Women on the Rise

Women in African Tech and Creative Industries

Ojoma Ochai, Managing Director, Co-Creation Hub, Nigeria

WR: What unique challenges do female entrepreneurs face in the African tech and creative industries? How is CC Hub supporting women in overcoming these obstacles?

Ojoma Ochai: There are two layers to this. Women’s issues are not homogenous. Educated middle-class women in Lagos have very different realities compared to less educated women in Gombe State. Yes, women are underrepresented in many areas, but their experiences are diverse. We embrace intersectionality in our work. We support entrepreneurs by ensuring a gender balance, aiming for 50-50% participation across our portfolio. Sometimes it’s easier than others. For instance, in our coding programs, we often have fewer women, so we advocate for girls in universities to close the gap. 

We’re also launching an entertainment program to promote gender-equitable stories that shape positive gender norms. This program supports filmmakers and TV creators in telling stories that advocate for positive masculinity or highlight women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

WR: Is this entertainment initiative a new approach in the industry?

Ojoma Ochai: Yes, the project will launch in June 2024 in Nigeria and Kenya. We see it as a long-term investment because media shapes perceptions. It’s not just about having gender equity in our programs; it’s about addressing deeper issues around societal roles for women and girls. This project aims to tackle these root causes.

WR: As a leader in an innovation center, what strategies have you found effective in encouraging more women to participate in innovation, both on the investor side and on the entrepreneur side? What is CC Hub doing to encourage women to become entrepreneurs?

Ojoma Ochai: We run various women-focused initiatives. Our women in business program supports women entrepreneurs in building the foundational elements of a startup. Bridging that initial gap increases the likelihood of having a pipeline of women for incubation and acceleration. 

We conduct outreach from school age, promoting girls in STEM, to universities, working with academic innovators, and public-facing advocacy. We emphasize role modeling and presenting. Our Female Focus seminar series, held quarterly, platforms female founders to show young girls and decision-makers that women can be founders and leaders in any sector. This helps people see what’s possible.


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