Dentsu Aegis Network and Dentsu Ventures is launching an initiative to mentor, develop and help fund female entrepreneurs in South and Southeast Asia.
The idea follows a report from the agency network earlier this year, titled ‘The New Voice of the Female Consumer in Southeast Asia’, in which it found that 36 per cent of women in Southeast Asia were self employed.
The programme will be part of One@Dentsu Aegis, which drives innovation and diversity at the network, and will operate with the input from female-led initiatives such as Female Founders, Women Unlimited and She Means Business.
Dentsu Aegis clients and third party partners will be recruited for involvement but the initiative will be led by Ruth Stubbs, CEO of iProspect Asia Pacific, alongside other Dentsu Aegis leadership across the region.
Stubbs commented; “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.”
The startups recruited onto the programme will be focused on ones that show ‘innovation, diversity, social sustainability and tech leadership’, according to the network. The three parts of the scheme; mentorship, development and funding, will start in August. Dentsu Ventures will supply the secondary funding for the startups as the final stage.