Impact Stories from Entrepreneurship Policy Area
Mentor(s): Erica Lockheimer
Mentor Erica Lockheimer was named to the 100 Women Tech Leaders to Watch in 2022 list by WomenTech Network, a global platform that promotes diversity in tech. Their annual list recognizes and honors women who are moving technology forward and working towards greater gender parity in their fields. Erica is the vice president of engineering for LinkedIn Talent Solutions, LinkedIn Learning and Glint. During TechWomen 2020-2021, Erica spoke in a fireside chat alongside mentor Mansi Modak, telling Emerging Leaders about her path to leadership and stressing the importance of mentorship. “You’re not going to fit into a perfect box,” she reminded them. “I struggled, and if there’s anything I can do to make that path easier for people by sharing my story, I will.”Read More »
Report Date...: 1/17/2022
Fellow wins Woman in Tech Award
Fellow(s): Sabina Nforba
2020-2021 fellow Sabina Nforba won the Woman in Tech Award at the Bonteh Digital Media Awards, recognized for her leadership in technology and for empowering the next generation. Bonteh Digital Media Awards is Cameroon’s first media and tech award ceremony aimed at honoring and amplifying leaders in the digital economy. Sabina is the co-founder and president of AfriTech Hub, an organization that empowers young students and women to pursue STEM education and STEM careers. The initiative has worked with 3,000 students through its clubs, workshops and summits, and recently held a training for girls in front-end coding, helping place them in internships at the bootcamp’s conclusion. Sabina also works in data analytics for i engineering Group, a Beirut-based telecommunications company. “It was an honor to receive the Woman in Tech Award,” wrote Sabina. “A big thanks to everyone who has supported me through the work we do at AfriTech Hub. There would be no award without you and this is dedicated to you. I hope this inspires you to dream and do! Start wherever you are, start today. I promise, the world will be thankful you did.”Read More »
Report Date...: 1/10/2022
Fellow featured in article for impacting Morocco’s economy
Fellow(s): Houda Chakiri
2012 fellow Dr. Houda Chakiri was featured in article from Medias24, an independent news company that focuses on Morocco’s economy. Houda is an assistant professor of computer science Al Akhawayn University, as well as the founder and CEO of Enhanced Technologies, a company that works with public offices in Moroccan cities to digitize internal operations and enable multi-platform electronic service delivery. To date, Enhanced Technologies has digitized more than 5.5 million records of Morocco’s citizens. “A linchpin of the process of digitizing civil status offices in Morocco…Dr. Houda Chakiri is among the entrepreneurs who have marked the laborious process of introducing digital to the Moroccan administration,” the article’s author writes, highlighting Houda’s contributions in both academia and entrepreneurship.Read More »
Report Date...: 1/10/2022
Fellow named a 2021 InspiringFifty winner
Fellow(s): Rogeema Kenny
Country: South Africa
2015 fellow Rogeema Kenny was named an InspiringFifty winner, recognized for her leadership and commitment to inspiring women and youth. Established by CoCreateSANL, the Inspiring 50 list recognizes women in STEM fields that serve as role models and leaders in their communities. Through honoring women leaders, CoCreateSANL hopes to increase the visibility of diverse women in STEM and inspire girls to choose a STEM career.
Since TechWomen, Rogeema has led projects that introduced over 11,000 youth to coding. She is the founding director of Altelim, a non-profit focused on youth development, tech education and transfering knowledge to those most in need to effect social change. “I am driven by impact, and work tirelessly to get more young people and girls into STEM careers,” Rogeema said. “I use my platform to inspire people to go for their dreams and to believe that anything is possible.”
