The NEPAD Southern Africa Network for BioSciences (SANBio) is calling on female bio-entrepreneurs from the SADC region to subit their applications for the second season of the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme. The first season of the programme boosted a number of female-led enterprises in the bioinnovation sector through skills development and funding.
SANBio has partnered various organisations in SADC member countries to help with the applications. In Zimbabwe, they partnered with the National Biotechnology Authority. The deadline for submitting applications is 20 April 2018.
Speaking on the programme, BioFISA II Programme Manager Zvikomborero Tangawamira said the programme creates a platform for peer learning and will empower women across the region.
“This programme creates a platform for peer learning and will empower women to lead in health and nutrition through science and technology,” says Zvikomborero Tangawamira.
The NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio), with support from BioFISA II, launched the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme in February 2017 to develop leadership, technological, and business skills in female-owned bioscience and biotechnology businesses. SANBio believes that giving female entrepreneurs in the biosciences arena a boost will make a significant impact in the Southern African Development Community ( SADC) region.
Through a competitive process, female entrepreneurs across Southern Africa are again called to participate in the programme which will enable them to understand and refine their businesses with opportunities to access further funding.
In the first season in 2017, more than 156 applications were received from nine countries in the SADC region over a period of six weeks. The first phase of the programme was implemented between 25 May and 28 June in workshops across southern Africa. Once initial training and selection was completed, 15 finalists attended an intensive entrepreneurial boot camp in Pretoria from 24-28 July. The final round of the pitching competition was held on 6 September 2017 in Cape Town at the 2017 SA Innovation Summit , where all 15 entrepreneurs were invited to pitch their businesses and meet investors and business experts. The three winners received grants between R100 000 and R250 000 to help develop their businesses, and a trip to attend Slush 2017 in Helsinki, Finland.
“The greatest and priceless gift FemBioBiz has given to me as a woman entrepreneur is the knowledge and skills that were imparted to me which have really enabled me to transform our company into a successful business,” says Stella Gonye of Chengie Technologies, Zimbabwe.
For more details visit FemBioBiz