This year, 16 members of the TechWomen community participated in the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which was held in Hyderabad, India from November 28-30. The summit, co-hosted this year by the governments of the United States and the Republic of India, highlighted the theme Women First, Prosperity for All and focused on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally. Now in its eighth year, GES is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs. More than half of the attendees this year were female.
Twelve fellows representing ten countries and all seven TechWomen cohorts were in attendance, as well as four mentors. These individuals included:
- Afnan Ali, 2011 fellow of Jordan
- Sadia Bashir, 2017 fellow of Pakistan
- Eileen Brewer, mentor
- Rana El Chemaitelly, 2017 fellow of Lebanon
- Sabine El Kahi, 2014 fellow of Lebanon
- Omnia Eteyari, 2013 fellow of Libya
- Janet Fofang, 2013 fellow of Cameroon
- Amel Ghouila, 2014 fellow of Tunisia
- Timan Goshit, mentor
- Oluremi Hamid, 2016 fellow of Nigeria
- Mariam Kariakos, 2015 fellow of Egypt
- Emma Lawler, mentor
- Lucy Mutinda, 2016 fellow of Kenya
- Lucie Newcomb, mentor
- Jessica Obeid, 2012 fellow of Lebanon
- Mai Temraz, 2014 fellow of Palestinian Territories
In the days leading up to the summit, Sadia Bashir, Founder and CEO of PixelArt Games Academy and a member of TechWomen’s first cohort of fellows from Pakistan, was one of just two Pakistani delegates to be highlighted in an article by the New Indian Express. She was also recognized by David Hale, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, with a certificate in honor of her being selected to attend GES.
GES began with a plenary session titled “Be the Change: Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership” that featured speakers from the public and private sectors who are opening doors for women entrepreneurs in their countries and communities. Among the panelists was Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States. Summit participants were also addressed by Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
One the second day of the program, two TechWomen fellows, Sabine El Kahi and Janet Fofang, were singled out for a live interview in which they shared their experience with the TechWomen program and spoke about the work they are doing to inspire woman and girls to pursue careers in STEM. Sabine, founder of Kids Genius, an organization that aims to spread a “maker culture” among youths by cooperating with parents, schools and organizations to establish and encourage innovative minds, spoke about the benefit of reconnecting with other TechWomen fellows: “Here at GES, we’re connecting again, we’re meeting each other.” Sabine was also excited to have the opportunity to further expand her network in ways that could lead to new partnerships. Janet, co-founder of a school that teaches STEM skills to youths, said that the “TechWomen program was kind of an eye-opener,” and she spoke about how much she learned through her interactions with other TechWomen fellows during the program. Both spoke about the great potential woman have to shape the future of the world economy. According to Janet, “women have the potential and are here to shine.”
The agenda for GES 2017 was filled with panels, breakout sessions and master classes that allowed summit attendees to dig deeper into their topics of interest. In the breakout sessions, panelists discussed key themes, innovative industries and other aspects of entrepreneurship that were being highlighted at the summit. The master classes, which had a smaller capacity than the breakout sessions, were a chance for attendees to further immerse themselves in certain topics.
By the end of the summit, the TechWomen GES attendees walked away from the experience with new connections and many fresh new ideas to motivate their work back home. Jessica Obied said the main highlight for her was hearing amazing stories from people all over the world, and she was thankful for the warm hospitality shown by the citizens of Hyderabad.
Thank you to all members of the TechWomen community who attended GES for being such wonderful ambassadors for the program! Check out a recap of our GES social media coverage on Storify.