Securicom is proud to be involved in the 2022 MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge. The MTN SA Foundation allocated a R1 million investment to enable innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation for women in the digital economy. The inaugural 2022 MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge will set 10 less-established, female-owned SMMEs on a sure path to success with finance, mentorship and other business support resources provided by the Foundation.

Although women make up 13 percent of the graduates leaving South African tertiary institutions with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), there is a lack of digital exposure and career guidance post-graduation, which is a significant challenge for women pursuing ICT-related careers or entrepreneurship opportunities.

The MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge aims to empower small, female-owned businesses.

As a consequence, only 23 percent of tech jobs are held by women in South Africa. Out of 236 000 ICT and tech roles, women occupy 56 000 of them. This imbalance highlights to need for the industry to help create an enabling environment for women to close the gender representation gap.

“Removing the barriers hindering women from entering STEM fields is the answer to the enormous ICT skills gap and high unemployment rate in South Africa,” says Angie Maloka, senior manager of youth and women programmes at the MTN SA Foundation. “It’s imperative to fill this inequality gap, and for us, this means making a meaningful contribution to improving female-owned businesses in the ICT market.”

Securicom is proud to participate in the MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge with our MD, Richard Broeke, in attendance.

An extension of MTN’s existing SME accelerator programmes, the MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge forms part of the MTN Group’s commitment to developing ICT SMEs on the continent and aims to foster an entrepreneurial mindset through the provision of R100 000 to 10 SMME candidates for working capital needs, business development, tangible assets, mentorship and business advancing technology and software.

Moreover, each SMME will receive training, small business support and enter a four-month mentorship programme to ensure effective deployment of capital and resources, further accelerating their business and rate of business success, or the opportunity and tools to create future businesses that are robust, innovative and able to succeed in a challenging and ever-changing landscape.

“We are thrilled to be involved in the MTN Women in Digital Business Challenge,” says Richard Broeke, Securicom Managing Director. “Industries thrive when there is diversity and inclusion as it offers new perspectives, alternative problem solving and opportunities in new markets. By supporting female-owned businesses, we will hopefully build towards a more diverse ICT industry, but also encourage young women to consider a career in tech. Thank you to the MTN SA Foundation for taking the initiative with this Challenge as well as approaching Securicom to assist.”