Following the TechWomen program in October 2013, thirteen groups of Emerging Leader alumnae from Africa and the Middle East were awarded seed grants to help launch innovative new programs to support women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in their countries. These grants were designed to help TechWomen alumnae create change, support women and girls, and inspire others to become ambassadors for STEM fields in their communities.
A number of TechWomen Seed Grant recipients have successfully launched their initiatives. Find updates about three initiatives below.
1. Taungana STEM Expo, founded by a group of alumnae from South Africa and Zimbabwe, recently completed a campaign on Indiegogo to fund an annual conference offering STEM career guidance to 30 rural high school girls in southern Africa. The conference will connect girls to STEM professionals, expose them to leading STEM organizations, and encourage participants to become STEM ambassadors in their communities, where women are underrepresented in STEM fields. This year’s event, “Decoding STEM Careers,” is seven-day conference scheduled to take on August 23 in Johannesburg. Follow @TaunganaAfrica on Twitter for updates about the initiative.
2. TechWomen Zimbabwe is a startup incubator founded by five Zimbabwean TechWomen alumnae. The initiative seeks to inspire girls in STEM fields through a variety of activities, including workshops, competitions, and networking events. In February, the alumnae launched Technovation Challenge in Zimbabwe, which brought 150 girls between the ages of 10 and 23 from schools in the Harare urban region to form teams to create innovative mobile applications that support the needs of their communities. Inspired by the Mentoring Girls Workshop they participated in during the TechWomen program in October 2013, the alumnae successfully launched Technovation in order to support girls’ education in STEM in their country. To learn more about TechWomen Zimbabwe, watch TechnoMag’s interview with two founders below and follow them on Twitter @Techwomenzim.
3. DZ Women in Technology, founded by a group of TechWomen alumnae from Algeria, organized Maghreb Women Startup Weekend from May 15-17, 2014. Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, and startup enthusiasts collaborate and share ideas to build products and launch startups. Inspired by their experiences in Silicon Valley, DZ WIT’s Startup Weekend brought together a diverse group of talented women in tech from all over the region. Women from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia participated in this year’s event, and worked in mixed teams to develop technological solutions and business plans to identify and address market needs in the region. To stay updated on all of DZ WIT’s activities, like them on Facebook.
With ten additional initiatives also in the works in Africa and the Middle East, stayed tuned to our blog for more updates about TechWomen seed grant initiatives! Follow the hashtag #TWimpact for more stories about the impact of the program.