Building a Bright Future for Women Entrepreneurs in Tech

Our Business Ninja, Liz Kobold travelled to Taiwan last month, read about her experience with their innovation ecosystem!

The United States and Taiwan hosted a workshop for policy-makers and entrepreneurship ecosystem supporters from the Asia-Pacific region November 14-15.  The workshop was designed to promote and share best practices in creating a supportive environment for women tech entrepreneurs.  I was honoured receive an invitation from the team at the U.S. Embassy, which I happily accepted.

The conference was hosted by the American Institute in Taiwan and the Ministry of Foreign affairs and organised by a fantastic energised team from the Foundation for Women’s Rights Promotion and Development. The conference was a successful and inspiring balance of discussion and group work on Entrepreneurship, learning about the development of Women’s rights in Taiwan and cultural activities. We visited the Dadaocheng region including the Ama museum, Taipai 101, the National Palace Museum and shared many grand meals. On the final day we attended Meet Taipei the annual start-up festival showcasing local and international start-ups there was lots of cool tech, great speakers and a great buzz of positive energy.

Taipei is a modern city, a melting pot of cultures, fantastic markets, great tech businesses and awesome easy connect fast wi-fi all over the place. A quick (fast and furious quick) drive from the airport to the Regent Hotel Taipei, the conference venue for the coming few days.

Taiwan has a female president Tsai Ing-Wen and a number of other female leaders; Yun Fan the Ambassador- at- Large for Women’s Empowerment and Karen Yu, a legislator who spends her time speaking about gender equality, innovation start-ups and digital transformation (to name just two of  the impressive local representatives), were part of the conference sessions. These leaders set the tone for a country to focus on empowering and enabling women in Entrepreneurship.

"These leaders set the tone for a country to focus on empowering and enabling women in Entrepreneurship."

There were 30 attendees at the conference from a diverse range of countries; Mongolia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Phillipines, New Zealand and of course the United States and Taiwan.  Participants also came from a diverse range of backgrounds; entrepreneurs, government, social enterprise, business support, accelerators and incubator programs.

It was a fun and collaborative group who enjoyed our time together, at work and at play.  A highlight was a birthday celebration at the National Palace Museum where we sang “Happy Birthday” in seven languages. The young team of volunteers added an awesome energised vibe, happily shared their culture and showed mastery of the international practice of the “selfie”.

We heard from inspiring speakers from government and the local start-up scene and had the opportunity to work on a collaborative approach to improving Women in Entrepreneurship addressing the environment, enterprise, self-development and social community. Common themes that came to light were; speaking openly about feeling confident, managing family, work life balance and creating female friendly workplaces.  A key outcome was looking to work collaboratively to address the issue of changing the cultural perspective of women in business and entrepreneurship.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity, making new inspiring international friends and continuing the work to champion women in business.

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