DLI Founder Nominated for a Global Women in Tech Award

WomenTech Network announces Women in Tech Global Awards 2022 Finalists celebrating 100 000 women, minorities, and allies in tech. 

Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Director, has been recognized as a Women in Tech Global Awards 2022 finalist by WomenTech Network, the world’s largest community for women in tech with more than 6000 ambassadors from 172 countries.

To support Cheryl’s nomination and promote the mission of the WomenTech Network please visit the organizer’s site and share about Cheryl’s nomination via social media before December 1, 2022!

1247 Contestants from 142 Countries in 16 Categories

Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Director, was named a finalist in the category Special Recognition: Women in ICT Award for her groundbreaking global work promoting digital equity and greater participation of girls and women in digital fields. Award-winners will be announced on December 1 at the Women in Tech Global Awards & Inspire Summit

About her nomination, Cheryl says “doing good is its own reward, but it is a true privilege to bring recognition to our incredible DLI team, and to be showcased among such leaders in promoting digital equity and women in technology. Thank you WomenTech Network for this honor!

“We understand the value of recognizing small and major victories. This is why we shine a light on accomplished and aspiring women-in-tech leaders, who are working toward a more equitable and inclusive world,” says Anna Radulovski, CEO and Founder at WomenTech Network.

The Women in Tech Global Awards 2022 and Inspire Summit

The Women in Tech Global Awards 2022 and Inspire Summit is an annual celebration following the WomenTech Network global Women in Tech Conference, the world’s largest virtual conference for women in technology. It includes:

  • An entire day full of insightful talks and networking opportunities. 
  • Q&A with 20 keynote speakers from Intel, Airbnb, Meta, IBM, and more.

The virtual ceremony and summit will feature some of the most accomplished women in tech. The event will also offer 1:1 networking opportunities with finalists, winners and speakers. 

About the Digital Leadership Institute

The Digital Leadership Institute is a Brussels-based, international NGO and a  recognised world leader in promoting greater participation of girls and women in strategic, innovative ESTEAM (Entrepreneurship & Arts powered by STEM) sectors, through four areas of activity:

  1. Education and Skills Development: Providing young and career-age women leadership, business, personal- and professional-development and ESTEAM skills through direct access to experts and tools that encourage them toward entrepreneurship and leadership in ESTEAM studies and careers.
  2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support:  Cultivating an environment for generating the seeds of future enterprise in cutting edge ESTEAM fields for girls and women. Delivering digital, business and leadership expertise, tools, and access for girls and women to bring new discoveries and business seeds to market.
  3. Advocacy and Awareness Building: Promoting grassroots initiatives to create interest in and to provide skills to girls and women in ESTEAM, coupled with top-down advocacy to create conditions for increasing their participation and to foster female entrepreneurship and leadership in ESTEAM sectors.
  4. Research and Consultancy:  Increasing knowledge, fostering better understanding of the challenges, and promoting and implementing solutions to address the under-representation of girls and women in ESTEAM sectors and leadership.  Engaging in research actions and consulting services for individuals and organisations looking to benefit from our  knowledge and expertise.

About Cheryl

Cheryl Miller is a recognized leader in grassroots action and global advocacy to close the digital gender divide and promote women’s economic empowerment. In 2014, she founded the Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute which has earned worldwide renown with a wide range of high impact programs with an ESTEAM thrust and recognized by the UN in 2019 for its global leadership and many contributions to inclusive digital transformation. In 2018, both Google and the Financial Times placed Cheryl on the list of 100 Digital Pioneers of Europe and she advises the European Commission on topics like technology, ethics, equity and inclusion. Having presented at top venues and gatherings worldwide, she is a sought after international speaker and thought leader on inclusive digital transformation, digital equity and women’s entrepreneurship.  

About WomenTech Network

WomenTech Network is the world’s leading community for women in tech with more than 6,000 Global Ambassadors representing 172 countries. 70,000 tech leaders have collaborated with the network to date in order to cultivate a diverse global network that reaches 3.5 million people. WomenTech Network strives to empower women in tech through leadership development, professional growth, and mentorship programs. WomenTech Network hosts regular career networking events and a global tech conference for members to connect with like-minded professionals and learn about job opportunities at leading companies that value diversity.

Learn more about WomenTech Networks’ events and programs at www.womentech.net.

Women in technology, minorities, and allies seeking to attend the largest awards ceremony for women in tech can apply for a scholarship or buy tickets here: https://www.womentech.net/tickets

For group tickets please email partnerships@womentech.net.

Save the dates: We4Change Changemakers Fest is coming to Belgium!

As part of the We4Change “Girls and Women connecting for environmental change” Erasmus+ international program, in November and December 2022, the We4Change Changemakers Fest is coming to Belgium! 

