Digital Frontiers’ South Asia Regional Digital Initiative (SARDI) recently conducted a scoping study to explore barriers facing women in technology in South Asia, particularly those who are looking to scale and grow their businesses and engage on a regional level. A total of 47 in-depth interviews conducted in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka revealed a lack of mentorship and support for women entrepreneurs in tech. Interviewees mentioned a strong startup support ecosystem that fades away and leaves businesses lacking mentorship for growth over time and further investment opportunities. In addition, businesses lack the support required to navigate the myriad of digital policies that affect their business operations.

Cross-regional graphic.JPG

SARDI seeks to address these barriers through an initiative to connect women entrepreneurs in tech across the region and provide mentorship and capacity-building support to women seeking to expand their businesses. Digital Frontiers has released a request for applications (RFA) to develop this regional network and capacity-building program. As a result of this activity, women entrepreneurs’ digital capabilities will be strengthened, they will have a larger footprint in the digital economy, and an improved ability to engage in digital policy.

Who Should Apply?

DAI is looking for qualified organizations or consortiums with:

  • Relevant networks in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

  • Experience with entrepreneurship acceleration in the digital space

  • Strong understanding of the local context and barriers faced by women

  • Experience designing and delivering capacity building programs to similar target groups

More information on qualifications and how to apply can be found here. Concept notes are due January 10, 2022, to [email protected]. Questions regarding the request for applications are due December 16 to [email protected]. If you are interested in receiving updates and further communications regarding this RFA, please email [email protected].

SARDI, part of the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, seeks to advance economic development in South Asia by increasing the digital capacity of the private sector and civil society and by strengthening their ability to engage on digital and ICT policy issues. SARDI provides digital upskilling for ecosystems and local partners, so that they can better participate in, and benefit from, the digital revolution.