Prince Sunduzani, Business Reporter
FEMALE Zimbabwean entrepreneurs involved in bio-science business stand a chance to get R300 000 to develop their businesses under a regional competition spearheaded by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development.
The competition, organised in partnership with the Southern African Network for Biosciences (SANBio), seeks to promote representation of women in bio-technology and improve their participation in STEM initiatives.
It targets female entrepreneurs with a business involving biotechnologies and other technologies in health or nutrition.
Applications for the competition being run by the National Biotechnology Authority (NBA), a statutory body under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, will close on April 20 this year.
The programme is aimed at equipping women with skills to close the critical gap in support of women entrepreneurs and catalyse a conversion around inclusive economic growth.
It also seeks to develop leadership, technological and business skills in female-owned businesses in the Sadc region, to support deal-making and business acceleration in the bio-sciences arena.
“In an effort to avail opportunities for women in the bio-science sector and to support women entrepreneurs to create a peer network, the NEPAD SANBio/BioFISA II Programme launched a FemBioBiz Women Bio-entrepreneur Competition through a three-phased approach in SANBio Member states in 2017,” said NBA in a statement.
“SANBio is looking for ambitious female leaders in bioscience-based businesses who would like to grow their business through an acceleration programme and gain regional exposure and access to international markets. If you fit this profile, apply now and don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity.”
The competition is also being run in seven other Sadc countries — Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Zambia. The 2018 FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme Season 2 will run until to September 2018. The programme will target female entrepreneurs with a business involving biotechnologies and other technologies in health or nutrition.
NBA is mandated to actively promote biotechnology research, development and application in the Zimbabwe. As a strategic facility for promoting socio-economic development anchored on biosciences, the NBA represents Zimbabwe in the (SANBio) steering committee and is the current chair of the committee.
Membership within the SANBio network provides opportunities for research, innovation and development (RDI) through collaborative networking. It also aligns stakeholders to streams of funding opportunities through various grant opportunities. — [email protected]