Three We4Change Changemaking events, will bring girls and young women together with experts, trainers and business coaches, in order to develop their digital and innovation skills, increase civic engagement and unlock their changemaking potential to address climate change and drive environmental transformation.

What are the We4Change Changemaking events?

We4Change Changemakers are “hack for good” events where young women with an entrepreneurial mindset, trainers and subject experts come together during a two-day intense marathon in order to solve specific challenges posed by climate and environmental change encountered in their communities. The events include hands-on activities, training on digital, innovation and environmental awareness skills, problem-solving and co-creation of prototypes, as well as a pitching session by the changemaking teams.

Who can participate?

The events are open to all girls and women* who want to contribute to prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies! Participants are not required to have prior digital or innovation skills. Your curiosity and commitment to address the challenges posed by climate and environmental change are all you need!

*Anyone who identifies as a girl or woman.

How will you benefit from this event?

  • You will learn new skills and information to bring into your daily life: a mindset to stay open to change and innovate, learn about how climate change affects particularly girls and women, what solutions are out there to tackle them and how can you be more active in supporting your local community;
  •  You will acquire digital, business development and innovation skills through hands-on activities, co-creation of prototypes and pitching workshops;
  • Join an international community of like-minded girls and women, including experts, activists, coaches and mentors dedicated to supporting you to achieve your changemaking potential.

When are the We4Change Changemaking events taking place?

The We4Change Changemakers Fest is organized as a series of three events with specific themes linked to climate and environmental challenges:

  • 19-20 November 2022 – We4Change: Girls and Women Connecting for Sustainable Consumption
  • 26-27 November 2022 – We4Change: Girls and Women Connecting for Smart Cities and Mobility
  • 3-4 December 2022 – We4Change: Girls and Women f Connecting or Clean Energy & Resource Efficiency

What is the format of the We4Change Changemaking events?

Below is the general format for each event. Participants will briefly receive the exact agenda with the name of the trainers and speakers for the event they register for.

Day 1

  • 9:30: Registration and coffee
  • 10:00 – 11:00 : Introduction of the event thematic by Digital Leadership Institute & inspirational speech
  • 11:00 – 13:00 : Workshop 1 on digital skills
  • 13:00 – 14:00: Lunch break
  • 14:00 – 15:00: Project proposals, ideation & team selection
  • 16:00 – 18:00: Project work

Day 2

  • 9:30: Registration, coffee & review of day 1
  • 10:00 – 12:00 Workshop 2 on Design Thinking
  • 12:00 – 16:00 Project work with coaches (1h of working lunch included)
  • 16:00 – 17:00 Project presentations with jury
  • 17:00 Feedback session and closing ceremony

How to participate to the We4Change Changemaking events?

The participation to the events is free of charge.

However, places are limited so you are required to fill-in this application form: https://forms.gle/YxPP1EV5kU8uqYQe9 

You can also register via the dedicated Eventbrire page here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/we4change-fest-girls-and-women-connecting-for-environmental-change-tickets-461175176367

The organizing team will send a confirmation email to confirm your participation. 

How else can you contribute?

If you would like to be part of to the organization of events, we are happy to receive your support! Below are some ways you can contribute:

  •  Be or suggest us an inspirational speaker
  • Volunteer to hold one of the workshops during the events (digital skills, business training, a training linked to the event thematic)
  • Volunteer to do business coaching during the hackathons
  • Volunteer as jury member for the pitching competition
  • Follow-up support: coaching and mentoring after the event for the winning teams.

Fill-in this partner application form and let us know how would you like to be involved: https://forms.gle/zcPnzppq1kjdm9He9

Selected organizing partners will receive a 1h online training on the main aspects of organizing a successful  We4Change Changemakers event.

Frequently asked questions

I can’t stay the whole time, can I still participate?

Of course! We realize that a weekend is a long time and people may need to attend to other commitments.

What if I don’t have any digital or business skills?

You are still welcome! We have dedicated digital and business skills development sessions, so you will be learning at the same time as the other participants. As long as you come willing to learn and contribute ideas.

What if I don’t have any entrepreneurial idea?

You are still welcome! During the event you will be inspired and learn from others what kind of entrepreneurial solutions are out there or need to be developed, and you could join one of the teams already working on an idea.

What do I bring?

Bring your laptop, mobile phone, scratch paper and curiosity. We will provide some food, some drinks, wi-fi, power and challenges.

How much it costs to attend the events?

The participation to the events is free of charge.

Can I attend more than one event?

Yes, you are more than welcome to attend several events and bring new ideas to the teams.

How do I register?

Fill-in this application form: https://forms.gle/YxPP1EV5kU8uqYQe9 

The organizing team will send a confirmation email to confirm your participation. 

