Impact Stories from Entrepreneurship Policy Area
Two fellows named to Kenya’s 40 under 40 list
Fellow(s): Topy Muga, Lucy Wanjiku-Mutinda
Cohort: 2016, 2017
Two TechWomen fellows were named Top 40 Under 40 in Kenya by Business Daily. Topy Muga (2017) and Lucy Mutinda (2016) are among entrepreneurs, academics, researchers, philanthropists and leaders in tech, all selected for the honor based on their influence and leadership in their respective fields.
Topy, the senior director of financial inclusion for Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, was formerly the head of Airtel Money at Airtel Kenya. She is a mentor at Zawadi Africa Education Fund, and her team’s TechWomen action plan project, Project Digniti, was selected as a seed grant winner during TechWomen 2017. Lucy is the CEO and founder of Ecocycle, a company that provides zero-waste products and services. A product engineer by trade, Lucy turns sewage into clean water, installing water recycling machines in homes and hotels throughout Kenya and promoting water re-use and environmental conservation. Lucy’s action plan team was also awarded a seed grant for their impact project, One Desk One Child, during TechWomen 2016.
While in the TechWomen program, Topy was hosted at Big Commerce and Lucy was hosted at San Francisco Department of the Environment.
Report Date...: 9/24/18
Mentor(s): Rekha Pai, Erin Keeley, Maile Smith, Diana Macias, Bianca Lederer, Sandra Chen
Company: Cresta Ventures, Facebook, Genentech, Twitter, Western Digital
Mentor Type: Impact, Professional
A group of six TechWomen mentors traveled to Malaysia to lead programming to empower, connect and support the next generation of women leaders in STEM fields. Supported by the U.S. Department of State and working closely with U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, Rekha Pai (of Cresta Ventures), Erin Keeley (Western Digital), Maile Smith (Northgate Environmental Management), Diana Macias (Twitter), Bianca Liederer (Genentech) and Sandra Chen (Facebook) met with government representatives, women in the workforce, youth leaders, entrepreneurs and government-sponsored incubators throughout the country.
Rekha, a longtime TechWomen mentor, previously traveled to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore as part of the U.S. Speakers Program, sponsored by the Bureau of International Information Programs. Following the success of her earlier trip, Rekha was invited back and assembled a team of mentors, nearly all of whom have participated in past TechWomen delegation trips, to join the “Women in Tech Delegation.” The group participated as judges and mentors at the National Science Challenge, a premier science competition that included 2,400 teams from over 50,000 students throughout Malaysia. They also visited Penang Science Cluster and met entrepreneurs at MaGIC, Malaysia’s government-sponsored global innovation and incubation center.
Report Date...: 8/13/2018
Fellow named one of 20 young Nigerians to watch
Fellow(s): Olamide (Mide) Ayeni
Olamide (Mide) Ayeni, 2017 fellow of Nigeria, has been featured in 20 Young Nigerians to Watch in 2018 by Ripples Nigeria. The list celebrates young Nigerians who “have made a great positive impact on their environment and chosen field.” Mide was highlighted for her social enterprise organization, Pearl Recycling, which pays people to collect solid waste items such as plastic, car tires, wood, newspapers and other recyclables in order to turn them into furniture. Mide’s recycled creations include coffee tables, chairs, mirrors, flower vases and wall décor. She started this initiative in the hopes that it would mitigate the growing amount of waste in Lagos that is often dumped into the ocean or burned.
Ripples Nigeria is a multimedia online news platform based in Nigeria that reports on politics and the economy.Read More »
Report Date...: 4/23/2018
Team Cameroon makes progress on action plan project
Fellow(s): Beatrice Nguimkeng, Danielle Akini, Meyo Zongo, Mpara Faith and Patu Ndango
Team Cameroon, one of five teams to win a $3,000 seed grant during the 2017 program for their action plan project, has taken exciting steps to reach their goal. The team members – Beatrice Nguimkeng, Danielle Akini, Meyo Zongo, Mpara Faith and Patu Ndango – proposed a project called Able Too, which aims to train teachers who work with special needs children. The team plans to create an online platform that will connect 300 trained teachers and specialists to other teachers and parents to enable the sharing of resources, experiences and expertise to best engage and support schoolchildren with special needs.