Report Date...: 1/3/2022
USALTech hosts the TechWomen/TechGirls Gathering
Fellow(s): Nisreen Deeb, Ghana Bteich, Lara Chikhani, Rasha Sukkarieh
Cohort: 2013, 2015, 2017
TechWomen and TechGirls alumnae hosted the TechWomen/TechGirls Gathering, a networking event that connected alumnae and invited local women and girls in technology to learn about the two programs. The gathering was organized by U.S. Alumnae for Lebanese TechWomen and TechGirls (USALTech), a club and online platform founded by fellows Nisreen Deeb (2013), Ghana Bteich (2015) and 2017 fellows Lara Chikhani and Rasha Sukkarieh, alongside TechGirls alumnae. With support from Legacy International, USALTech connects Lebanese exchange program alumnae, promotes opportunities for women and girls in STEM and encourages its members to share their skills and expertise.
The event, attended by the public affairs officer and cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy Beirut, introduced both the TechWomen and TechGirls programs to potential applicants, and invited each attendee to introduce herself and share her professional interests. “Instant connections were made,” said Nisreen. “Many ladies shared the same career paths. Some TechWomen were able to help many TechGirls on the spot.” After, the alumnae hosted a Q&A for both programs, answering questions about the applications and sharing their exchange experiences. Many of the women and girls also spoke about the challenges they face in Lebanon, and the group agreed to continue the conversation and help one another moving forward. “New connections and new bridges for support were made,” said Nisreen.
Report Date...: 12/29/2021
Fellows speak about EdTech at YALI Connect
Fellow(s): Horore Bebga, Angele Messa
Cohort: 2018, 2019
This month, 2018 fellow Horore Bebga and 2019 fellow Angele Messa were featured speakers at YALI Connect, a monthly event from the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), an initiative from the U.S. Department of State that educates and connects the next generation of African leaders. The event, themed on education, was hosted by the YALI Regional Leadership Center in Dakar, Senegal, a space that offers training to young leaders from 16 African countries. Horore and Angele are both YALI alumnae. Angele is the founder of EduClick, an EdTech platform that offers alternative learning methods for those who don’t have access to formal education in Cameroon. Horore is the co-founder of Likalo Education, a STEM education initiative that empowers young people with 21st century skills. Likalo’s newest platform, Cyber Muna, offers media and online safety education for children and educational institutions. At the event, Horore and Angele shared their experiences and challenges working in education and answered questions from YALI alumnae about women in EdTech. “Horore and I unanimously believe African women have their part to play in education in general,” said Angele. “We don’t only believe they have a part to play, we believe they are the main players in the field.”Read More »
Report Date...: 12/29/2021
Fellows’ inspiring stories featured in Womenpreneur book
Fellow(s): Ouafa Benterki (Algeria, 2012), Layal Jebran (Lebanon, 2017) and Nevien Magdy (Egypt, 2019)
Country: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon
Cohort: 2012, 2017, 2019
Fellows Ouafa Benterki (Algeria, 2012), Layal Jebran (Lebanon, 2017) and Nevien Magdy (Egypt, 2019) shared their stories of entrepreneurship and resilience for the Womenpreneur Tour book, a compilation of features spotlighting inspiring women in the MENA region. The Womenpreneur Initiative is a Brussels-based organization with a mission to advance and support women entrepreneurs and innovators in Belgium and MENA.
In 2019, the initiative embarked on the Womenpreneur Tour, traveling throughout MENA to meet inspiring women and hear their stories of entrepreneurship. Their book, “Women Turning Crises into Opportunities: 18 inspiring stories from Algeria, Egypt and Lebanon,” chronicles the journeys of the women they met, highlighting their career trajectories and the challenges they overcame. Ouafa is the founder and CEO of MTY Intelligent Software, the first women-led AI startup in Algeria. In her interview, she outlined the uphill battle she faced as a woman leader: “Every time I thought about quitting, though, I told myself if I don’t realize my dream no one else will do it for me.” In her feature, Nevien, the founder and CEO of UXit and Origin Technology Solutions, spoke about building company culture with a remote team and the drive required to start a business. Layal was highlighted as co-founder of Moubarmij, an Edtech platform that offers programming video tutorials in Arabic: “I don’t think entrepreneurs should ever stop if they truly believe in what they’re doing,” she said. 2019 fellow of Jordan Esra’a Alsanie, founder of environmental startup EnvaTechs, was also interviewed, sharing her entrepreneurial journey in a video feature.