We4Change: Girls and Women connecting for environmental change is funded  by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and seeks to contribute to the EU Youth Strategy with a specific female-focused approach, that responds directly to the specific gender-based needs of girls and young women across Europe, offering thus an appropriate and innovative way to empower and engage them in their communities and society-at-large. You can find out more about the project here: http://we4change.eu/

The second edition of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Women of Diverse Cultural Backgrounds

Athena Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2.0 follows after a successful first edition being organized in June 2022, aiming to support women migrants or with migrant backgrounds to plan their entrepreneurial activities in Belgium. The focus is on creating a community of women (aspiring) entrepreneurs with diverse cultural backgrounds that face similar challenges in starting or growing their businesses, by connecting them with a network of professionals and organizations that can support to fully valorize their entrepreneurial potential.

The second edition of the bootcamp was organized on the 7th of October 2022, as a more compact one-day training with one session covering the main administrative aspects of doing business in Belgium, and a second one dedicated to working on the business ideas of the participants. The aim was to offer a comprehensive understanding of the business ecosystem in Belgium, while allowing the participants to discuss about the opportunities and challenges they encounter on their entrepreneurial journeys, and brainstorm on adequate solutions together with our performance coach, Ms Cécile Bonneton:

  • Hands-on business coaching: clarify your business goals and work on a concrete plan to advance your activity with the support of our coach, and the different resources and tools offered by the program.

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Women of Diverse Cultural Backgrounds was organized as part of the Athena project – Approaches To valorise the High ENtrepreneuriAl potential of migrant women to contribute to their social and economic integration – a two-year project funded by the AMIF Program. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant women in the EU society by improving the services of entrepreneurship support oriented to migrant women and creating a specific entrepreneurial path for them.

The project is implemented by a consortium of six partners and covers five European countries , and will directly benefit a 210 migrant women, it will increase the capacities of more than 35 professionals working in entrepreneurship support roles, it will create synergies with several organisations and it will finally intend to influence policies through a series of policy recommendations. 

Here you can find more about the project: https://athenaproject.net/

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Women of Diverse Cultural Backgrounds

While entrepreneurship represents a viable alternative of decent and sustainable employment for women migrants of diverse cultural backgrounds – a powerful way towards empowerment, self-realization, income creation and improvement of their social status – the potential contribution that entrepreneurship can bring to their lives and the economy of the host country is often hindered by a series of challenges ranging from traditional barriers to business creation – difficulties in accessing credit, overwhelming bureaucracy, and lack of familiarity with the (business) environment – to some more complex ones embedded in our social structures: cultural differences and stereotypes, gender biases and social norms social that pose unique barriers to business growth and profitability for female-run enterprises.

To support these entrepreneurs – and aspiring entrepreneurs – to navigate the challenges of starting or growing a business, Digital Leadership Institute organized between 17 and 19th of June 2022 the Athena Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, a free 3-day entrepreneurship program dedicated to third-national migrant of diverse backgrounds. The Bootcamp was structured in three interconnected modules that were also suitable to be followed independently according to each participant’s interest and need. The aim was to offer a comprehensive understanding of the business ecosystem in Belgium and to develop a community with a wide range of experience and expertise to support the participating entrepreneurs long-term.

The boothcamp was structured around three main topics:
Day 1- Administrative & Financial Skills: learning about the cultural diversity and business environment in Belgium, administrative and legal requirements when starting an entrepreneurial activity, and – very importantly – funding opportunities for female entrepreneurs launching or growing their businesses;


Day 2- Business Skills: a hands-on business training session where participants discussed about vision and mission, identifying limiting beliefs, and worked on designing theirs businesses using the Lean methodology.

Day 3- Digital Skills: participants learned what are the digital tools they can use to launch and manage their online businesses; how open a webshop and how to use digital marketing to optimize their online presence.

The materials* used during the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp can be found below:

Administrative and Financial Skills materials:

Business Skills materials:

Digital skills materials:

*The copyright of the materials belong to heir respective authors. No part of these materials may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form without the prior consent of the copyright holders, except in the case of brief quotations embodied permitted by copyright law.

Other Resources:

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Women of Diverse Cultural Backgrounds was organized as part of the Athena project – Approaches To valorise the High ENtrepreneuriAl potential of migrant women to contribute to their social and economic integration – a two-year project funded by the AMIF Program. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant women in the EU society by improving the services of entrepreneurship support oriented to migrant women and creating a specific entrepreneurial path for them.

