They come from Afghanistan, Madagascar, Togo, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Their commitment: empowering women entrepreneurs through digital technology. These committed women entrepreneurs were awarded the 2019 International Prize of the Fondation la France s’engage on April 18.
Women and digital in the spotlight
Empowering women entrepreneurs through digital technology is possible! Indeed, as part of the 2019 International Prize awarded by the Fondation la France s’engage, five female entrepreneurs came together. They come from Afghanistan, Madagascar, Togo, Burkina Faso or Nigeria and they have made digital technology their spearhead. Chékéba Hachemi, Marvella Odili, Essivi Sinmégnon Acakpo-Addra, Sonia Nare and Ninah Ratsirarson from Madagascar are committed to the social and economic inclusion of women in their respective countries.
Supporting the empowerment of women entrepreneurs
Awarded on April 18 within the French Tech, they stood out for the quality of their project. Thus, the five winners will be entitled to support adapted to their needs. They also went home with two trips to France and a financial award of 20,000 euros to help them advance their project. In addition, they will also benefit from the France s’engage label. In addition to supporting social entrepreneurship, the Foundation aims to promote innovation and social entrepreneurship both in France and elsewhere in the world. Each year, 10 projects in France, 5 abroad and 2 overseas projects are supported.
Fighting the digital divide
When it was founded in 2017, Digital House had one goal: to bridge the gender digital divide. And this year, project manager Ninah Ratsirarson had the opportunity to reap the benefits of her efforts in Paris, at the awards ceremony. Just five months after the opening of the Digital House, 40 women were trained in Word processing, Excel spreadsheets, and the use of the Internet and Facebook. The grant received will enable the Soroptimist International Club of Mahajanga to carry out extension work on the Digital House. Its goal is to train 1,000 women in 3 years.
Computer code and English courses
Among the other projects highlighted, that of Chékéba Hachemi aims to give young Afghan women access to education and vocational training. Less than a year ago, the association set up the Digital Classes. This digital training program for high school girls in rural areas includes courses in computer science, English and coding. It allows these young girls to acquire key skills to adapt to the job market.
Empowering women entrepreneurs to fight poverty
On the Nigerian side, the Save Our Needy Organisation, an NGO founded in 2013 by Marvella Odili, fights extreme poverty in Africa through education and entrepreneurship awareness. Thus, workshops are organized to train the most disadvantaged women in entrepreneurial, technological and digital skills. This ranges from creating a website to graphic design, financial management and writing a business plan. 300 SMEs have already been created thanks to this association.
To make the international part of the competition possible, the foundation worked in partnership with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. Once again, the Fondation la France s’engage wishes to demonstrate its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations. These include gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reducing inequalities, and building partnerships to achieve the goals.