Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship Summit in Erbil

On the 2nd of December, Re:Coded and Five One Labs hosted the Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship Summit sponsored by UNHCR and Zain Iraq. The event was part of their commemoration of 16 Days of Activism, which is an international campaign starting from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The campaign originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991.

The Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship summit brought together inspiring female leaders and innovators to explore opportunities for women in technology and entrepreneurship in Iraq.

Through inspirational keynotes, panel discussions on technology and entrepreneurship, and skills and career development workshops, this event provided all the content and networking opportunities for females to flourish in the tech and startup sectors in Iraq.

The panel discussion hosted key speakers and experts in the tech industry and Entrepreneurship and was moderated by Zahra Shah, Program Manager at Iraq Re:Coded.  Key topics the panel discussed include the digital gender gap, opportunities and challenges in the tech and startup sectors in Iraq and the importance of role models to inspire more women to enter the world of technology and entrepreneurship.

The Panelists were:

Safa Salwan, Founder of Women Techmakers Baghdad

Ravan Al-Taie, Founder of The Book Cafe Erbil

Ava Nadir, Head of Zain Kurdistan Marketing Communication and PR Department

Vian Taher, Head of HR for Zain Iraq

"If women believe in themselves and have enough faith and confidence, they can not only be good at what they do but excel".
- Safa Salwan
"I thought to myself, what if I have a place where I can drink coffee and read books for free So I founded the Book Cafe!"
- Ravan altaie
"We cry, we're sensitive, that's why we are successful, because we bring harmony to a working place".
- Ava Nadir

Along with the panel discussion, the summit provided two skills and career development workshops for the participants which were:

1. Intro to Coding: Create an Android App

During our introductory workshop, the participants explored the basics of the Java programming language and XML by writing their own lines of code and covering key coding terms and principles. At the end, the participants developed a simple Android application.

2. Launching your Startup

During this introductory entrepreneurship workshop, the participants interviewed customers, brainstormed innovative solutions, and developed a prototype of a potential business idea, all during the two hours. They were also introduced to the Business Model Canvas and learned how to develop a testable business model.

The event took place at Tech hub, a community working space for tech startups in Iraq, based in Erbil, to give budding Iraqi techstars the springboard they need to build, grow and scale their startup in a fully supportive tech environment.

To learn more about TechHub, visit http://www.bite.tech/news/techhub-launches-iraqs-first-tech-startup-coworking-space.

Below are some photos of the event.



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