The project is implemented by a consortium of six partners and covers five European countries , and will directly benefit a 210 migrant women, it will increase the capacities of more than 35 professionals working in entrepreneurship support roles, it will create synergies with several organisations and it will finally intend to influence policies through a series of policy recommendations. Here you can find more about the project: https://athenaproject.net/

Capacity building of professionals supporting migrant women entrepreneurs

Part of the ATHENA initiative – Approaches To valorise the High ENtrepreneuriAl potential of migrant women to contribute to their social and economic integration* – Digital Leadership Institute organized on 24th of April 2022 a Lunch & Learn session , followed by a Peer-learning training for professionals and business support organizations working with migrant women to discuss about how to act and support the shift towards a cultural and entrepreneurial ecosystem that embraces the diversity and added value that migrant women entrepreneurs bring to the market, and, overall, to their host communities.

The session was addressed to professionals providing business support services to migrant or migrant-background women entrepreneurs or who aspire to be entrepreneurs in Belgium, both within public or private entities, as well as freelance or working in the non-profit organizations with the aim of building their capacities to deliver the services of entrepreneurial support by sharing knowledge and experiences on a variety of topics that cover both administrative and business practices for third-country nationals, but also social and cultural aspects.

The event began with the discussion of the importance of cultural diversity and the entrepreneurial business ecosystem in Belgium, this part brought forward two successful migrant women entrepreneurs to share their stories. The first speaker, Sana Afouaiz, the CEO and founder of the Womenpreneur and with Moroccan background , shared the story of starting her non-profit organization, with the mission of advancing women’s place on the entrepreneurial scene, technology, innovation & society in Belgium and in the MENA region.

Speaking about her own struggles to start a business in the fashion industry, Anna Boroshok, co-founder of Silk and Cotton Global, highlighted the importance of having a support network of other women entrepreneurs when you are coming from a diverse cultural background that can resonate and support with the challenges you face – be it administrative or cultural – as they might have experienced them as well. For this reason, Anna founded the Fearless Female Founders community for women entrepreneurs, based in Brussels.

Copyright: Digital Leadership Institute

Following this discussion, the peer-learning training for professionals and business support organizations working with migrant women aimed at going more in depth into the opportunities for these professionals to improve their skills and services offered to this specific target group.

The first aspect discussed with the participants was regarding the Cultural diversity and the entrepreneurial business ecosystem in Belgium, facilitated by Lien Warmenbol from #SheDIDIt, regarding the importance of being aware of the cultural differences that women from diverse background might experience .

Copyright: Digital Leadership Institute

Shifting perspective, trainer Sana Afouaiz facilitated a conversation on the psychological preparedness of migrant women to uptake entrepreneurship. In these discussion, certain aspects were identified as problematic for this target group, such as of marginalization, assimilation, and separation, but provided specific tips that professionals can use to support integration and enable multi-cultural needs: through active listening, creating a safe space in order for the person to feel welcomed, unleashing talents, providing targeted training, ensuring mental support and be able to defend the rights of these migrant women entrepreneurs.

Copyright: Digital Leadership Institute


Linking the previous two topics, Katja Legisa from the Digital Leadership Institute lead the discussion on understanding stereotypes and their impact on women entrepreneurs, emphasizing how important it is for professionals working in supporting roles to know how to identify and tackle the issues involving stereotypes and to be conscious of their own and shared biases.

Copyright: Digital Leadership Institute


Finally, considering the fact that access to finance is considered to be one of the most important challenges for women entrepreneurs in general, coach Jasper Verreydt gave an overview of diverse funding opportunities women can access depending on the development stage of their businesses, including: bootstrapping, crowdfunding and crowdlending, but also grant offered by the different regions of Belgium to SMEs.

Copyright: Digital Leadership Institute


Overall, the discussions among the participating professionals pointed to the fact that there is the need for a better cooperation between the different service providers and existing organizations that work specifically with this target group, and that indeed the cultural – and, many times, the psychological – awareness represent extremely important factors that should be part of the continuous development and growth of organizations when dealing with migrant women.

The Lunch & Learn session and the peer-learning training for for professionals and business support organizations working with migrant women was organized as part of the Athena project – Approaches To valorise the High ENtrepreneuriAl potential of migrant women to contribute to their social and economic integration – a two-year project funded by the AMIF Program. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant women in the EU society by improving the services of entrepreneurship support oriented to migrant women and creating a specific entrepreneurial path for them.

