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30 SA female founders graduate from Telkom-backed incubator

Dr Mmaki Jantjies, Telkom group executive for the innovation and transformation office.
Dr Mmaki Jantjies, Telkom group executive for the innovation and transformation office.

30 South African female-student-founders last week graduated from the I’M IN entrepreneurial programme.

The programme is a joint effort of Telkom’s enterprise and supplier development unit, Telkom FutureMakers, JP Morgan and the Embassy of Ireland.

Targeted at female students attending universities and colleges in low-income areas, Telkom said the programme acts as a platform, providing critical resources, mentorship, and guidance for those looking to venture out on their own with confidence.

This programme represents a commitment to developing innovation among women, who have historically faced barriers to accessing entrepreneurial opportunities, said Telkom in a statement.

“The I’M IN entrepreneurial programme serves as a catalyst for high-growth tech start-ups, particularly focusing on empowering entrepreneurs who face barriers to accessing resources,” said Dr Mmaki Jantjies, Telkom Group executive of innovation and transformation.

Mohau Polo Leteka, founder and director at I'M IN Accelerator, added: “It gives us a great sense of achievement as this programme reaffirms our commitment to financial inclusion of the youth and particularly young women.

“The success of this cohort demonstrates our commitment to identify the young women at grassroots level and support them to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Leteka continued: “Supporting, funding and scaling entrepreneurial businesses are the fundamental aspects of our programmes. This graduation marks a significant milestone showcasing innovation, agility and great concepts that have the potential to disrupt traditional industries.

“We will ensure that the cohort graduates are fully supported in the next phase of growing their businesses, through customised investor readiness programmes and appropriate funding instruments.”

Tshepo Phetla, head of Business Development at Telkom FutureMakers, said: "This targeted approach is poised to transform access to entrepreneurial resources and opportunities, empowering students from underserved communities to unleash their potential and establish sustainable tech-driven enterprises."

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