UN WeEmpowerAsia launches accelerator for female entrepreneurs

UN Women's WeEmpowerAsia programme has announced the launch of a new .

Funded by the European Union, UN Women Care Accelerator aims to support female in the care industry to come up with innovative solutions that can ultimately help create jobs and income for women.

The virtual programme will run over a period of six months from June 1, wherein selected candidates will be provided with tailor-made training, mentorship, funding support, and help to develop and scale up their business models.

Seedstars, a global venture capital fund, along with Bopinc, a social enterprise, will co-lead the training, exchange and mentorship.

Five applicants will be selected for the programme and the deadline to apply is May 10, 2021.

“It's about time we recognise the important role care work plays in our society. We must pay attention to the industry as a whole and empower entrepreneurs in the care sector by providing more growth opportunities,” said Anurag Maloo, Head of Partnerships (Asia-Pacific) at Seedstars.

“As a public-private sector partnership, we should prioritise investment in care work for a more equal and gender-inclusive economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” Maloo added.

“Our initial research has shown an emergence of innovative business models that can (partly) address unpaid care work and acceleration of these innovative models is required to ensure they can grow and be replicated,” shared Emile Schmitz, Managing Director at Bopinc. “UN Women's Care Accelerator is a great opportunity to bring entrepreneurs together and jointly scale entrepreneurial solutions to unpaid care work.”

According to a report by the Asian Development Bank and UN Women, even before the pandemic, women in Asia Pacific did (on average) four times as much unpaid care work as men did each day and in some countries up to 11 times more. This has widened the gender gap in earnings and prevented women from fully participating in the economy.

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