By Edwina Dueñas, Communications Associate
On October 27 at the TechWomen Community Celebration at Automattic, TechWomen awarded the top six action plan teams $2,500 each in seed grants to implement their plans. Twenty teams of Emerging Leaders (ELs) from the 2015 cohort developed action plans to address a critical community issue. On October 22, the groups pitched their plans before a panel of judges that included leaders from USAID, Google, African Diaspora Network and Autodesk.
The judges rated each group based on the potential for impact, utilization of resources and pitch delivery. Below is a summary of the top plans.
She Can Do It! (Jordan)
She Can Do It! will focus on capacity building and job training for recent female graduates to get more women in the IT and green technology fields in Jordan. She Can Do It! plans to host training sessions on soft skills, ruby on rails and solar panels to make candidates more attractive to companies.
STEM in a Box (Nigeria)
STEM in a Box is a portable box customized to complement the delivery of science lessons in middle schools in Nigeria, and includes a solar kit, electricity tools, a mini skeleton and magnets. It is targeted at schools in rural areas to increase the enrollment numbers of students in science in high schools. They will partner with nonprofit organizations, government entities and schools to get the box to as many students as possible.
We Care (Kyrgyzstan)
We Care aims to bridge the gap in Kyrgyzstan between central hospitals in cities and peripheral hospitals in rural areas through telemedicine, a high-resolution video conference system. It will enhance the medical resources in remote regions and enable mentorship, trainings and workshops to help doctors and nurses learn.
She is Back (Egypt)
There are limited opportunities for highly educated women to rejoin the marketplace, and She is Back aims to change this issue. Their three-month program will allow women to complete a project at a company and provide them with a network, mentors and hands-on experience to help them reintegrate.
STEM Fem (Palestinian Territories)
STEM Fem aims to increase the number of women in STEM workforce in the Palestinian Territories through an interactive online platform. It will contain profiles of each woman in STEM (new graduates and job seekers), job matching and opportunities, and self-organized mentorship and training sessions. They also plan to partner with companies, government agencies, incubators and nonprofit organizations to formalize their platform.
Big Sisters (Sierra Leone)
Big Sisters is a mentorship program for orphans from the Ebola virus and underprivileged children in rural areas in Sierra Leone. They plan to create learning labs at the kindergarten level, equipped with computers, technology kits and science projects. Big Sisters will help welcome orphans back into local communities without the stigma associated with the virus and work with government ministries to facilitate seamless adoptions.
Congrats to each team and a thanks to our mentors and program partners for supporting the development of these plans. Seed funding was made possible in part by Symantec and African Diaspora Network. We are excited to follow each team as they launch their plans and begin making an impact in their communities. Follow #twimpact for alumnae stories and updates from these initiatives and more.