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BCSWomen has announced its support for the Outbox Incubator, a programme unveiled by the Stemettes to encourage more girls to launch science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) business ideas.
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The programme was launched in May 2015, offering support and funding for girls aged between 11 and 22 who want to launch their own science or technology-based business.
BCSWomen will act as mentors to those in the house by sharing experiences, answering questions and being female role models.
In partnership with Wise, whose patron is HRH The Princess Royal, the programme is funded by the Salesforce Foundation.
Some 45 girls are currently spending six weeks learning and living together in the Outbox Incubator house, taking part in workshops and events and experiencing talks from Stem professionals.
“BCSWomen are delighted to be involved with such a great project encouraging girls and young women to turn their ideas into products and form tech companies with the help from industry mentors,” said Nela Brown, a member of BCSWomen who is acting as a mentor for the programme.
“I talked to two teams of young women who developed two different mobile apps addressing issues they had encountered and wanted to solve through technology. Without girls making products for girls, these and many other issues important to girls would never be addressed – the Outbox Incubator programme is making sure they do,” said Brown.
Stemettes was founded by Anne-Marie Imafidon in 2013, with the aim of inspiring more girls into technology careers. She has since reached 3,000 girls in the UK through public events, school workshops and industry-hosted schemes.
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“These girls and young women represent the future women in Stem – and the future is in good hands. It was a privilege to tell them my ‘herstory’ of how I’ve made my career in software engineering and to hear their stories and plans for the future,” said Cornelia Boldyreff, a member of BCSWomen who visited the house where the programme is taking place.
Genevieve Hibbs, a member of BCSWomen also visiting the programme, said: “When I met these knowledgeable and enthusiastic young people, I was reminded that I was more than twice the age of the oldest when I had my first desktop computer in 1980.
“The incubator is a fabulous opportunity for these girls. I take my hat off to those who are organising it all. I talked with two girls aged 13 who had entrepreneurial plans and they were already making them realistic – how exciting.”