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Empowerment mission...

November 6 - 12, 2019
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Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille




Gulf Weekly Empowerment mission...

Ingrid Vanderveldt (iV), the founder and CEO of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (EBW2020), captivated the visitors of Manama Entrepreneurship Week (MEW) with her stories and experiences. Her aim...to encourage others to think “outside the box” in order to achieve a global sustainable future.

The American businesswoman, who was the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Dell and was named as one of Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul 100 Global Leaders, presented inspirational speeches including “Making the Impossible Possible”, the “Women as the Secret Sauce to Global Business Success”, to “Technology as the Great Equalizer and Enabler to Success” and more.

“Being a part of the Manama Entrepreneurship Week was incredible,” she said. “I was honoured to be invited in as a guest and collaborator to this incredible event that is impacting not only Bahrain, but the MENA region and across the globe. 

“My hope is that through the stories, experiences and know-how I shared, that we not only inspired people but gave real, tangible advice on how to take this information and apply it into their own lives and businesses to achieve what they want in life and business.”

Each session she keynoted during MEW, the week-long annual event organised by The Capital Governorate featuring seminars, workshops and conferences in celebration of entrepreneurship, was different. However, it started with her own story of losing everything on her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

“I don’t think that enough of us share those stories of failures,” Ingrid explained. “We sometimes try to not talk about that as part of protecting our image. It’s in overcoming these stories that I think help others potentially see something in those stories that they can relate to. 

“Overcoming those challenges (and the how-to do that) is where we learn and grow. Outside of that “foundational” piece, each session then went into an opportunity to share about global opportunities and trends and would wrap up with tangible steps on how to apply this knowledge into their own lives and businesses.  The Q&A was my favourite.  I love the questions that the Bahrainis were asking!”

In September, the US Embassy and The Capital Governorate organised a Digital Video Conference (DVC) with Ingrid as an introductory session for her contribution in the MEW, entitled “The Role of Tech to Empower Women in Business Worldwide.”

During her visit to the kingdom, Ingrid met with the Economic Development Board and FinTech Bay along with the other visiting speakers for the event to talk about technology and its significance as a catalyst for growth. She also had different business to business meetings, had a seminar at the University of Bahrain during their annual Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, and had talks with Bahrain Entrepreneurship Organisation, University of Bahrain, the American University in Bahrain and the Global Shapers: Bahrain Chapter. She was also part of panel discussions at Brinc Internet of Things (IoT) Hub.







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