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50 Female Tech Entrepreneurs Graduate From Future Females Business School This programme was for any South African female entrepreneur with an idea or early-stage business, ready to upskill and utilise technology to bring their businesses to life.

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Earlier this year Future Females secured a partnership with the UK-SA Tech Hub, to support 50 South African, early-stage female tech entrepreneurs, to transform their ideas into businesses and on the 29th of June the first cohort officially graduated.

"I joined this course thinking it would help me develop the digital tools I needed for an app I am going to build but it actually took me in a different and even more exciting direction. It has also been a huge help in further developing my vision of becoming a global academic." said political analyst, and entrepreneur Asanda Ngoasheng.

Need for greater skills development support

"Our partnership with the UK-SA Tech Hub arose out of the need for greater skills development support for South African female entrepreneurs, in particular for those entrepreneurs in underserved regions, who generally do not have access to programmes of this nature," states Lauren Dallas, co-founder of Future Females.

The programme sponsored entrepreneurs from five provinces namely, Western Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng, with 68% of the ladies aged 18 - 35 years and the other 32% aged 36 - 50 years.

Related: Entrepreneur Amma Gyampo's Top Advice For African Startups

"We hand-selected 50 female entrepreneurs who were passionate about their ideas, about technology, and about having a positive social impact - who want to build businesses that won't just benefit themselves, but also their community and the world around them, and we are so excited to have supported these ideas to come to life," Dallas further explains.

Overcoming the pervasive fear of failure

Low economic growth in South Africa (GEM states just 1.3% growth in GDP for 2017), has resulted in a drop in the number of women who are participating in entrepreneurship.

"We were really hoping to empower aspiring entrepreneurs to get started on their journey and to overcome the pervasive fear of failure that exists, particularly with female entrepreneurs. Starting can often be the most difficult part," says Shirley Gilbey, UK-SA Tech Hub Director.

The programme was delivered primarily online, with the launch having been held in Cape Town and the graduation event taking place in Johannesburg, with all members invited to attend – to network, meet the team, and celebrate their achievements and businesses.

Revising and implementing learnings

Rain sponsored all our graduating students in the best way possible by providing a Rain SIM that gives them free data during off peak times (11pm-6pm) for the 9 months post-programme so they can continue and revise and implement learnings as they continue on to launch and upscale their businesses.

Related: This Entrepreneur Launched Her Booming Real-Estate Business In The Middle Of A Recession

"Reading success stories of other entrepreneurs can be both inspiring and depressing because you want to get there but there are so many obstacles you even consider getting a job. This is why I hope other entrepreneurs also get an opportunity to be part of this programme, and this community." said Nombulelo Ngcamu, a university student and budding entrepreneur.

Upcoming Opportunities

Mid-September Join the Future Females Business School - the next Future Females Business School program will be launching in September, currently taking waitlist registrations here.

5-6 August Prosperity Games Cape Town - apply to join this interactive gamified pitch, aimed at helping entrepreneurs to improve their pitch skills, connect with local angels and VC funders, and receive mentoring through workshops and panels, created within the UK's Department of International Trade's (DIT) Global Entrepreneur Programme in collaboration with UK-SA Tech Hub.

31 July GESAwards - apply to be recognised as one of the best EdTech startup companies in South Africa, with finalists pitching to potential investors and partners, and the UK-SA Tech Hub funding entrepreneurs to participate in the Global Edtech Startup Awards in London in January 2020.

Related: How To Access Funding As A Woman Entrepreneur In South Africa

To keep up to date on future opportunities, follow UK-SA Tech Hub on Instagram and Twitter.

Who are Future Females and the UK-SA Tech Hub?

Future Females is a movement that exists to increase the number of and better support the success of female entrepreneurs.

Future Females has shown immense growth since its conception in August 2017 in Cape Town, currently boasting a presence in 18 locations world-wide, hosting regular events for their engaged community of over 12,000 members, and offering the Future Females Business School online training programme.

The UK-SA Tech Hub has been established as part of the UK's Digital Access Programme (DAP), a UK Government Prosperity Fund initiative. The UK-SA Tech Hub aims to develop a stronger South African digital ecosystem through the development of skills, entrepreneurship and business partnerships.

Related: Watch List: 50 Top SA Business Women To Watch

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