The eSASCy (Southern African Startup Community) platform is an inclusive digital community for entrepreneurs, service providers, innovators, and financiers in the five SACU countries. It is an initiative of The World Bank and the South African Department of Science & Technology. The platform seeks to bridge several gaps identified when it comes to supporting early stage startups, and thus focuses on empowering innovators, encouraging collaboration amongst entrepreneurs, access to knowledge & finance opportunities, resource sharing, as well as matchmaking amongst and between the ecosystem actors in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, eSwatini and Namibia.


Anyone with the vested interest in the development of women knows that economically empowered women are major catalysts for development, as they usually re-invest their money in their children’s health, nutrition, and education. In fact, reducing gender inequality in resources and improving the status of women has been proven time nd time again to be “smart economics.”


It is with such findings that the World Bank’s eSASCy project team alongside AWIEF is creating a digital stage for women led MVP, pre-seed and/or growth stage startups from across the SACU countries to pitch to a select group of financiers for potential investment. In addition to this, all the participating startups will be granted access to the Thinkubate programme powered by Thinkroom and Microsoft for Africa.


If you’d like to tune in on the day or extend the invitation to your database of entrepreneurs,

here’s the link to register:




Just because you (entrepreneur) may not be pitching on the day doesn’t mean you walk away empty handed! Our team will also be giving away more Thinkubate licenses to women-led startups across the SACU countries. So how do you as an entrepreneur apply to stand a chance to win this? Click on this link: and tell us how you have demonstrated UNCOMMON COURAGE! (Applications closes on the 22nd August 2021, 23h59 CAT).


Winners will be announced during our event on the 27th August 2017. Good Luck! See you there!