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Eunice Nyandat, CEO, My Biz Marketer

 

Women are often left out on many entrepreneurship opportunities. According to theWomen in the Workplace report 2017 by McKinsey & Company, women earn 40 percent to 50 percent of degrees in science and engineering, and they represent 30 percent of the software industry work force. But they are less likely to have information about how to become an entrepreneur, to see female role models and to know venture capitalists.

It is for this reason that we organised the first Techstars Startup Weekend Women’s Edition in Nairobi. Startup Weekends are 54 hour events held globally, where people develop business ideas into startups. This women’s edition drew a lot of interest, indicating that women are ready to change the narrative of being left out of the picture.

Techstars Startup Weekends are organized by volunteer community leaders, and in Nairobi, My Biz Marketer and Mwanadada were the community leaders organizing. Our involvement as community leaders, in organizing Startup Weekend, came from experience of having organized two previous Startup Weekend Education events in Nairobi.

Our job was to mobilize coaches, judges, speakers and exhibitors from different organizations, like Upscale Consulting, Yusudi, iHub, Legibra, What’s Good Studios, The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Growth Africa, Metta Nairobi, The Kijiji, Refinery Grooming and many others, to help the young women entrepreneurs firm up their ideas in readiness for pitching. A big thanks to the iHub for giving us space for this event.

Daniel Anderson of Step & Stone during a mini-workshop on finances.

 

There were exhibitors at the event who they sponsored the event in different ways. Go Gaga experiential, the events management company that hosts annual Social Media Week events in Nairobi, Refinery Spa, Legibra and Oltouroto Children’s Village.

Basically the 54 hour event structure involves participants coming with different ideas, people voting for the best ideas, forming groups, and working together on the best ideas, punctuated by mini-workshops. It culminates on Sunday evening with the judging session where the groups pitch to a panel of judges. I am quite exited to see which idea wins. We sure will keep you posted on the winner and the goodies after the event, so stay tuned.

This article is a cross post from mwanadada blog. 

Juliet Awour