As part of One@DentsuAegis, a programme developed to support diversity and innovation across the business, Dentsu Aegis Network has formalised an initiative to mentor, develop and help fund female start-ups in South and Southeast Asia. Partnering with other female led diversity initiatives such as Female Founders, Women Unlimited and She Means Business, Dentsu Aegis Network will run a three-part programlaunching in August 2016.
Ruth Stubbs, CEO, iProspect Asia Pacific, will be running the initiative with an extended leadership team from across Dentsu Aegis Network and strategic business partners which include clients and other third parties. A blueprint has been developed to recruit, mentor and fund female founded start-ups that display `innovation, diversity, social sustainability and tech leadership’ at their core.
In partnership with some of the leading institutions, foundations and associations focused on the empowerment and promotion of female leadership in both start-ups and across the industry, the programme will culminate with an opportunity for successful candidates to pitch their business for secondary funding, often the hardest to land, through Dentsu Ventures.
Stubbs said, “We believe this initiative will allow Dentsu Aegis Network to lead the industry towards a more socially conscious approach to the onset of the digital economy, especially highlighting the role women and emerging markets are set to play. Digital convergence and an emerging generation of female entrepreneurs are changing the shape of traditional business as we know it. Understanding these women, their motivations and how we can help them is critical to the success of us all.”
Nick Waters, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific added, “This initiative will facilitate a working partnership with our clients, the investment community and our industry at large. It will support female founders of start-ups by providing access to tools and connections, skills to develop commercial infrastructure, training to scale platforms and mentorship to hone softer skills – allowing them to thrive as businesses and continue innovate.”