Report Date...: 12/13/21
Fellow wins Women in STEM Champion Award
Fellow(s): Josephine Ndambuki
Last month, 2013 fellow of Kenya Josephine Ndambuki was named winner of the Women on Boards Network’s Women in STEM Champion Award, recognized for her STEM advocacy and leadership for women and girls in Kenya. The Women on Boards Network (WOBN) works to address the gender gap within corporate boards through supporting and promoting women leaders. This year’s inaugural WOBN Awards brought together women leaders in Kenya to celebrate gender parity on boards and honor those who have made significant contributions to gender diversity.
Josephine is the manager of economic development, partnerships and resource mobilization for Konza Technopolis, a mixed-use city and innovation hub that is a flagship program of Kenya’s Vision 2030 economic development portfolio. She is also the founder of DigitzeHer, an initiative that trains women and girls with digital skills. Last year, Josephine wrote a guest blog for TechWomen about her journey to Konza Technopolis, reflecting on her TechWomen experience that served as a catalyst for her personal and professional development.
The Women in STEM Champion Award recognizes a woman that has advocated for women in STEM fields, serving as a role model for women and girls in Kenya. “I take this with a lot of humility and dedicate this to the many women in STEM, HeForShe mentors and advocates, role models and organizations that I have had an opportunity to work with in this journey,” wrote Josephine. “We cannot afford to have a gender divide in the digital divide.”
Report Date...: 12/6/21
Fellow and TechGirls alumna collaborate to inspire girls in STEM
Fellow(s): Imene Henni Mansour
This week, 2019 fellow Imene Henni Mansour was a guest speaker at Women Who STEM, a free online initiative that empowers women and girls to pursue STEM fields. Women Who STEM was founded by Youssra Bencherif, a 2021 TechGirls alumna from Algeria.
Imene and Youssra met during Youssra’s TechGirls 2021 interview, where Imene served on the interview panel. Youssra reached out to Imene shortly after the 2021 program concluded, asking her to get involved in her initiative. At the most recent event, Youssra invited women leaders to share their careers in STEM and give advice to girls on how to kickstart their STEM careers. In her talk, Imene, the CEO of InnoCom, spoke about computer science, entrepreneurship in Algeria and how volunteering helped her gain the soft skills required to create her own company. Imene told the girls that they must challenge themselves every day to be the best version of themselves: “As women entrepreneurs, we have to be bold and self-confident, because others can feel it,” she said. “I also advised them to always be self-learners, whatever their age, position or status.”
Report Date...: 11/29/21
Fellow discusses innovation and the future of tech in interview
Fellow(s): Zimkhita Buwa and Anar Simpson (mentor)
Country: South Africa
2013 fellow Zimkhita Buwa was a featured guest on Yes We Can, an interview series from Cloudflare featuring women technology leaders. The series is led by Michelle Zatly, Cloudflare’s co-founder, president and COO. Zimkhita and Michelle were introduced through TechWomen mentor and strategic partnerships advisor Anar Simpson, who was also featured on Yes We Can.
Zimkhita is the CEO of Quintica, a digital innovation company. She is also a member of Dazzle Angels, a women-led angel fund that invests in women-owned startups, and serves on the board of Silicon Cape, a non-profit that promotes tech entrepreneurship in the Western Cape. In the interview, Zimkhita reflected on her TechWomen experience and how it impacted her career. “It changed my life,” she said. “I realized I didn’t want to be technical anymore, and it made me choose a different career for myself.” Zimkhita also spoke about mentorship, entrepreneurship and innovation, highlighting the flourishing startup ecosystem in South Africa and how women entrepreneurs are pioneering transformative change.
Report Date...: 11/29/21