launch pad for female-led businesses in the UAE. The support provided to these female founders during the program is necessary to accelerate the growth of their start-ups and I am thrilled to be part of an initiative that supports diversity and women in the entrepreneurial landscape.”

Jida Itani, COO of Hub71, said: “Technology is central to our lives and cuts across all industries. Public and private sector initiatives that promote innovation are essential to growing industries and diversifying economies. At Hub71, we have witnessed a surge in female entrepreneurs and investors as part of our diverse community of more than 100 start-ups, where we empower women to take a leap of faith and venture into the world of tech. Our culture is based on openness, risk taking, excellence, and inclusivity, and our collaboration with Standard Chartered and DIFC Fintech Hive reinforces our long-term commitment to equal opportunities and a favourable environment for anyone from anywhere, with whatever idea they wish to grow.”

Set to begin operations later this September, the upscaled Women in Tech programme is geared towards empowering female entrepreneurs to confront the challenges of uncertain times as they grow their impact-driven businesses across the AME region. To date, Standard Chartered UAE has accelerated two cohorts, comprising of 12 start-ups, who have collectively raised over USD 5 million from various venture capitalists to expand their businesses within and outside of the UAE. The applications for the third cohort are open until 5 September 2021.