Social Innovation Hub launch in presence of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and UNDP Country Director

Jan 5, 2016

From left to right: Mr. Satya Nadella; Microsoft CEO and Ignacio Artaza; UNDP Country Director at the launch of the first Social Innovation Hub located at the National Council for Women. UNDP/Fatma Elzahraa Yassin

Aiming to empower young talented women to achieve more through technology, the first Social Innovation Hub has been launched at the National Council for Women in Cairo.

In line with Microsoft’s commitment to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, Microsoft’s General Manager for Egypt Khaled Abd El Kader said, “In the year ahead we will continue to ask ourselves what are the challenges facing Egyptians, how can technology help, and what is the contribution Microsoft can make?”

Addressing the challenge, Microsoft has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Woman Business Development Center at the National Council for Women in the Social Innovation Hub, to address the gender gap in Egypt through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among young women. The hub aims to reach 5,000 young women in Egypt – to expose them to computer science for the first time, to bridge the gap between public education, and job market needs, and to foster employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young women developers.

"We are proud to launch the first women innovation and entrepreneur hub in partnership with Microsoft and the National Council for Women, and looking to replicate this successful initiative across Egypt & the Middle East", said Ignacio Artaza;  UNDP Country Director. "Our long term partnership with Microsoft aims at leveraging technology to address societal challenges leading to sustainable development".

The Hub will initially open in Cairo, expanding to four other regions in Egypt including Ismailia, Aswan, Luxor, and Alexandria.

As part of his visit to the region, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, visited the Social Innovation Hub on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, and met some of the young women already utilizing technology to develop solutions: Saydality, one of the applications developed by the young women, helps people easily locate pharmacies or medicines in the vicinity, and provide patients with information on medicines and important medical updates. Another developed application provides refugees with much needed information and services, of critical importance in the Middle East. Two more applications developed by the hub involve a solution for missing and abducted children and first aid information.

“We are keen to create economic opportunities for women in Egypt,” said Effat El Shooky, Director of Woman to Work National Initiative at the National Council for Women. “Our Cooperation with Microsoft aims at developing and fostering woman social entrepreneurs in technology across Egypt.”

The Social Innovation Hub is a part of Microsoft’s “Aspire Woman” Initiative which aims to empower young women leaders of the future; build the technology, business and soft skills and create economic opportunities for young women.    Launched in 2014, the initiative has reached almost 60,000 Egyptian Youth and provided economic opportunities for over 2,000 woman through freelance, micro-entrepreneur and job placement opportunities.

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