Charge d’ Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, Michael Barkin, and Alexandra Araujo de Sola, President of the NGO Vital Voices inaugurated “TechCamp: Women Entrepreneurs.”
TechCamp is aimed at members of Vital Voices, women entrepreneurs and organizations that work to support and empower women. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in workshops that seek to empower women through the use of technology. For two days, Salvadoran entrepreneurs will learn about “crowdsourcing,” social networking strategies, digital commerce, application development business growth and integration of mobile money, among other topics.
TechCamp, founded by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seeks to educate women entrepreneur through digital tools, to provide them the knowledge they need to position their brands on social networks and instruct them on issues of trade and online business. On this occasion, the event is also supported by the eDiplomacy Office from the Office of Information Resources Management of the State Department (IRM).
In his inaugural speech, the Chargé d’Affaires Barkin told the story of Sofia Aparicio, founder of the clothing store “April Store”, in which he highlighted the importance the young business woman gave to the use of social networks, specifically Facebook, in order to become known in the Salvadoran female market. Aparicio is one of the 80 participants in the TechCamp.
Alexandra Araujo, founder and CEO of the department store “Tres Puntos” emphasized the need to empower Salvadoran women in matters of computing and social networking. She said that in both the United States and El Salvador, 50% of the undergraduate degrees are awarded to women and the same figure is beginning to be reflected in graduate degrees, but there was still a need to increase the number of women in information technology careers.
Angela Martinez Monge, owner of the company “Weya”, dedicated to the manufacturing of natural products and a member of Vital Voices, says it’s important to do business using digital tools, and events like the TechCamp help entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next digital level. In addition, she says, she is very interested in innovative financing mechanisms through the web.
TechCamps are part of the Department of State’s civil society initiative. They seeks to connects civil society organizations worldwide to technology resources that can help them solve challenges currently facing and strengthen their digital capacity.