F-LANE: The Vodafone Institute Accelerator for Female Empowerment, kicked off its fifth programme last month.
First launched in 2016 by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, alongside the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and Impact Hub Berlin, twenty ventures focusing on empowering women through technology currently make up its alumni network.
Tech for female empowerment
Technology has huge potential to help societies overcome gender inequality. From training Africa’s next generation of female coders to providing financial coaching for women here in Germany, F-LANE graduates underline the extent to which smart, digital solutions can promote women’s participation in education, entrepreneurship and across industries. Some have more recently pivoted towards giving crucial support to women during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although the context and constraints that women and girls face differ from country to country, there is no region in which full equality has been achieved. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the latest F-LANE cohort to the world at our LIVE with Impact Hub virtual Global Showcase on Wednesday 14th October 2020.
Impact across continents
From the 455 applications from female-focused ventures in 84 different countries this year, the final nine teams selected for participation in the five-week intensive accelerator offer an incredibly diverse snapshot of female empowerment across industries.
SheKab, for example, are working towards a safer future for women in Pakistan, 82% of whom have experienced harassment at bus stops alone. Their ride-sharing app means that women can safely carpool to work by booking trusted, certified drivers. SheKab also continues to push the women’s safety agenda at the governmental level.
Then there’s Bidhaa Sasa (Products Now in Swahili), whose credit payment model allows their ‘last mile’ customers in Kenya to purchase life-improving products like solar-powered energy systems. (As the key household decision-makers in many families, 70% of Bidhaa Sasa’s customers are women.)
All nine teams are already well underway with the programme content, have been matched with business mentors relevant to their industries and take part in weekly online workshops.
A Global Showcase
As Community Partner to the F-LANE Accelerator, we at Impact Hub Berlin are activating our global network to support and work with the participants and form mutually beneficial partnerships. As our Programme Coordinator Clara noted after F-LANE III, it’s this often intangible, “soft side” of the programme, “this activation of our network and opening of doors for the startups” where we always see a high level of impact.
To this end, we’re co-hosting a special edition of LIVE with Impact Hub: Female Empowerment Across Industries. We’d love for you to join us there in one week on Wednesday 14th October 2020, 16:00 CEST, when we’ll hear a keynote speech from Amelia Lopez Huix, Co-Founder of MOH.INTERNATIONAL, followed by introductions to the F-LANE V participants. Because impact can’t happen in isolation.
Sign up for the online event here (be quick – participant numbers are limited) and learn more about the F-LANE teams here in advance. Interested in a Community Partnership with Impact Hub Berlin? Find out more and get in touch with our team.