*The Move It Forward event originally scheduled for 28-29 November 2015 has been rescheduled for 23-24 January 2016! More time for you to join us and help support this great initiative!
There’s a serious shortage of women tech entrepreneurs in Europe. How serious? We don’t really know. There isn’t a lot of data available but unofficial numbers in Belgium, for example, put the percentage of female tech founders at three percent. Three percent. And although we know the following to be true, there exists no concerted effort on a Belgian or European level to engage girls and women in tech startup:
- Girls and women are underrepresented in the tech industry, academia and in startup;
- Growth in the number of women-led startups in Europe is outstripping that of startups led by men;
- Girls and women thrive in tech and startup initiatives that specifically target them; and
- The untapped economic potential of getting more women engaged in the tech sector is huge.
Despite the foregoing, there are no public- or private-supported initiatives that promote startup and innovation in Europe which explicitly address under-representation of girls and women in this area. Talk about “innovation”: This is a situation ripe for something new.
On 23-24 January 2015,* the Digital Leadership Institute will launch “Move It Forward,” a female digital starter weekend that aims to tackle the under-representation of women in tech startup in Europe. The initiative — NOT a hackathon, NOT a startup weekend, but actually both of these with a twist — is an event for female, tech and startup beginners that gives girls and women digital and entrepreneurial skills, along with a social challenge they need to address using these skills.
With the pilot version of Move It Forward, DLI and the Brussels Capital Region have given girls and women from the greater Brussels area the mission to develop projects that promote online safety for girls and women, and tackle cyberviolence. Participants will receive training and coaching in website and smart app development, data visualisation and in launching digital enterprises. With these skills they will develop projects and initiatives that they will present for prizes, resources and further development on DLI’s inQube – female digital accelerator – platform.
We are still looking for coaches, jury-members, sponsors and partners for the Move It Forward Brussels event — which aims to reach teen and adult women in the greater Brussels region, and create a footprint for future MIF events on topics like media, health, migration, etc., in other cities in Belgium and across Europe.
Does the idea of getting more women in tech entrepreneurship interest you? Would you like to support the Move It Forward project of DLI and its partners — Dell, Amazon Web Services, Tableau, et al.? Please contact us and let us know how you would like to help! 🙂
Move It Forward is supported by the
Ministry of Equal Opportunity of the Brussels Capital Region.