If your business is a female-founded or female-led and you're interested in creating or improving an iOS app, you may qualify for Apple's new free Entrepreneur Camp. "Apple is committed to helping more women assume leadership roles across the tech sector and beyond," CEO Tim Cook said in a statement released by Apple. "We're proud to help cultivate female leadership in the app development community."

To be eligible for the program, a company must be female-founded, female-co-founded, or female-led, the company says. It also must have at least one woman on the app development team. It must also have a working or prototype app, and a desire to use Apple technology to further its mission.

Startups selected for the program can each send three participants to attend, although one must be a female developer, and one must be a female founder, co-founder, or CEO. The program lasts two weeks and includes one-on-one work with Apple engineers, as well as sessions on design, technology, and App Store marketing. After the program is over, participants will get a one-year membership in the Apple Developer Program, access to the Apple Developer Camp Alumni Forum, and two tickets to the following year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for a female founder or CEO, plus a female developer.

The first female founders' Entrepreneur Camp runs from January 28 to February 8, 2019, with representatives from 10 companies. Future two-week sessions will begin on April 1, July 22, and October 14, with 20 companies in attendance.

As the company explained in its announcement:

"Female entrepreneurs continue to face challenges obtaining funding, training and support in the VC landscape--receiving $1.9 billion in funding in 2017 compared to $83.1 billion for men. Despite such obstacles, women-owned businesses are growing more than two times faster than the US national average, with women-led tech startups delivering a 35 percent higher return on investment than tech startups led by men." 

This new Entrepreneur Camp might help level the playing field just a little, or at least help your company with the time-consuming process of creating an app and getting it into the Apple App Store. You can learn more and apply to the program here