Impact Stories from Entrepreneurship Policy Area
Fellow shares keynote address at tech conference
Fellow(s): Sylvia Mukasa
2014 fellow Sylvia Mukasa was a featured keynote speaker at this month’s East Africa Com, an annual event that brings together more than 700 technology leaders from throughout the African continent.
Sylvia is the founder and CEO of GlobalX Investments/Innovation Labs and also serves as the Kenya chapter lead of Women in Tech Africa. In her keynote, “Ensuring an Inclusive Journey Towards Africa 4.0,” Sylvia spoke about the opportunity to make the Fourth Industrial Revolution both human-centered and inclusive. “This is a call to action,” says Sylvia. “It is a vision for developing technologies in ways that foster a more empowering, collaborative and sustainable foundation for social and economic development built around shared values of the common good and human dignity.”
Report Date...: 5/27/19
Fellow presents at international climate action conference
Fellow(s): Patu Ndango Fen
This week, 2017 fellow Patu Ndango Fen presented at the 2019 International Conference on Climate Action, held in Heidelberg, Germany. Organized by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the conference convened government officials, UN representatives and the scientific community to discuss ways to improve collaboration and coordination for international sustainable development.
Patu is the founder and managing director or of Closed-Loop System Ventures Foundation, a waste management social enterprise that turns organic plant and animals waste into organic fertilizer. In her workshop, “Energizing Cities,” Patu and conference participants discussed policies that can support local renewable energy implementation. Using case studies from her work, Patu presented on developing innovative ways of managing waste in Cameroon, introducing the challenges, opportunities and future plans for innovative waste management systems.
Report Date...: 5/20/19
Fellow advocates for digital rights at inclusion forum
Fellow(s): Sophie Ngassa
2014 fellow Sophie Ngassa led a session on internet advocacy at the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum held last month in Lagos, Nigeria. The event, now in its seventh year, was attended by policymakers, legal experts and tech professionals who came together to discuss digital policy on the African continent.
Sophie is a civil engineer, STEM advocate and founder of the Center for Youth Education and Economic Development, a digital empowerment training center for youth in Cameroon. After two recent internet shutdowns in the northwest and southwest regions of the country, Sophie began more meaningfully advocating for internet rights in Africa, engaging government officials and stakeholders to address internet connectivity and the crises that arise from blocked communication.
At the forum, Sophie led a discussion and panel titled “Advocating in War Zones and Shrinking Civic Spaces,” where she spoke about the importance of open internet and the role advocacy coalitions can play in ensuring internet freedom. Alongside two panelists, Sophie spoke about creating an internet without borders, sharing best practices on empowering both civilians and policymakers to work towards a more open, safe and accessible internet for all.
Report Date...: 5/13/19
Fellow launches SingularityU Chapter in Quetta
Fellow(s): Ayesha Abdul Majeed
This month, 2018 fellow Ayesha Abdul Majeed spearheaded the launch of a new SingularityU Chapter in Quetta, Pakistan. Through their 142 Chapters, Singularity University facilitates local innovation and focuses on solving global challenges. Ayesha, who was hosted at Singularity University for her TechWomen mentorship, spoke about her goal of opening a chapter in her own communtiy in week three of the 2018 fall program.
Ayesha will serve as the SingularityU Ambassador, bringing innovative programming to students, entrepreneurs and tech professionals. In collaboration with National Incubation Center, the region’s first business incubator, the Quetta Chapter will prepare local entrepreneurs to build high-growth and sustainable startups. “We hope to tackle problems and support our community using exponential learning tools,” says Ayesha. “We plan to make a global impact by taking local innovations internationally.”
Report Date...: 5/13/19
TechWomen alumnae collaborate with TechGirls for STEM event
Fellow(s): Nisreen Deeb
This week, 2013 fellow Nisreen Deeb collaborated with TechWomen and TechGirls alumnae for an event aimed at educating and inspiring girls interested in STEM fields. Nisreen is the co-founder of Girls Got IT, an initiative that exposes girls aged 15-17 to STEM through interactive workshops on robotics, 3D printing, website design, game development and more.
The Girls Got IT event, supported by UNICEF Lebanon, was attended by 600 public and private school girls from throughout the country. The day featured inspirational keynotes, group sessions and 25 workshops led by local startup companies. 2018 seed grant-winning team My ioLab participated in the event, hosting a workshop on IoT and innovation.
As part of a broader effort to unite alumnae of TechWomen and TechGirls – an ECA program aiming to inspire teenaged girls to further pursue STEM – three TechGirls alumnae participated as volunteers, supporting Girls Got IT with logistics, registration and workshop facilitation. “I love TechGirls and their passion, and I always try to include them in our events” says Nisreen. The day was Girls Got IT’s biggest event to date; moving forward, Nisreen hopes to include as many girls as possible, contributing to their mission of ensuring that no girl is left behind.
