Giving female entrepreneurs a boost

MALAYSIAN Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has launched its MaGIC Pre-Accelerator Bootcamp: Female Founders Edition, a programme aimed at helping female entrepreneurs validate their business ideas, develop a working prototype, and create a focused go-to-market strategy.

The two-week bootcamp is specially curated for startups with female co-founders – or womenpreneurs – and will provide them with the opportunity to gain practical skills and capabilities, mentorship from key industry players, and valuable insights from Malaysia’s leading womenpreneurs. Shortlisted participants will be exposed to training on topics such as idea and market validation, business fundamentals and modelling, go-to-market strategies and product development as well as gaining pitching and demo day experience.

“Women are often under-represented among the entrepreneur population. To address this gender gap, we need to ensure that we understand the specific challenges which exist for womenpreneurs and that in trying to overcome these challenges, we are doing our best to open up market access and provide more targeted support for women.

“This is why we are proud to launch our new pre-accelerator bootcamp dedicated to womenpreneurs, as MaGIC seeks to empower women within the entrepreneur ecosystem and provide them with a platform to turn their business ideas into a reality. We welcome womenpreneurs from Malaysia and South-East Asia to apply and take the next step in their upcoming and exciting entrepreneurship journey. We look forward to seeing some innovative ideas come to life,” said MaGIC chief executive officer Ashran Ghazi.

MaGIC will announce the top 25 participants who qualify for the two-week programme in mid-June. Shortlisted participants will then be narrowed down further to 15 womenpreneurs who will participate in the Demo Day, where they can pitch their refined ideas to a room full of investors.

The winner of the Demo Day will receive a company incorporation package, post-programme mentoring session for three months, and access to MaGIC’s co-working space at its campus for three months.

Through its pre-accelerator bootcamp, MaGIC is creating an environment which empowers women and gives them an opportunity to pursue their passion as well as bring their ideas to life.

MaGIC’s latest effort is also in line with Malaysia’s focus on increasing women’s participation and contribution in the economy through the “Women’s Empowerment Year 2018 (WEY2018)”. Through WEY2018, the Malaysian government has reiterated its commitment to empower women and give them a greater role to contribute to the society and nation building.

An OECD report states that to forge sustainable and inclusive economic growth, it is important for a nation to ensure that women have equal access to education, employment, and entrepreneurship. Even though there are policies in place to improve women’s access to education and jobs market, more active steps must be taken to encourage their participation in entrepreneurship.

In Malaysia alone, the number of womenpreneurs has increased over the years. Today, womenpreneurs account for about 20% of registered SMEs, according to the SME Association of Malaysia.

Even so, these womenpreneurs are often unable to realise their true potential due to issues such as societal perception, lack of equal opportunities and smaller funding size available among others.

The combination of these factors could explain why Kuala Lumpur was ranked only at 41 in the top global cities in the world for womenpreneurs last year by Dell and IHS Markit, far behind Asian peers such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo, and Bangalore.

Applications for the pre-accelerator bootcamp can be done on MaGIC’s website and will run through May 21.

MaGIC , womenpreneurs , entrepreneur