BEST DIGITAL NEWS START-UP, WAN-IFRA 2019 GOLD AWARD

Deutsche Bank, Ashoka launch accelerator to support female social entrepreneurs in Asia

Deutsche Bank, Ashoka launch accelerator to support female social entrepreneurs in Asia

3 -min read
Listen to this article
3 -min read
Listen to this article

FEMALE social entrepreneurs in Asia will receive greater support, with a new accelerator programme launched by global social enterprise enabler Ashoka, in partnership with Deutsche Bank.

The Made for Good Accelerator for Women is "Asia's first social investment accelerator programme that aims to build a thriving ecosystem for female social entrepreneurship", both companies said in a press statement on Monday. 

Each social entrepreneur will be supported by mentors within Ashoka and Deutsche Bank networks, two of whom are Singapore-based female managing directors from Deutsche Bank - Sunila Shivpuri, head of information security, as well as Caroline Liow, head of corporate and investment bank operations.

Deutsche Bank will also provide financial resources for the programme, the bank said, without disclosing the amount. 

"Women entrepreneurs are an important source of innovation and job creation, but too often they do not have equal access to capital and business networks they need to sustain and expand their businesses. The Made for Good Accelerator for Women aims to change that and I am delighted to be a mentor in this changemaker programme," said Ms Liow. 

The accelerator will support three female social entrepreneurs through a nine-month-long bootcamp, as they prepare to expand their operations and impact, with a view to becoming investment-ready, said Ashoka and Deutsche Bank.

Park Yuhyun from DQI Institute is based in Singapore and hopes to empower young children to become responsible digital citizens; Levana Sani from Nalgenetics, who is based in Indonesia and Singapore, is creating a low-cost molecular diagnostics tool that can address public health issues; while Amanda Kiessel from Good Market who is based in Sri Lanka, is building a global online platform for social enterprises and responsible businesses to connect.

In February, Ashoka kicked off the programme with a virtual bootcamp over two days, as the face-to-face meeting was cancelled due to Covid-19, a spokesman told The Business Times on Monday. 

Among other things, mentors and social entrepreneurs will have access to resources on financial models, designing an investment deck and legal structuring. The accelerator programme consists of learning modules, continuing with a six-month online mentoring programme via a video conferencing tool and email.

Where relevant, participants will be coached to pursue the most appropriate hybrid corporate structure to attract both investment and philanthropic donations efficiently, the companies said. 

The programme will culminate in a pitch event in Singapore in September this year, where the social entrepreneurs will be able to present in front of impact-minded investors, corporates and foundations, said Ashoka and Deutsche Bank.