WOMENVAI Academy

Support women entrepreneurs through action-based workshops to incerate and develop entrepreneurship capacity building.

 

The WOMENVAI Academy started in 2019 under the name «Les Amazones du Digital» in Benin, dedicated specifically to female entrepreneurship with women from developing countries as beneficiaries, whether they are Junior, Medior or Senior in their professional lives.

As part of the WOMENVAI Academy, we offer, in partnership with local associations, NGOs, to support women entrepreneurs and/or small enterprises led by women, workshops of 2 to 3 days during which we organize and facilitate training-actions aimed at their capacity building in Entrepreneurship. This aims in particular to put women entrepreneurs under the spotlight and promote their activities through our networks of women and partners, including potential financers.

Our mentoring methodology include dedicated seminars around the key stages of business creation and fundraising, development of business and strategic plans, communication and marketing tools.

Aligned with the SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030, our program mainly targets SDG # 5 through the empowerment of girls and women, since we do focus on gender equality by strengthening the entrepreneurial capacities of women, youth, mediors and seniors, and we also help strengthen the leadership of women – so that they can better participate in the economic and social life of their respective countries.

It should also be noted that our program helps develop businesses and skills in areas related to the other 16 SDGs, for women as well as for men, eg.:
The WOMENVAI Academy Program is always financed jointly with the institutions carrying out the project locally, which usually provides the pool of 15 to 20 women selected according to objective criteria and who are able to come over to the location of the workshop over a period of maximum 4 days. To be able to be selected, each of the participants must submit an application containing:

  • CV
  • Motivation to join this training-action
  • Business creation project or broad outlines of said project, specifying its positioning in the value chain within the area and/or SDG chosen for the theme of the workshop.

We have already ran a number of

  • Bénin with ministry of Digital affairs, oct. 2019 – 20 women
  • Bénin with Youth4Challenge, march-sept. 2020 – 25 women
  • Mauritania with CMFA, oct 2021 – 50 women
  • Bénin with ministry of Digital affairs, oct. 2022 – 20 women

KIDs VAI

Today, technology is part of our culture and our daily life. The people who create the technology have a major influence on our future. Unfortunately, women are still a minority in technical and scientific fields. And more generally, there is a huge shortage of qualified people in technical professions worldwide.

 Why?

One of the reasons is gendered socialisation. In order to promote equality from an early age, we need to tell children about the problem. Using an engaging approach centred around technical professions, we can capture their attention with real-world examples and introduce the concept of gender stereotypes.
In partnership with Swiss Engineering Geneva, NGO WomenVAI has developed KidsVAI, a resource to show school children – with a focus on girls from an early age – that technical professions are open to both genders and play a key role in the society of tomorrow.

Objectives of the sessions

  • Deconstruct gender stereotypes
  • Awake interest and curiosity for technical fields
  • Show that anyone can do any job, regardless of their gender
  • Describe the education/qualifications needed to work in a technical profession
  • Give school children examples of women role models

Resources

We run workshops with classroom sessions for school children aged 10 to 14, lasting two hours.

The interactive, children-friendly sessions are based on pictures and games and include in‑depth dialogue on technical professions. The sessions also address gender stereotypes, with content tailored to the 10-14 age group and lots of opportunities for the children to give their input.

In addition, women engineers and students from technical fields are available to give presentations and to answer any questions that any of the teachers may have.

We supported the organization of such workshops for the State of Geneva – Atelier sensibilisation aux stéréotypes de genre et métier de la technique | ge.ch