Report Date...: 4/29/49
Fellow wins 2019 African Digital Woman at Margaret Awards
Fellow(s): Arielle Kitio
This month, 2016 fellow Arielle Kitio received the African Digital Woman Award at the annual Margaret Awards in Paris. Now in its seventh year, the awards are held in celebration of Digital Women’s Day, a day created in 2013 that aims to inspire women to innovate in the digital sector.
This year’s awards were themed “Women: World Changers” and recognized leading women who demonstrate commitment to a better world through their work and achievements. Arielle was recognized for her impact as the founder of CAYSTI, a STEM education program that educates young students through their youth tech lab, incubator and after-school programs. “I am moved, honored and grateful to have been selected as a winner,” says Arielle.
Report Date...: 4/29/49
Fellows share expertise at annual Social Media Camp
Fellow(s): Nassima Berrayah, Fatima Zohra Benhamida
Cohort: 2013, 2017
Last month, fellows Nassima Berrayah (2013) and Fatima Zohra Benhamida (2017) were invited to speak at Algeria’s Social Media Camp 2019, a conference that brought together more than 300 participants for three days of interactive programming. The event, now in its second year, invited professors, journalists and social media professionals to share best practices on online marketing, social networks and the ethics of social media.
Nassima, founder of Women Entrepreneurs Accelerator and founder and CEO of eBlink, led a workshop on leveraging collaborative platforms to organize events. Fatima presented to students on best practices in pitching, using TechWomen’s action plans as examples of pitching community-based impact projects. “The room was overcrowded because I couldn’t let participants in after we reached capacity,” said Fatima. “I was invited to repeat my presentation the next day in a room of 300 people.”
2018 fellow and blogger Salma Bekkouche was in attendance, and together, the three fellows met in hopes of establishing future partnerships and collaboration.
Report Date...: 4/15/19
Fellow organizes International Women’s Day event in Dubai
Fellow(s): Rayan Al Zahab
2016 fellow of Lebanon Rayan Al Zahab, a Women Techmakers ambassador and Google Developers Expert, recently partnered with Google to organize an International Women’s Day event in Dubai. The event theme, “#IAmRemarkable,” was borrowed from the initiative of the same name that aims to empower women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments. Organized by Rayan for the second straight year, the event welcomed nearly 200 attendees.
Princess Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the Dubai royal family presided over the event, announcing with a Google representative an initiative to train and certify 1,000 girls in the MENA region on Google Cloud technologies.
Report Date...: 4/8/2019
Fellow named to OkayAfrica’s 100 Women list
Fellow(s): Dr. Chao Mbogo
Recently, 2017 fellow of Kenya Dr. Chao Mbogo was named to the OkayAfrica 100 Women 2019 list. Now in its third year, the 2019 campaign is themed on Africa’s youth and features Africa’s women leaders who are pioneering innovative ways to invest in youth and changing the future for the next generation.
Chao, the head of the computer science department at Kenya Methodist University, is the founder of KamiLimu, a six-month computer science mentorship program for Kenyan university students. Although Chao sees a gender imbalance in her university classes, 50% of KamiLimu’s current mentees are women. The initiative is now in its third year and has seen a steady increase in mentees, 30% of whom return to serve as peer mentors in subsequent KamiLimu cohorts.
Report Date...: 4/1/19
Mentors inspire young students to pursue their STEM passions
Fellow(s): TechWomen delegation trip to Uzbekistan
Cohort: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
On day five, delegates visited students at three local secondary schools, introducing them to STEM fields and fostering their interest in entrepreneurship, robotics and more through interactive dialogue and exploratory exercises. Throughout the day, students learned about new industries and were challenged to think about how can they turn their passions into sustainable careers.
At School #31, mentor Elaina Tia led students in an exercise called “My Three Alternative Lives,” which prompted girls to think about their current career aspirations, their “plan B” and the careers they would unabashedly pursue if given the chance. Initially pursuing a career in finance, Elaina shared that she chose to follow her passion for design, ultimately becoming a UX designer at LinkedIn. She encouraged the girls to follow their curiosity, reminding them that they have the ability to choose their own path despite any challenges they may face.
The activities ended with a Q&A session, during which one student asked mentors about the biggest risk they had taken in their career. Mentor Maile Smith said that she takes a series of risks every day, insisting that she is heard, respected and valued: “I take a seat at the table even if I’m not offered a seat at the table,” she said.
Report Date...: 3/25/19