The project is implemented by a consortium of six partners and covers five European countries , and will directly benefit a 210 migrant women, it will increase the capacities of more than 35 professionals working in entrepreneurship support roles, it will create synergies with several organisations and it will finally intend to influence policies through a series of policy recommendations. Here you can find more about the project: https://athenaproject.net/

DLI, EU Women20 promote Digital Equity for SDGs

On 5 May 2022 online, the Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute and EU Women20 Delegation to the G20 jointly organized an official side-event of the UN Science, Technology and Innovation Forum on the SDGs (“STI Forum”), on the topic of “Digital Equity for Women’s Economic Agency.” The event addressed the intersecting priorities of closing the gender digital divide and promoting women’s financial independence as economic actors—namely as entrepreneurs, experts and leaders in critical STEM sectors, especially Technology—as an explicit objective of international development policy and as the surest path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Key recommendations gleaned from the gathering include the following:

  1. Prioritize development funding and programs with an explicit focus on closing the digital gender divide — i.e. through digital skills programs and actions to increase access to and use of technology and infrastructure, for girl and women beneficiaries;
  2. Prioritize development funding and programs with an explicit focus on increasing women’s economic agency through technology, e.g. by supporting women as entrepreneurs in tech-driven and tech-enabled startup, and through paid apprenticeship programs with job placement for women in emerging technology fields such as AI, cybersecurity, big data, machine learning, etc.;
  3. Increase capacity-building for the fore-mentioned activities by supporting best practice-sharing, networking building and by promoting opportunities to replicate and scale successful regional programs tackling “digital equity and women’s economic agency” in all directions and across global geographies (North-South, South-North, North-North, South-South);
  4. Increase structural support and promote a healthy ecosystem that supports women as independent economic actors by addressing underlying inequities women face as entrepreneurs and as leaders in digital fields, including by: i) setting ambitious gender-specific development program goals for reach, participation and program success; ii) collecting and sharing gender- and sex-disaggregated program data; iii) ear-marking development funds with the specific mission to close the gender digital gap for women’s economic empowerment;
  5. Take concrete action to ensure women’s equal access to and use of: i) Digital/ICT training programs and related resources, including acceleration, incubation and (IT) leadership-training programs; ii) entrepreneurship finance and investment, especially venture capital, and other resources (mentorship, coaching, financial literacy); and iii) distribution channels and supply chains, including for international trade and e-commerce, with specific targets for women’s equal participation in public sector procurement;
  6. Build and deploy programs that specifically focus on increasing technology leadership–as entrepreneurs, experts and leaders–by mature women, women in transition, migrant women and women living in rural areas.

Panel interventions reflected a broad and ambitious spectrum of key voices promoting Digital Equity and Women’s Economic Agency from around the world, including:

The Digital Equity event was streamed live on the STI Forum platform and DLI YouTube channel, and joined remotely by virtual participants. It took the form of a panel discussion moderated by Cheryl Miller, DLI Director and Co-head of EU G20 Women20 Delegation, with support from Loredana Bucseneanu, DLI Development Director, and key G20 Women20 partners including: Katharina Miller, Co-head of EU Delegation; Tamara Dancheva, EU Delegate; and Virginia Littlejohn, Co-head of US Delegation. 

A video of the event is available here (Passcode: FaPH3Yf), and inquiries about this and future events may be directed to DLI

Request for Proposal

Subject: Training services to support the implementation of professional training for an organisation working with migrant women and migrant women entrepreneurs 

General Introduction: Training services will be organised in the framework of the ATHENA Project – Approaches To valorisethe High EntrepreneuriAl potential of migrant women. The objective of the ATHENA project is to contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant women in the EU society by improving the services of entrepreneurship support to migrant women and creating a specific entrepreneurial path for them in the regional contexts where the project activities are developed.  

Needs

Two different trainings will be organised by the Digital Leadership Institute (DLI), within the context of the ATHENA Project: 

1. Training for professionals working with migrant women: The objective of this training is to improve the services provided by the public or private organizations to migrant women on entrepreneurship. The aim is to build capacities of organizations professionals working with migrant women, with additional ad hoc knowledge that will help and better equip them to deliver the services of support for migrant women on entrepreneurship path. The professionals from the organizations working with entrepreneurs will be trained in the different topics that have been identified as missing or weak by the needs and demands of the migrant women. The topics are: Administrative and legal issues, access to finance, psychological preparedness of a migrant women, cultural diversity and sensitivity. DLI is looking for an organisation or independent professional who can provide a lecture on one or more of the above-mentioned topics.  The training for professionals working with migrant women will last half a day. 

2. Training for migrant women: The objective of this bootcamp is to provide (migrant) women with the skills, resources and access to expertise necessary to inspire them to take up entrepreneurship. The overall aim is to contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant women in the EU society by improving the services of entrepreneurship support oriented to migrant women and accompanying them on the challenging entrepreneurial path. 

Each training will address three sections, each providing a specific set of skills: Legal skills, business skills, digital skills.

  • Legal skills: Administrative and legal overview, access to finance/ Belgian founding schemes, cultural diversity in the business environment. 
  • Business skills: Vision & mission identification, Business design, strategic planning
  • Digital Skills: Digital tools to manage your accounting, building an e-commerce website.