Thus far, the team has selected special education experts and communicated their mission to parents of special needs children. Most recently, they developed a web platform for ABLE Too that includes a blog, chat forums and a library with resources about different types of special needs. This platform is intended to empower parents and teachers who work with special needs children and provide them with useful information and strategies.Read More »
Report Date...: 4/16/2018
Fellow conducts entrepreneurship training for students
Fellow(s): Nour Altobasi
Nour Altobasi, 2017 fellow of Jordan, has recently conducted trainings on entrepreneurship and lean startup methodologies for students in her community in Amman. Attendees learned how to transform their ideas into a viable business plan by participating in activities such as creating business model posters and designing surveys. The session also taught participants about entrepreneurship and to understand difference between innovation and invention. A student who attended the workshop said, “I learned how to open my startup with confidence… I know who to reach out to and how to start an idea from zero and turn it into a business.”Read More »
Report Date...: 4/9/2018
Fellow selected for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme
Fellow(s): Mpara Faith
Mpara Faith, 2017 fellow of Cameroon, was recently selected for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme for her work on Scholar, an online platform supported by Mpara’s startup New Generation Technologies, which provides valuable software for educational institutions. The software offers admissions and attendance record-keeping, transcript and finance management and a range of other services.
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme runs 12 weeks and equips African startups with crucial skills to launch their businesses, covering topics from marketing strategy to product design. The program also provides each participating initiative with a $10,000 seed grant.
Report Date...: 4/2/2018
Fellow named to Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2018 list
Fellow(s): Sadia Bashir
Sadia Bashir, was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list in the Enterprise Technology category. Sadia is the cofounder of PixelArt Games Academy, a company that creates a platform for individuals who are interested in game development to enhance their skills and collaborate with others in the field of gaming. In an effort to address the gender gap in the gaming industry, her program maintains an enrollment rate of at least 33% women and has scholarships available for women who wish to participate. Sadia also strives to empower more women to break barriers and enter the tech industry in Pakistan and around the world. As her Forbes profile notes, “her success has inspired women in Pakistan to dream bigger.”
Sadia is one of only seven Pakistanis to make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and one of only five women to make the list in the Enterprise Technology category.Read More »
Report Date...: 4/2/2018
Fellow(s): Ala’a Agha Karss
Ala’a Agha Karss, 2017 fellow of Jordan, was selected to tell her story on the WOWW Campaign podcast series. In the episode, Ala’a shares about her journey as a single mother turned entrepreneur. Now CTO and owner of Superiors ICT, an innovative mobile and web applications development company, she speaks about financial lessons, societal expectations, self-awareness and inner strength.
The WOWW Campaign is a global bilingual online platform aimed at inspiring women around the world by sharing stories from female leaders about entrepreneurship and personal development.Read More »
Report Date...: 3/12/2018
GIST Tech-I Competition Semi-Finalists
Fellow(s): Mpara Faith and Danielle Akini
Mpara Faith and Danielle Akini, 2017 fellows of Cameroon, were both selected as semi-finalists for the GIST Tech-I competition. Mpara was selected for her work with New Generation Technologies Ltd, which provides communitybased enterprise software solutions. Danielle’s organization, Genius Centers, celebrates technological innovation with children by promoting leadership and computer skills in youth and young adults.
The GIST Tech-I competition is an annual initiative for science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies worldwide. It is led by the U.S. Department of State.Read More »
Report Date...: 3/5/2018
Mentor(s): Zanoon Nissar, Paria Rajai and Pamela O’Leary
Mentors Zanoon Nissar, Paria Rajai and Pamela O’Leary and TechWomen Lead Jillian Scott participated as panelists and moderators in the inaugural Women of MENA in Tech conference. The conference was organized by Persian Women in Tech and hosted by Oath.
Zanoon, founder of Women4Good, and Jillian spoke on a panel about community builders empowering women, which was moderated Paria, former director of marketing at Hackbright Academy. Pamela, a diversity and inclusion expert, shared insight about how organizations can transform workforce cultures.
The mission of the conference was to bring together powerful catalysts of change to intentionally create a new paradigm centered around equity, inclusion and diversity.Read More »
Report Date...: 2/12/2018