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Training girl techpreneurs

Written by Staff Writer

July 22, 2019

GirlHype is a registered non-profit organisation that aims to attract girls and youth to the ICT sector by providing fun, hands-on opportunities for them to get engaged with technology.

By presenting girls with an opportunity to develop the technical competencies and social skills needed for the modern job market, GirlHype provides the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the economy.

Once girls have learned how to code, they are encouraged to form teams and enter the Technovation Challenge – a global technology entrepreneurship programme for young women – to allow them to learn how to apply this skill in the real world.

During the intensive three-month course, participants learn how to draw up business plans, design prototypes and create pitches while developing mobile app “startups” that solve real problems in their communities. They then pitch their startup business ideas to investors in regional and national rounds, before finalists are chosen to present at World Pitch in Silicon Valley. The winning teams are awarded US$100 000 in seed funding to help launch their app.

Since its inception, the partnership has resulted in more than 800 girls being trained to become tech entrepreneurs.

There is currently a massive skills shortage, specifically in IT. With programmes like Technovation, girls can equip themselves with a toolkit that will lay a strong foundation for their future and increase the number of women in the tech entrepreneurial space.

“Technovation helped me to develop my confidence, especially learning how to pitch, present and to code.” – Yamkela, Centre of Science and Technology High School

Baratang Miya, founder and CEO of GirlHype

After teaching herself to code, Baratang began her career as a programmer. After much success in this sphere, handling various projects and building her management skills, she left the world of coding behind.

Her focus then shifted to being a mentor and adviser at The Barn Khayelitsha, an incubator and accelerator for startups. But it wasn’t long before she returned to the tech space, establishing GirlHype to teach women and girls how to code.

Baratang’s journey has taken her around the world, from speaking, lecturing and facilitating workshops to advocating for the future and rights of women and girls in the tech workplace.

An earlier version of this article appeared in the 14th edition of Top Women Leaders under the headline ‘GirlHype Technovation Challenge: training young girls to become techpreneurs’.

Position your business as a gender parity leader by having it appear alongside articles like this one. Contact the Top Women team at marketing@topwomen.co.za for more details.

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