Techstars Atlanta has selected Nigeria’s first digital agricultural platform, Farmcrowdy, as one of the members of the 2017 class to participate in its accelerator program in partnership with Cox Enterprises. Farmcrowdy is the only African startup to be included in a list of tech startups selected to participate in the programme which was released on Monday, 17th July, 2017.
According to Farmcrowdy’s founder, Onyeka Akumah, his team was very excited about the opportunity they’d been given. They were also looking forward to learning a bit more from the Techstars Community on how to improve their efforts to be able to grow their impact from the current 1000 small scale farmers to about 10,000 in the next 12 months.
“We also hope to learn about building more relationships with key agro-players in and outside Nigeria in addition to the ones we have while taking advantage of and amplifying the government’s efforts to grow the Agriculture space in Nigeria. With the knowledge acquired, Farmcrowdy can encourage more youths and middle class Nigerians to participate in agriculture while being ‘farmers without a farm’ for the purpose of creating impact and getting returns,”
Of the 10 chosen startups, only one is African. With the vision of ‘Ending Poverty in Africa, one farmer at a time,’ Farmcrowdy matches small-scale farmers with farm sponsors for the purpose of expanding food production and generating profit for both parties. The platform allows Nigerians to participate in agriculture without necessarily having to farm themselves, with sponsors selecting a farm and providing it with backing for inputs.
According to Techstars Atlanta’s managing director, Michael Cohn, “One of the goals of Techstars Atlanta is to help shine a light on our city as a hotbed for innovation… We’re doing this by accelerating great startups already based here, but also by bringing international entrepreneurs to Atlanta. With the support of Cox Enterprises, we’re able to connect them with one of the city’s leading corporations. It’s a winning combination.”
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Womenpreneur Digital Hub to Promote Digital Skills & More for MENA Women
The Entrepreneurship Academy of the SANAD Fund for MSME and Womenpreneur Initiative have once again teamed up to champion women’s economic equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In March 2021, the partners launched the Womenpreneur Digital Hub, an online knowledge and resource-sharing platform that aims to expand women’s access to skills-building tools in a time when lockdowns and economic contraction have disproportionately impacted female employment in the region.
The coronavirus crisis has forced many women out of the workplace through a constellation of factors: Economically, it has taken a particularly heavy toll on sectors where women are overrepresented, such as retail, care, and food service. School and daycare closures have added further pressure, with many households placing the responsibility for at-home schooling and childcare solely upon women. As a result, although women in MENA comprise only a quarter of the region’s total workforce, they account for over half of COVID-related job losses.
The Womenpreneur Digital Hub aims to help women regain their economic footing through a three-fold approach. First, online training will be offered free of charge for hub members to hone skills that empower them on the job market, such as financial knowledge, digital literacy, and business management. High-profile speakers will provide insights into current industry trends and tips on accessing career opportunities. Second, the hub will connect users for mutual information and support, experience exchange, and valuable network-building. In this way, the platform intends to accelerate the third factor, which is to open up potential employment paths for those whose careers have been upended by the crisis.
Ines Ebrecht, Chairperson of the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility which runs the SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy, said: “Women’s employment is not only a social justice issue, it is also an economic one. Women’s ability to participate in the workforce not only provides them with financial stability and freedom on an individual level, it also enables an economy to fully open the tap on creativity, entrepreneurship, productivity, and income generation. The SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy is glad to once again join with Womenpreneur Initiative to advance gender parity as a key to prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Womenpreneur CEO and founder Sana Afouaiz said: “The pandemic provoked a major setback in gender equality and threatens to walk back decades of progress. Yet we can also pivot to grasp the opportunities. As the world entered into lockdown, the transition to online work has created a growing demand for digital jobs. The Womenpreneur Digital Hub is targeted toward equipping women to future-proof their skills and give them valuable knowledge for the employment market. Our aim is to ensure that every woman and girl in MENA has access to the tools that will help her realize her full economic potential.”
Sign up for the hub at: www.womenpreneur-digital.com
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