The bootcamp will last three half-days. 

Requirements

Training for professionals working with migrant women – four independent sessions are foreseen under the following topics: 

1. Administrative and legal advice: the aim is to give an overview of the administrative and legal requirements the migrant women wishing to become entrepreneurs need to go undergo. This advice is to to make it easier to deal with the administrative requirements to start/run a business. Suggested length of the session is 1h.

2. Access to finance: Part of setting up and running a business requires dealing with legal questions such as registering the enterprise, obtaining permits, filling out tax reports and others. For a migrant who has no previous experience in the area and is also not used to the administrative system and institutions in the host country, this might be a significant obstacle and a migrant entrepreneur may face greater difficulties than a native counterpart in navigating regulations and administrative red tape. Migrant entrepreneurs may also need specific advice regarding immigration regulations (for example concerning permit renewal and status change). It consists of direct provision of loans and other (micro) credit instruments, provision of facilities where starting the business, or support with the application process to obtain a loan from another institution. Suggested length of the session is 1h. 

3. Psychological preparedness of a migrant women Migrant workers show an increase in the incidence of serious, psychotic, anxiety, and post-traumatic disorders due to a series of socio-environmental variables, such as loss of social status, discrimination, and separations from the family. This causes low life conditions, which is also due to marginalization from the social context and strenuous work. It is therefore essential to increase knowledge among professionals working with migrants about this issue and promote wellbeing for this vulnerable job category.Suggested length of the session is 30 to 40 min.

4. Cultural sensitivity in business:   Migrants often lack familiarity with the (business) environment and the market where they start the business. Similar is true to the professionals working with migrants that not always are prepared to deal with diversities. Cultural sensitivity training may help to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior toward people based on their race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. This can help to avoid situations leading to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Suggested length of the session is 30 to 40 min.

Training for migrant women: The bootcamp will be divided in three independent sections, each providing a specific set of topics/skills:

1. Legal skills: the aim is to provide all the information a migrant woman needs in order to set up and run a business in Belgium: 

  • Administrative and legal overview – the aim is to give an overview of the administrative and legal requirements the migrant women wishing to become entrepreneurs need to go undergo. This advice is to make it easier to deal with the administrative requirements to start/run a business. Suggested length of the session is 1h.
  • Access to finance/ Belgian founding schemes; Part of setting up and running a business requires dealing with legal questions such as registering the enterprise, obtaining permits, filling out tax reports and others. For a migrant who has no previous experience in the area and is also not used to the administrative system and institutions in the host country, this might be a significant obstacle and a migrant entrepreneur may face greater difficulties than a native counterpart in navigating regulations and administrative red tape. Migrant entrepreneurs may also need specific advice regarding immigration regulations (for example concerning permit renewal and status change). It consists of direct provision of loans and other (micro) credit instruments, provision of facilities where starting the business, or support with the application process to obtain a loan from another institution. Suggested length of the session is 1h.
  • Intercultural diversity in the business environment – Migrants often lack familiarity with the (business) environment and the market where they start the business. Cultural sensitivity training may help to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior toward people based on their race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Suggested length of the session is 1h to 1h30.

2. Business skills: This set of supporting measures consists of training on matters that are related to starting and conducting a business. When they have no pre-migration business experience, or they do not have previous business training, migrant entrepreneurs often need to improve their business skills. Group business support normally consist of training sessions to develop a set of those skills, such as how to develop a business plan, accountancy skills, and marketing strategies, vision & mission identification, product identification, business design, strategic planningSuggested length of the session 4h.

3. Digital Skills: The aim is to provide and teach how to use different digital tools that can help to set up and run a business. These can include the following:

  • How to manage the accounting by using different digital tools. Suggested session length 1h to 1h30.
  • How to build an e-commerce website. Suggested session length 1h to 1h30. 
  • Digital marketing by using specific tech tools. Suggested session length 1h to 1h30.

The trainings will be carried out in English, but the trainer will be asked to share the training material in advance so that this can be translated in the participants languages by DLI.

Timing: The training for professionals will be carried out in person in Brussels on 24 May 2022, from 2 pm to 6 pm CET. The training for migrant women will be carried out in person in Brussels on 17, 18 & 19 June 2022, from 9am to 1 pm CET.

How to Respond: Any organisation or independent professional can propose to deliver one or more of the noted sessions. The service will be remunerated per the proposed offering and based on mutually agreed terms.

