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The funding landscape in Africa is gradually becoming more inclusive.

It is a fact that women receive less funding from venture capitalists when compared to men. According to research women run about 40% of small and medium enterprises generating more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by opposite gender. Hence, clearly making women better investments without thinking much about it.

With women-focused accelerator development programmes designed to close the gender gap, Grindstone and Naspers Labs are partnering to launch the Grindstone X Programme to prepare more women-led SMEs for investment in South Africa.

Grindstone is not up to a decade old, and on the other hand Naspers majorly focuses on youth development programmes generally but the two are joining hands to provide women-led SMEs with resourceful networks and expert knowledge, funding, as well as the markets to make them scalable.

The target for the programme is 3 years and it’s cohort-based—a cohort will last for 12 months. 10 of the best South African businesses founded by women will be enrolled into Grindstone X Programme each year for 3 years. Application is currently on.

There is so much untapped female entrepreneurial talent in South Africa, and we need to get creative in how to unearth this at scale. Value-adding partnerships between innovative corporates such as Naspers Labs and programmes with a successful track record of engineering start-up growth such as Grindstone focus efforts on tailored interventions for founders that positively impact on their business’s metrics—Keet van Zyl, Grindstone 

We are honoured to be able to invite our country’s talented female-founded start-ups to apply for the GrindstoneX accelerator programme.” At Naspers Labs, we are committed to assisting the development of micro-enterprises with an emphasis on young women. Through this partnership, we aim to help grow the tech sector and the economy by unlocking the potential of female-founded startups—
Mapule Ncanywa, Naspers Labs

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By Elijah Christopher



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