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iHub By Joseph / March 16, 2014

#40Forward rethinking the gender gap

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Started in March 2010 it has been almost 4 years since the dream of the iHub was born. Over those 4 years the community has grown to over 10 thousand members and companies have left the proverbial nest that is the iHub and gone on to perform well. But in all in this it is important to ask ourselves as much as the iHub has done to support the & nurture the tech community, what has it done in terms of addressing the gender gap that exists within this community.

In order to fully answer this question it is important to understand that the iHub exists in order to connect the community at large. A physical nexus point if you will where members of the tech community meet and interact. It is through this nexus point that great companies like Akirachix were formed. Akirachix is comprised of a group of amazing ladies whose sole aim is to increase the number of women in the tech sector.

The iHub has partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs through the  #40Forward Program to:

  • Improve the business skills of women entrepreneurs in Kenya
  • Promote the visibility of women entrepreneurs in Kenya
  • Connect women entrepreneurs in Kenya to prospective investors
  • Provide and facilitate a platform for networking for women entrepreneurs in the country
  • Reach 200 women entrepreneurs in this program

Our Focus:

  1. Networking:  Monthly meet-ups for women, pitching sessions for women
  2. Training : Basic business skills trainings
  3. Promoting the visibility of women entrepreneurs in Kenya through videos

According to Judith Owigar, Akirachix co-founder and executive director, “We decided you know what? Let’s come together to create an environment learn from each other and we can push each other to stay in the field of technology. We all knew somebody who had dropped from the field of tech because it’s not so conducive. So we decided if we form this network of women in technology we can one encourage each other and other women to stay in the field of technology.” From a small group of ladies with a dream Akirachix now have their own space on the ground floor of the Bishop Magua building, where they host tech trainings for young girls.

At iHub we are always glad to host amazing talks where we invite interesting speakers to give talks about various aspects of tech and business. From fireside chats with current Yahoo CEO Marrisa Mayer, formerly of Google, to Nairobi Research Buzz sessions with amazing women entrepreneurs like Catherine Mahugu, founder of Soko and Hilda Moraa co-founder of Wezatele sharing their stories.

 eLimu founder Nivi Mukerjee talks about her company & her motivations as an entrepreneur.

We’ve had interesting training sessions such as the Jump Start Series and Tajriba. The Jumpstart series involved strengthening the local developer community’s access to high quality knowledge and complement their technical skills with other crucial aspects in the area of business training. Among the speakers who were invited were Nivi Mukherjee and Susan Oguya founders of eLimu and mFarm respectively.

Tajriba was the first User Experience workshop in Sub- Saharan Africa that brought entrepreneurs, university students, doers in the community together with world-class user experience experts. Among the expert world trainers was Susan Dray.

All in all the iHub is glad to be involved in nurturing several women entrepreneurs and continue to foster a thriving community.

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Author : Joseph

A USIU trained journalist & an aspiring animator Joseph thrives behind the camera. He is a still photography and videography aficionado. Joe is currently the director/editor behind African Tech Bits, an iHub production that features start ups in the tech scene. This Canonite can mostly be seen at the iHub in the company of his Canon 550D.


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