To submit a proposal, please send a document in PDF format, maximum five single-spaced A4 pages, plus Annexes (CVs, past project experiences, draft curricula, etc.) which includes: 

  • Target training session(s)
  • Description of the proposed training, including topics to be covered in the session;
  • Price, including time (quoted in person days) and materials, plus VAT, and validity term;
  • Confirmation of availability for training dates; and
  • Background information for the contracting person/organisation, including name, legal address, VAT number, etc.
  • Annex: ZIP file including CV/Bio of expert/s, previous project experience, references, etc.

Each Proposal with Annex should be sent to the following email address: dliiorg(at)gmail(dot)com

Deadline for proposal submission is 10 May 2022 at midnight CET.

DLI Update – Spring 2022

The DLI Board are actively involved in outreach activities with partners and stakeholders around the world that promote ESTEAM* leadership by girls and women. Find out more below about our outreach activities in Spring 2022, including a 17 March #BreaktheBias event celebrating International Women’s Day. For upcoming events by DLI and our partners please visit here, and have a look at our calendar.

*Entrepreneurship and Art powered by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


5 January 2022  – Coding Over Cocktails Podcast (Online): On 5 January 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director, joined the Coding Over Cocktails Podcast to discuss opportunities presented by the pandemic for organisations to drive inclusive digital transformation.

12 January 2022 – Women Empowerment in Women20 (Online) – In the capacity of Co-head of EU Delegation and Co-chair of the G20 Women20 Italy Digital Equity Working Group, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the 12 January webinar on the topic of Women Empowerment in Women20:  Women20 Recommendations and their adoption in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration.  The event will be hosted by the outgoing W20 Italy Presidency with participation of the 2022 G20 Indonesia Women20 Presidency.

February 2022 – Staying Global While Staying Home (Online):  Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the February edition of NewComm Global Group‘s Staying Global While Staying Home webcast to discuss opportunities presented by the recovery for driving inclusive digital transformation.

15 February 2022 –  W20 Indonesia Policy Dialogue:  Freedom from Discrimination:  (Likupang, Indonesia & Online): On 15 February 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined the first policy dialogue side-event of the Indonesia G20 Women20 Presidency on the topic of Freedom from Discrimination: Historical Journey from Japan to Indonesia, taking place online and in Likupang, Indonesia.

8 March 2022 – IWD2022 Women in Diplomacy Luncheon (Brussels): On 8 March 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  joined a luncheon, hosted by the UK, US and Canadian Embassies to Belgium, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 and promote increased participation of women in diplomacy.

 

17 March 2022 – AWS #BreakTheBias Event (Brussels & Online): On 17 March 2022, Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, DLI Founding Director,  contributed to the 17 March #BreakTheBias event hosted by Amazon Web Services EMEA, and spoke on the topic of “Overview of Gender Equality in the AI Ecosystem: Where Are We and Where do We Want To Go?


To browse past activities with DLI and our partners, please click here. Be sure to also visit our calendar, sign up for the DLI Newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram in order to keep up with DLI events and activities!

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Digital Equity for Women’s Economic Agency at STI Forum 2022

Event Registration Link: http://bit.ly/deweaSTI22

Online on 5 May 2022, 18:00-19:15CET / 12:00-1:15pm EST, the G20 Women20 European Union Delegation and Brussels-based Digital Leadership Institute are proud to organize “Digital Equity for Women’s Economic Agency,” an official side-event of the UN ECOSOC’s 7th Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum).

Confirmed Speakers:

Format: This event will feature a Roundtable, with interventions by representatives of public and private organizations promoting women’s economic empowerment and closing the gender digital divide for economic recovery and sustainable development. A Question & Answer session open to the public will follow the Roundtable.

Moderator: The event will be moderated by Cheryl Miller, Co-head of the G20 Women20 European Union Delegation, and Director of the Digital Leadership Institute

Registration: This online event is open to the public and registration is required. The event will be organized on Zoom and accessed via the STI Forum Whova platform which is still in process. Those who register via Zoom will also have access. Please stay tuned.

Live Stream: The event will also be streamed live on the DLI YouTube channel.

Concept Note:

Anywhere in the world today, a woman is: 

  • Less likely to be online;
  • More likely to have low or no digital skills;
  • Less likely to be an IT professional; and 
  • Far less likely to launch a tech-driven enterprise.

As a result, women are at greater risk of being excluded by the digital disruption, a phenomenon exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.

COVID has disproportionately impacted women—forcing millions out of the workplace, many permanently. In response, entrepreneurship is and will continue to be a key factor in sustaining financial independence for women and in reigniting the global economy.  In the digital society, such participation is increasingly linked to skills supporting both digitally-enabled and digitally-driven entrepreneurship.

