Entrepreneur First is encouraging more women to consider a career as a tech entrepreneur, through its new Code First: Girls programme.
The not-for-profit organisation aims to help UK graduates create their own high-growth tech start-ups. The Code First: Girls initiative will teach female graduates basic coding skills and support them to consider a career in technology.
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The programme begins in the summer of 2013 as part of the wider Entrepreneur First programme and is being funded by Entrepreneur First sponsor the City of London Corporation.
The course will give up to 30 female graduates a solid foundation in coding, with an estimated four hours tuition a week. This includes in-person lectures and tutorials. The logic behind coding will be taught, in addition to learning the different languages and how they interact. Graduates will learn simple web applications and how to turn ideas into prototypes. Each participant will be assigned a female mentor from the industry.
Alice Bentinck, chief operating officer of Entrepreneur First, said: “It is no secret that there is a lack of female participation in the technology industry and, for many young women, a lack of basic programming expertise can put them off from entering the exciting world of tech start-ups.”
“We know that many young women love technology and have great ideas for tech-based businesses. However, a lack of knowledge around how technology works can seem like an insurmountable barrier. At Entrepreneur First, we have seen this first hand with women making up just a quarter of applicants from last year’s recruitment round.”
Bentinck stressed how a degree in computer science or ten years of coding experience is not needed to build a technology business: “You just need to be smart, creative, hard-working and willing to learn.”
“By giving ambitious, talented female graduates a strong grounding in the language of their technical peers we want to bring more women into the UK start-up scene,” she added.
Entrepreneur First is encouraging females from non-technical backgrounds to apply.
Emily Brooke, a 2012 Entrepreneur First cohort member and founder of BLAZE, took part in a four week coding course earlier this year. She said: “Learning the basics of coding not only taught me a skill so highly valued – and increasingly so – in the tech world, it also allowed me to appreciate and understand this world far better.
“To get a handle on the language spoken there opened a window of understanding and opportunity. It was also incredibly fun! I got a real kick and sense of satisfaction from the problem solving elements.”
The organisation is holding a networking event on 27 November at 6:30pm in the Basinghall Suite at the Guildhall. The evening aims to discuss issues around encouraging women to get involved in the UK tech start-up scene.
For more information on the evening and to apply to join Entrepreneur First 2013 find out more here.