Wamda is an organization that seeks to encourage female entrepreneurship specifically in northern Africa and the Middle East. And now, it is also one of 40 organizations whose efforts will be aided by Google’s new #40Forward initiative.
“Women-led tech companies achieve 35 percent higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12 percent more revenue than male-owned tech companies,” Google’s release on the matter stated. “Yet women are still underrepresented in startup communities. We think there are substantive ways to be more inclusive.”
In an attempt to solve this problem, #40Forward will offer $1 million in aid — as well as program assistance — to 40 organizations across the globe that work to empower and encourage female entrepreneurs.
Wamda says it plans to use the funds to expand its Mix N’ Mentor series and reach even more entrepreneurial women in the Arab world. Others selected to receive help include American Underground in Durham, N.C.; Communitech in Waterloo, Ont., Canada; Jagriti Yatra in Mumbai, India; Silicon Sentier in Paris; a global, online effort called Women on the Web; and Manos Accelerator in San Jose, Calif.
Those involved are especially hopeful that this effort will increase the presence of female entrepreneurs in the technology industry – after all, a study coordinated by the Kauffman Foundation found that women own only 3 percent of all technology startups (according to the SF Gate).
Bridgette Beam, the manager for global entrepreneurship at Google for Entrepreneurs, told the news website that they hope #40Forward will help reverse that trend.
“We should stop asking just ‘Why are women not showing up?’ … but rather why programs are not reaching 50 percent of the population?” she was quoted as saying.