However, a key characteristic of the digital disruption which cuts across geographic locations and socio-economic conditions is that, no matter where they are in the world, women are less likely to be online than men. Of the Earth’s 7.8 billion human population, men make up thirty percent and women twenty-five percent of people who are online, reflecting 195 million fewer women online overall. Despite a surge in online participation during the COVID pandemic, the rate at which women go online continues to lag behind. This ubiquitous and persistent trend represents the digital divide compounded by the gender gap which, without focused effort to address it, risks widening.

In countries where digitalization has a firmer hold, women are still less likely to have digital skills, take up formal computer science or other STEM studies, or hold technical and leadership roles in IT organizations. Globally, the founder of a digitally-driven enterprise is five times more likely to be a man than a woman, and in many places the ratio is closer to ten-to-one.

In addition to the yawing social divide this reality reflects, italso represents a loss for the global economy and for women themselves who are unable to fully realize their potential as economics actors in an increasingly digital society. In 2013, the UN reported that bringing 600 million women and girls online could boost global GDP by up to $18B. A European study of the same period suggests that equal participation of women in the ICT sector would contribute as much as €9B annually to the European economy. Especially as a response to the COVID-induced “She-cession,” action to tackle the gender digital divide presents an opportunity to improve women’s economic agency, address the digital skills and job gap, and promote a pathway toward sustainable development.

Regardless of geography, closing the gender digital divide presents a critical factor in ensuring women’s economic agency, previously and again at present, in order to promote economic development. This focus has the advantages of limiting the risk of further marginalization of women as a result of the digital disruption, addressing the global IT skills gap, filling tech jobs that otherwise go unfilled, and of supporting a woman’s pathway to economic agency in the workforce and as an entrepreneur whose work is digitally-enabled and/or tech-driven.

As such, the greatest single driver of economic recovery exiting the COVID pandemic, and that which will most contribute to sustainable development going forward, will be action supporting digital equity for women’s economic agency at the intersection of promoting women’s economic empowerment (WEE)—with women as entrepreneurs,  equal actors in the workforce, and leaders across the board—and closing the gender digital divide (GDD).

Questions: The event will investigate the following questions: 

  • What is the economic impact of the gender digital divide and the opportunity presented by closing it?
  • What is the state-of-play regarding development action that focuses on tackling the gender digital divide and promoting women’s economic empowerment? 
  • What indicators and best practices may be employed to support digital equity for women’s economic agency as a pathway to economic recovery and sustainable development?

Topics: The event will address the topics of women’s economic empowerment, the gender digital divide, gender equality, woman’s rights, inclusive digital transformation, digital financial inclusion, access to finance, online safety, digital equity, digital skills, STEM skills, women-led entrepreneurship, economic recovery, building forward better from COVID, diversity, equity, inclusion, women in peacekeeping and conflict avoidance, women migrants and refugees, women in leadership, women in innovation, female founders, the SDGs, sustainable development goals, and sustainable development.

Moving Forward Support for Women Entrepreneurs

Women-led entrepreneurship can act as an enabler of women’s economic empowerment and gender equality and contribute to the post-COVID economic recovery.

On this important topic, DLI and it’s partners organized an event entitled Moving Forward Support for Women Entrepreneurs on 16 March 2022 at the Residence Palace in Brussels.  The event was hybrid, which supported people to attend from a large variety of countries and organisations.

Moving Forward Support for Women Entrepreneurs was organised in the framework of the Move It Forward Plus project (MIF+), an Erasmus Plus-funded project to support organizations working in the field of female digital entrepreneurship by equipping them with tools and strategies to better support aspiring women entrepreneurs. The highlighted “tool” was the Move It Forward female digital starters weekend, a two-day program with the aim of bringing together teen and adult women to provide them with the digital skills, resources and access to expertise necessary to inspire them to take up digital entrepreneurship.

During the event, speakers highlighted the importance of supporting women-led entrepreneurship from different angles and perspectives.  

First, Cheryl Miller, DLI Director and Co-head of EU Delegation to the G20 / Women20, dug into why it is important to support women entrepreneurs and what is at stake if this is not done.

The project coordinator, Marina Andrieu from WIDE(Luxembourg) then presented tools and methodologies developed in the MIF + project, and how they can be applied and used for training and mentoring of future digital entrepreneurs. 

Next, MIF+ partner organisations, Fundatia Professional (Romania), Led by Her (France), WIDE (Luxembourg), and CTK Rijeka (Croatia), described the specific actions they implemented to support women entrepreneurs and the impact this had in their local communities.

In the final and most heart-warming part of the event, three future women entrepreneurs who are currently enrolled in the MIF+ mentoring program, shared their experiences of why and how they started on their entrepreneurship journey. In each case, they underscored the fact that getting support to develop their project idea—first during the MIF digital starters weekend and afterwards with guidance from a mentor—is what has permitted them to start making their entrepreneurship dreams come true.