Scholarship opens for black women ICT leaders

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Enterprise development organisation The Innovator Trust has partnered with the Gordon Institute of Business Science's Enterprise Development Academy to offer a scholarship for black, women ICT leaders.

The 12-month, part-time Programme for Management Development is aimed at "established businesswomen who have been running a business successfully but need the opportunity to further refine their understanding and unlock greater opportunities for their business," explains Tashline Jooste, CEO at The Innovator Trust.

Candidates must have the flexibility to continue running their business while completing the course, which is why it is offered part-time, Jooste adds. "The programme is demanding and therefore requires delegates that not only have business acumen but a drive to commit to making the most of this experience and translating it into success."

The 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report rates entrepreneurial activity for men at 7.72% in SA, compared to 6.29% for women, while the 2015 Global Women Entrepreneurship Leaders Scorecard finds that only 27% of senior managerial positions in SA are occupied by women.

The progress of women in the ICT sector is greatly limited by the pervasive misconception that men are more technically adept than women, says Jooste. "This is a perception that we have seen change slowly over the years, but there needs to be an acknowledgement that much more needs to be done."

While applications for the scholarship have closed for this year, applicants for next year can apply via The Innovator Trust's Web site, and the Trust offers a number of other development programmes for women business-owners, Jooste advises.

The Innovator Trust gives preference to black, women-owned SMEs in equipping these businesses with the tools, skills and mentorship they need for success, aiming to foster leadership and growth in SA's ICT sector, says Jooste.

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