The global economy is becoming increasingly reliant on information technology (IT) services and products. Those without access to training risk being left out of this economy entirely. In many transitional and developing economies, women, girls, and marginalized groups are less likely to receive IT and entrepreneurship training than others in their societies. Our three target groups are women, girls, and marginalized groups and our corresponding programs are WomenRise, NextGen, and The Survivor Project.
Women have often been left out of career spheres that would allow them to become economically self-reliant.
WomenRise is our program to address economic inequality for women. The WomenRise Program will train women, particularly those who are either re-entering the workforce after a hiatus and those without formal training. The purpose of this program is to open up avenues for women to build their own careers, whether they would like training to become hired by local or global employers, to become entrepreneurs, or to expand the services or products that they already provide.
Working with local women’s organizations, this program will provide two tracks. The first track is for budding entrepreneurs. This training includes basic financial literacy, business development, business management, and best practices. The goal of this track is to increase women’s ability to be hired by local businesses or to help them launch their own businesses.
The second track is for women who would like to enter the tech sector or use technology to scale their current small business. The technology training will include those technologies most used in specific regions and industries, as well as those most relevant in global markets. The goal of the technology track is to render women employable in IT jobs, whether office or home-based, and permit them to apply those skills to their own businesses, in the case of entrepreneurs.
Fewer girls than boys are trained in the STEM subjects or encouraged to become entrepreneurs from early ages.
NextGen or The Next Generation Program addresses the disparity between girls and boys studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects in school. In many parts of the world, families place greater emphasis on boys’ education. Thus, they tend to invest more financial resources in their sons’, rather than their daughters’, education. In part, this is due to the traditional notion that girls should help at home rather further their education outside the home. Other causes include family preference of sons over daughter which is exacerbated by lack of means. Lack of means forces them to choose between all children, but often and especially between sons and daughters, in furthering their education. When it comes to STEM subjects, the disparity is even greater. This results in many girls either lacking encouragement to learn STEM subjects or exclusion from exposure to them.
NextGen’s purpose is to introduce girls to STEM subjects at an early enough age that it can begin to open opportunities as they continue their education. Through a combination of video training, training from volunteers, and the use of international education tools and standards, this program will teach girls the basics of coding and expose them to the IT field at large.
Our hope is that many girls will learn to love STEM and see its many uses including the way that it can help them create their own jobs in the future. The goal of NextGen is for girls to continue learning STEM subjects from middle school and high school and career that love and interest into higher education.
When displaced and disenfranchised peoples are unable to acquire current skills because of lack of access to technology, they become left out of their regional and global economies.
The Survivor Project aims to bring displaced people, who in turn become marginalized, back into the global economy. When people are forced to move due to reasons such as a regional crisis or exploitation, they lose time in the global workforce. As technology advances, they begin to lag behind their global peers because they no longer have current skills or have access to relevant technologies.
The Survivor Project training will focus on information technologies that would be most beneficial to them for re-entry into the workforce. Our goal is to give people a means of generating income while in transition and aid their ability to get jobs once permanently settled.